Dogs are an important part of the family, and for many, a vacation wouldn't be complete without their furry companion.
While your pet may not be able to participate in every vacation, camping is one that they certainly can!
To make sure that both two- and four-legged campers have a great time, take a look at these tips for camping with dogs.
Find the Right Campsite
The first thing you need to do is find a campsite that is pet friendly. Fortunately, this shouldn't be too much of an issue, as many campsites allow families to bring their pets.
If you can't find a pet-friendly campsite you like, another great option is to go backcountry camping.
Book a Pre-trip Vet Visit
Once you've secured your campsite, or planned your backcountry route, it's a good idea to take your dog for a pre-trip vet visit. At this appointment, you can make sure that your dog is healthy enough for the trip, as well as ensure that their flea and tick medication is up to date.
Just like with humans, tick bites can cause long-term health problems in dogs.
Get Your Dog's Documents in Order
After you get the okay from your vet for your dog to go camping, the next thing you need to do is get their documents in order. Make sure that you dog has up-to-date license and ID tags, and bring any papers that verify their current vaccinations.
These will be important to have if anything happens while on your trip.
Have a Pet First Aid Kit
The next thing you'll need to pack is a pet-specific first aid kit. These can be bought from any pet supply store, or you can assemble one yourself.
While there will be some overlap with a human first aid kit, it's important to have a pet-specific first aid book that will show you how to deal with emergency situations, such as choking.
Pack a Leash, Tether, and Stake
Even if your dog is comfortable off-leash, it's a good idea to bring a leash or tether and a stake with you. This way if the campsite requires your dog to be secured at your campsite, you don't have to constantly hold the leash.
Carrying a leash with you while you're away from the campsite is also important, just in case you encounter a situation where your dog would need to be secured, such as a leash-required zone or a wild animal.
Pack Portable Water and Food Bowls
Choosing food and water bowls that can be easily carried with you is a great idea while camping. Especially if you're going to be doing a lot of hiking, investing in a set of collapsible bowls will save you space and lightens your load.
Don't Forget Poop Bags
Poop bags are one thing that many people overlook when packing for a camping trip.
Just like when you take your dog on a walk at home, it's important to pick up after them. This will keep the trail clean for everyone and avoid attracting unwanted animal visitors.
Decide on Sleeping Arrangements
The last thing you need to consider before taking your dog camping is where it will sleep at night. Will they be loose in your tent with you? In the tent inside a crate? Somewhere else?
Preparing sleeping arrangements before you leave will make sure that everyone has a safe and comfortable nights' sleep.
Being prepared will help you avoid any potential crises in the woods and help make everyone's trip more enjoyable! So don't leave your furry best friend at home next time you hit the trail.