is the perfect time to dust off
your camping gear and explore the great outdoors. And if you have a
furry friend, you might be thinking about taking them along.
Camping can be a great experience for many dogs, with lots of new
sights, sounds, smells, and adventures. However, bringing a dog on
a camping trip requires some preparation and understanding of
potential hazards. Read on to learn how to safely enjoy Mother
Nature with your best friend.
Before You Go Camping With Your Dog
If you?re planning to take your dog on a camping trip, there are
certain things you will need to do before you can pitch a
Take your dog to the veterinarian
for a check-up to ensure that they are both physically and
behaviorally prepared for a camping trip. Camping can be physically
taxing, especially if you plan on hiking
or being in
, and certain dogs (like
or those with ailments)
may not be up for it.In addition, you should consider your dog?s
behavior. Will they be
excessively while you and other campers are trying to sleep? Do
aggressive or fearful in new situations? If you aren?t sure if your
dog will have a good time while camping, it may be better to leave
them behind.RELATED STORY: The
Annual Vet Visit Cost: What to ExpectVaccinations and
Make sure that your dog is up to date on all of their
. Tell your veterinarian
where you and your dog will be going so that they can recommend any
additional vaccines that may be useful. For example, if you?ll be
camping in the desert, your vet may recommend the rattlesnake
vaccine.Your dog should also be protected from fleas and ticks
, as these pests can be found in abundance in certain camp areas
and may carry life-threatening diseases.
ID Tag and Microchip
Your dog should wear a collar with an
at all times, and if your dog has a
microchip, check to make sure that their contact info is up to date
before you leave for your trip. Also bring a recent photo of your
dog that you can show to other campers or a park ranger if your pal
wanders off.Prepare a Pet First-Aid Kit
Having a pet first-aid kit
on hand can help you
treat superficial wounds
off the grid. You may also want to consider taking a pet first-aid
class such as the one offered by the American Red Cross.Pack
Your Pet?s Supplies
What will your dog need while camping?
Everything they need at home, plus some. This includes a leash,
food, fresh water (never let your dog drink from lakes, rivers, or
ponds), bowls, poop bags, a bed or blanket, a brush or comb (so you
can check for ticks
they might need, and if you?ll be in the sun, pet
and a place for your dog to find shade (such as a large umbrella
or a covered crate).
RELATED STORY: Made in the USA Pet
Supplies ShowcaseLocate the Nearest Veterinarian
leaving civilization, locate the nearest vet
to your campground and write down their address and telephone
number. In case of an emergency, you?ll know where to go right
While Camping With Your Dog
Your dog passed their physical with flying colors, they have
their vaccinations and flea and tick protection, their ID tag and
microchip are up to date, and their supplies are packed. You?re
ready to start your adventure! So how can you keep your dog safe
once you reach the campsite?
Never Leave Your Dog Alone, and Use a Leash When Necessary
Leaving your dog alone in nature puts them at risk for injury or
getting lost. Keep an eye on your dog at all times, and if you?re
near other campers or in an area with less-than-friendly wildlife,
keep them on a
.Check For TicksTicks
abound in forest areas and tall grass. Check your dog at least
once a day. If you find a tick,
with tweezers or a tick
. Never attempt to ?drown? the tick with dish soap or burn it
with a match; these homespun methods can actually increase the
likelihood of infection.
RELATED STORY: Types of Ticks in
the USOffer Exercise Breaks
Camping often involves hiking
or long walks. Give your dog plenty of breaks to avoid straining
their muscles and joints
, and if the weather is hot, take steps to prevent heat stroke.
Find shady areas to rest and keep fresh water on you at all times.
If your dog is showing signs of exhaustion, let them sit out
activities for the remainder of the day.
Consider outfitting your dog with a pair of dog boots. Dog boots
protect your dog?s paws from cuts, scrapes, and foreign objects
between the toes. They also keep feet warmer in cold weather and
cool when the weather heats up. Most dogs aren?t too fond of dog
boots the first time they wear them, so practice with your pal
before you go camping.
Do you take your dog camping? Leave us a comment and let us know
how you keep your pup safe. Another way to protect your pet? Sign
up for PetPlus, a benefit program for
pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at
wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits,
boarding, and more.