Taking your dog camping can be an amazing experience as you watch them enjoy the great outdoors. However, you must take care to prepare yourself and your fur baby for the trip to avoid many harmful situations that could turn your experience into a negative one. Like any other member of your family, make sure your dog will have all they need when venturing out on a hike or a full camping trip.

Be Prepared

Photo Credit: Pixabay

The common theme when it comes to camping is preparedness and the same goes for your dog. Before you leave go through this quick checklist to make sure you do not come up short when caring for you furry family member.

  • Training
  • Although this may seem obvious, it is important that your dog is able to follow basic commands like sit, stay, come, wait, and leave it. Ensure that your dog has good campground and hiking trail manners and that their barking can be kept to a minimum. It is also important to understand your dog’s behaviour especially when it comes to leash free areas.
  • Identification
  • If your dog gets lost, make sure that they have a readable ID tag on their collar engraved with their name, your name, email, and phone number. It also is a good idea to have them microchipped with this information in case their collar falls off. The microchip allows shelters to scan your dog and will provide them with your contact information.
  • Doggie First Aid Kit
  • Just like humans, your dog will need their own first aid kit which will help with minor medical emergencies. You can purchase a full first aid kit or you can gather certain components from various stores. Your basic kit should include tweezers, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, hand sanitizer, gauze bandage rolls, cloth tape, gloves, Q-tips, eyewash solution, tongue depressor, oral syringe, a razor, and a First Aid Guide for Pets.
  • Vaccinations
  • Make sure that all your pet’s vaccines are up to date especially those that protect against Rabies and other harmful diseases. Also ensure that your pup receives their flea and tick medications.
  • Doggie Booties
  • If you plan on bringing any sort of clothing for your dog, invest in boots. They can provide protection from extremely hot or cold terrain, burs, and thorns. They also provide great traction.
  • Nearby Vet Clinic Information
  • If something serious happens to your pet, make sure that you have information for the nearest vet’s clinic and directions to it from where you are staying.

During Your Camping Adventure

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Once you begin your escapade, you need to remain vigilant to keep your pet safe. Here are some tips to follow while you are camping:

  • Use the buddy system
  • In other words, do not leave your fur baby alone during your trip at any time for any reason. Always bring them with you on your daily adventures.
  • Keep a leash handy
  • The sights and smells of camping are sure to be distracting for your pup. Avoid them wandering off, by putting them on a leash at your campsite. Most campgrounds allow these to be up to 6 feet long so your dog can still explore close to base camp. Also invest in a harness to tie the leash to so there is no strain around dog’s neck.
  • Pick up after your dog
  • The “leave-no-trace” ethics apply to your dog so make sure you pick up their waste when appreciating the outdoors.
  • Nighttime Cuddles
  • When its time to turn in, allow your dog to snuggle up to you in your car or tent. This will protect them from any unwanted encounters during the night. Sleeping with you keeps them safe.
  • Pack Provisions
  • Bring enough food, treats, and drinkable water for the whole trip and only bring food out during meals. Do not forget a water and food bowl.
  • Hydration Breaks
  • It is important to allow your dog plenty of water breaks during camping activities. Remember they are not used to being out in the sun all day, so breaks are key to prevent them from becoming overheated. It is also good practice to prevent your dog from drinking in puddles or slow-moving creeks.

Water Activities


Photo Credit: Pixabay

Most campers will want to experience the water with their pup whether it be swimming or boating. Keep the following tips in mind before you embark on a water adventure with your dog:

  • Not all are natural born swimmers
  • Just like humans, some dogs do not have the graceful ability of swimming and some will not enjoy the water either. Never assume your dog will be able to figure it out when it comes to staying afloat. Try out shallow water before advancing to deeper areas and never force your pup into the water.
  • Doggie Life Jacket
  • If you are venturing out on a boat, raft or are unsure about your dog’s swimming abilities, equip them with a personal flotation device. These jackets are specially made with your pet in mind and will keep them safe if they come into unwanted contact with the water. Remember that dogs that are heavy on land are twice as heavy when wet so make sure you can handle them outside of their natural environments.
  • Keep them close
  • Dogs do not understand how to take a break and will swim until they are completely out of energy which could land them in trouble. Make sure when swimming your dog remains close to you and to take plenty of breaks.

Paws In

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Like any other part of your camping journey, make sure that you prepare for every situation your dog can get into and have back up plans for the things they surprise you with. If you take the proper precautions, taking your doggo on your next trip will be an entertaining experience. We here at Chiefswood Park look forward to seeing you and your furry family members soon!