This article is contributed by guest writer, John Woods (dog trainer and member of the association of professional dog trainers).
Four Tips for Camping with Your Pet
For those with an active lifestyle and who love being outdoors it stands to reason that you may want to take Fido for a camping trip. For some, this may not phase you in the slightest, others, may be a little more apprehensive about the whole idea. We have put together 4 top tips to help you make your camping trip a success!
Have You Got The Right Dog?
Just like there are dogs who are better at chilling on the sofa, there are dogs who are better suited to camping trips.
Generally, when most people go camping, they spend a lot of time hiking, walking and exploring the area. You may camp by a lake and go swimming.
For that reason, you’re going to want a dog who has the energy for all those things. High energy breeds like the Husky, German Shorthaired Pointer, Australian Shepherd and Alaskan Malamute are super camping buddies; they love being busy.
Equally, smaller breeds like the Miniature Golden Retriever, Beagle or Jack Russell Terrier have just as much energy but are much easier to fit in a smaller tent.
How Well Trained Is Your Dog?
Be realistic. Does your dog have good recall? Do they bark all the time? Are they sociable? The last thing anyone wants, you or other campers, is a dog running wild, in total ignorance, barking at any noise they hear or lunging at passersby. Whilst you may tie your dog to a long line by the tent, you still need to have him under control, so when you call him, he will come to you. If you are on a busy campsite, you want to be able to sleep at night knowing that Fido can tolerate the odd movement from nearby tents. If you are likely to meet other people, you don’t want to be worried about potential altercations. If you can’t be sure of these things, maybe camping with Fido won’t be the stress-free vacation you had hoped for.
Plan your camping trip. Look at the area. Is there water nearby? If you are likely to be swimming in lakes take Fido’s life jacket along too. Regardless of whether he likes to swim or not, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even strong swimmers can get tired.
Look for tick warnings in the area; ticks can carry a range of diseases. Speak with your veterinarian about preventatives before your trip. Tell them where you are headed, there may be additional illnesses prevalent in the area that they can advise you on.
Make sure Fido’s identification is up to date including his microchip details and his pet tag. If he gets lost, this can increase the chance of a happy reunion so always keep his collar on. If Fido goes missing don’t forget to report your lost dog on PawBoost.
When at the tent, tie Fido to a long line; you can easily tie it to a stake in the ground. Fido can still have free reign, but you know he’s still attached.
You may be camping near others – keep him out of their space; not everyone appreciates another mouth begging at the grill.
Consider The Logistics
First up, ensure dogs are allowed!
Where will Fido sleep? Will he be in the tent with you or in the porch? Taking a crate may be the safest place for him to sleep – you know he’s secure and can’t get into any left-over food that you accidentally left out.
What are your plans whilst camping? Can Fido go too? Check out local dog friendly areas, not only is it unsafe to leave Fido alone at the tent, it’s not fair – he’s on vacation too.
What will the weather be like? Will it be extreme? Hot or cold. Can you keep Fido cool enough and hydrated? Can you set up camp near shade? Or at least create a spot of shade.
Equally, if it’s cold, will you be able to keep him warm in your tent? A raised bed will help. Consider using a coat/jacket to keep him warm.
How will you store his food? Dry kibble is often the easiest type of food to take on a camping trip.
So not as easy as we first thought, there are a number of things to consider if you want to go camping with your pooch! With enough consideration and planning, any trip can be a success, just be realistic with the temperament and characteristics of your dog. Work out the logistics, grab the right gear and happy camping!