Bringing your furry buddy along on a camping trip can be a lot of fun but this means packing some extra things for her, and thinking about her impact on environment, too. Before you head out to the Adirondacks, Death Valley, or Lake Tahoe, make sure you’re prepared for the trip.
1: Plan ahead
Make sure the place you are going allows dogs. Call the state park or campgrounds before you go to confirm that pets are allowed. Also, look up the locations of the nearest 24-hour emergency vet near where you are going.
2: Be Prepared
Make sure their flea and tick meds have been applied before you leave. Pack food bowls, food, medications, and a first aid kit for your dog. If you can fit it, bring their bedding too. It’ll make for a relaxed pup. Don’t forget to bring bags to clean up after your dog too. Leave the environment as you found it.
3: Keep your dog leashed
Even if your dog is great off-leash, a new place and unknown territory can bring about unexpected responses from your pup. She may want to explore and not be able to find her way back or a loud noise could startle her and she may run. Don’t use a flexi-lead or retractable leash. You can bring two leashes if you want, a 6ft walking one, and a slightly longer one so she can explore while on hikes. It’s also important for her own protection too to be leashed in case she tries to chase small animals or a large animal like, say, a bear.
4: Watch out for your neighbors
While your dog might be very friendly, not everyone you’ll meet may like dogs. Other dogs may not be as friendly as yours too. If you run into someone else with a dog, talk to the owner and assess the body language both pups are displaying. Having your dog leashed gives you the control to pull your dog away if a play session seems unlikely.
5: Reinforce commands
It’s easy for dogs to become excited and they may start misbehaving. If your dog starts to disturb wildlife, digs holes, or does other damage, quickly correct it like you would at home. Reinforce positive behavior and discourage negative behavior.
6: No unwanted roommates
Nature has a lot of creepy crawlies, insects, and parasites. Apply flea and tick medication before heading out on the trip, bring your own insect repellent, and check your dog after walks in the woods for any bugs that may have hitched a ride. Don’t forget to check yourself too.
7: Clean up
Just as you try your best to clean up your campground and take care of all your garbage, clean up after your dog. Even though your dog’s waste is biodegradable, it’s not indigenous to the woods. Make it a point to leave the the place in the same condition you found it in. Dispose of all garbage in the trash cans and use biodegradable poop bags which can be found in many pet stores.
What are YOUR best tips for camping with your pup? Where is your favorite place to camp?
Photo courtesy of Laertes on Flickr