Tips for Hiking and Camping with Dogs

Going camping? Chances are, your dogs wants to come along! Read these tips to have a fun, safe journey into nature.

Make sure that your dog is up to date on its vaccinations, and bring along its vet records in case of emergency. Bring an ID tag that says the name of the park, campsite or “Contact Park Ranger” on it. If you are going way out into the wilderness, write a number of a friend that people can contact.

If you are going camping on a camp ground, it is advised that you do not bring a loud dog that will annoy your neighbors. Pack some dog toys, frisbees, food from home and a sleeping pad or dog bed if it gets cold at night. Do not leave your dog in the tent for extended periods, as it will get really hot and dehydrated. When sleeping, keep your food out of your tent so your dog doesn’t take snacks (and also so bears don’t bother you!)

In terms of hiking, make sure your dog is able to go long distances before you embark on a huge adventure. Take it on small hikes and walks in wooded or desert areas, not just at paved park paths. Bring a first aid kit for yourself and for your dog. Some good items to bring are tweezers, socks if its paw gets hurt, adhesive tape, cotton balls, and a bitter apple to discourage licking. Read up on emergency dog situations and make sure you will be able to handle them. Pack lots of water for you and your dog. There is a product called a Body Cooler Bandana that you can use in addition, in which you soak it in cold water and then wrap it around your dog’s neck so it stays cool.dog-backpack

Bring an extra leash for emergencies. You might need to feed your dog more than usual, as it will be exercising, so bring a lot of food. If your dog is at least 20 lbs, it can carry things in a backpack (just don’t put anything valuable or breakable in there). Have your dog practice having the backpack, and eventually start putting objects in it, so the dog gets used to the extra weight. If you are going through rough or rocky terrain, look into buying dog boots. If you are bringing a small dog that cannot usually keep up with you, invest in a dog backpack you can carry it in yourself.

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