Tips for Camping with Your Pet
Pet owners can all agree: any time of year is the best time to take their four-legged friend out on an adventure. From long sunny days during summer to crisp days during fall, and even to snowy days during winter camping with a pet is always memorable.
Here are a few important tips for taking your pup(s) on backpacking, tent camping, or RV adventures.
1) Refresh your dog’s campsite etiquette
Before you embark on your tail-wagging outdoor exploration, give your dog an update on basic commands including come, drop, and stay. This refresh will help your four-legged friend stay clear of other campsites or out of danger.
The Art of Manliness Guide, Adventures with Fido: How to Camp with Your Dog, recommends these five commands:
- Whoa: Use this for stop, freeze, don’t move.
- Come: Self-explanatory.
- Down: Lay down, don’t move until I tell you it’s okay.
- Okay: We’re cool. As you were.
- Leave it: Whatever is in your mouth, drop it
Also, this ASPCA guide to training your dog for outdoor adventures is a great refresh.
2) Pest Protection
It is so important that before your dog heads the outdoors, he or she is protected against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, heartworm and other outdoor pests.
Talk to your vet ahead of time about the following:
• Flea and tick preventives
• Heartworm medication
• Rabies shots
3) Pack for your pup
You don’t need to pack heavy, but here are a few ‘musts’ to ensure your puppy remains safe, hydrated and engaged:
• A dedicated doggy bottle for water
• Collapsible food and water bowls
• Dog backpacks for excursions
• First aid kit:
The U.S. Forest Service recommends carrying the following dog-specific first aid items, many of which you probably already have at home:
• A bandana for a makeshift muzzle
• Flat-bladed tweezers and a small container of mineral oil for tick removal
• An emergency fold-up blanket (space blanket) for treating shock or cold
• A folding tool that has needle-nose pliers for extracting a large thorn or a porcupine quill
• Booties for protecting injured paws (toddler socks work great!)
• A small first aid book with instructions for treating pets
• The name, phone number, and directions to a nearby veterinarian or pet emergency clinic
4) Have fun!
Dogs make excellent camping companions. So, this year take Fido out for an unforgettable adventure you won’t soon forget!
Originally published March 31, 2017, updated September 1, 2017