Your dog is part of your family. As such, it’s only fair to tag him along to all your family outings, including camping trips.
Unfortunately, most camping sites are not designed with dogs, or pets, in mind. So, if you are planning to go camping with your dog, here are some tips on how to create a dog-friendly experience:
1. Plan Ahead
Your experience won’t exactly be a great one if you just pull up at your camp, dog in tow. Remember, most campgrounds don’t allow dogs, while others have restrictive rules and regulations. Therefore, before you start packing, you need to confirm whether your prospective campground accepts dogs, and whether you can comply with their rules.
Once you have the green-light, you can now prepare for the camp. The first thing to check is whether he can walk on a leash without fuss. This is especially important as most camps require dogs to always be on leashes.
You also need to check whether your furry pal can follow verbal cues. Essentially, he should be able to come to you when you call him and sit still when you order him. This could come in handy when he gets lost in the bushes.
2. Get Your Vet’s Word
Schedule an appointment with your vet to let them know where and when you’re going to camp. They will examine the dog and advise on the medication (including vaccination) to take, or what precautions to observe.
3. What to Carry
Depending on the nature of the campsite and the activities to be undertaken, you will need to carry the following items:
- Collar, Harness and Leash
- Enough food and water to last the duration of the camp
- A fully equipped first aid kit
- A couple of doggie toys to keep him busy
- Insect repellent
- Regular dog grooming supplies
Things to Do While At Camp
- When you go camping with your dog for the first time, you need to have an acclimatization period, to get him comfortable in the wild.
You can simply take him on slow, short walks around the ground to get him used to the new surroundings. Other activities such as hiking expeditions, sightseeing trips can follow thereafter.
- Moreover, avoid leaving leftover doggie food laying around the camp. If you’re camping in the wild, leftover food could attract wild animals, in addition to creating an eyesore.
You should therefore collect and dispose all food leftovers in accordance with the camp’s waste disposal procedures.
- Always keep your dog within your sight – you don’t want him wandering off to disturb other campers. It’s also polite to take him away from the general area when he starts to bark.
- Most importantly, pick up all your dog’s feces as soon as you see them, and dispose them in the pit latrine. This helps in keeping the camp environment clean and aesthetically conducive, for both dogs and people.
So, is it really worth it?
Camping with your dog not only strengthens your bond, but also saves you the cost of hiring someone to look after him. Moreover, it doesn’t take much to have an amazing and mutually enjoyable experience.