With the arrival of nicer weather, we all spend more time in the fresh air. The weather forecast is perfect for the next few days and you decided to go camping, but did you forget something? Or someone? We are sure that your four-legged friend can't wait to take him to nature where he will be able to sniff, explore new places, walk, and enjoy together with you. Dogs will make camping an even better experience so it’s a good idea to take them with you but before you decide to do so, you need to take some steps to keep your dogs safe on camping. We bring you tips on how to camp safely and without stress with a dog. These are the most important tips that you shouldn't skip.
1. Make sure your dog is ready to go camping
The first thing you need to consider is the age of your dog. For older dogs, camping could be strenuous and it could be difficult for them to climb hills, take long walks, or do other activities while younger dogs would enjoy it. Also, the dog you want to take on camping must be obedient. He must know how to behave near other people, should be on a leash if there are children nearby, shouldn't bark a lot, and more. You know your dog best, so judge for yourself if it's a good idea to take him camping.
2. Type of dog
Besides the age of the dog, you should also take into account his physical abilities, which will determine how they will cope with camping. The trails you hike on while camping can be uneven and steep which means smaller dogs will have trouble walking on such ground. Therefore, large dogs will easily overcome obstacles that may be found in their way and for smaller ones, we advise you to still walk them on flat and checked roads and to avoid forest and hilly areas.
3. Be careful when choosing a location
When planning to go camping with your dog, choose a pet-friendly campground. Moreover, in most camps, animals are strictly forbidden so you will have a narrowed circle of choices at the outset. There are also campsites where pets are allowed but must be on leashes. Your dog wouldn’t like it so study the campsites well and choose one that will be interesting to both you and your pet.
4. Make sure the dog is completely healthy
Going to the vet before camping is a necessary step you have to take. It’s important for the dog to be vaccinated before leaving, to take a flea/tick tablet, and for the data on his microchip to be updated. The dog shouldn’t go on a trip without an ID and a vaccination certificate.
5. Let the dog have a visible tag
Imagine a situation where a dog gets lost in the middle of a camp and fails to find its way to you. For this reason, the dog must have a label that will contain both your and the dog's information. Enter your name, surname, address, and mobile phone number so that the person who finds the dog can come to you faster and return him to you. Also, put the name of the dog on it. It would be good to take a few photos of the dog with you as people will recognize him more easily if he gets lost.
6. Bring dog food and water
Take dry food such as cans that the dog can normally eat with you. Keep food safe so that other animals like insects don’t eat what is intended for your dog. After a walk or some other activity, we're sure that the dog would be happy if you would give him a treat, so it’s not bad to have it packed either. Water is equally necessary for you and your dog. The dog needs to be hydrated because unlike humans, dogs don't sweat. Before camping, buy a collapsible water container that easily fits in a backpack, it doesn’t take up much space and will come in handy.
7. Bring old blankets and towels
It would be advisable to place old blankets around the camp so your dog can sit on them. Also, if you are near water, you will need towels to dry your dog faster, so pack them as well. The dogs are very playful, they will surely get dirty in the woods because out of curiosity they will push their snouts everywhere. So try to keep them clean and dry.
8. Pack first aid for the dog
Dogs can also be injured while camping and to help them even before the vet arrives, pack first aid. Put in the box: bandages, tweezers, emergency blanket, saline (for the eyes), muzzle, and Dog booties. If your dog has any other problems or is taking pills, be sure to pack them as well.
9. Design a place where the dog will sleep
To avoid the dog barking and whining at night because he's afraid of being alone in the unknown, design a place for him to sleep. Keep it as close to you as possible to make the dog feel safe and not abandoned. Like small children, dogs will feel safer around someone they love. Let the place be fenced, this way he will be protected from other animals in the camp. Follow the forecast well, don’t leave the dog outside if they have announced bad weather. In that case, bring a crate and let the dog sleep in the crate next to you.
To make the dog feel even safer, you can also bring a bed in which he normally sleeps. If the dog normally sleeps with you in the house, you can put the dog in a tent with you just make sure there is room for everyone in the tent. When buying a tent, choose ones with a solid material so your dog doesn’t ruin the tent with his fingernails. Dogs who have favorite toys will fall asleep easier if you also pack the toy.
10. Dog excrement bag
Despite being outdoors, try to keep your camp tidy so bring lots of doggy bags (buy eco-friendly bags) and throw them in the trash after use. You will probably find special trash cans in camps where you can throw the doggy bag. If, on the other hand, you find yourself in a situation where you forgot to bring a bag of excrement or you have used everything, dig a hole in the ground, and bury the excrement.
11. Don’t leave the dog alone
Your dog is entirely your responsibility and you are obliged to take care of him. Don’t leave him alone, even on a leash because in case some wild animal appears, your dog can be in big trouble. Of course, you can't leave your dog alone or without a leash because as we mentioned, dogs are agitated and can get lost very easily. Also don’t leave him alone in the tent, especially in summer because dogs are more sensitive to heat than humans and we all know that tents are easy to heat up. Always make sure the dog is in the shade and keep your eye on him.
12. Make sure the dog has no ticks or burrs/thorns
Dogs can hide numerous ticks in their fur which, despite the collar, can be caught on them. Check your dog's hair every couple of hours, especially on his belly, to remove ticks in time. Remove ticks in the same way as from humans. In addition to ticks, the dog is exposed to other dangers outside, such as thorns, which can be very painful. Checking will take you a little time and you will prevent possible limping of the dog or even some serious injuries. Regular checking can prevent greater damage.
13. Make a list of activities
The dog won't have fun just sitting around the tent, resting, or watching you drink coffee. If you have decided to take your dog camping with you then you need to know that camping should involve a lot of different activities. Plan what you will do before you leave. If the camp is near a river, you can swim, ride a boat, walk along the river, or throw a ball. Adapt to the camp you have chosen.
Before going camping, you can call the camp you have chosen to consult with them further and to explain the rules of camping with a dog. Call them if you have any doubts (for example, whether the dog in the camp must be on a leash and, if so, how long the leash should be). Be sure to visit the vet and when he 'approves' you to go camping, pack everything your dog may need. We have instructed you on what is necessary to pack but since the owner knows his dog best, you can pack something extra that we haven't listed and that could be useful on camping.
Now you are fully ready to camp with your dog and we wish you unforgettable and happy moments with him. Don't forget to take pictures to have a wonderful memory of your adventure!