We’ve established many times that camping is a fantastic tradition for your entire family. Chances are, you view your dogs as a member of your family just as much as your own kids! With that in mind, there’s no reason to leave your dog behind when you head out camping. Here are some tips that will make camping with your K-9 companions a breeze.
You’ll want to make sure that wherever you decide to camp for the night is pet-friendly. If you’re hiking into seriously uncharted territory you likely won’t have a problem with this, but be aware of the other indigenous wildlife—you really don’t want Rover sprinting off into the woods to tangle with a black bear or mountain lion. Most other campsites in state and federal parks are pretty pet-friendly, so you shouldn’t have any issues finding a suitable location.
Keep copies of your pet’s important documents with you while you camp.
Hopefully, nothing will happen to your pet while you’re camping, but in the event that an accident does happen and you find yourself spending the night in an emergency vet clinic instead of your tent, you’ll want to have all of your dog’s vaccination records and other important paperwork.
Along those same lines, beef up your First-Aid kit.
Having a good first-aid kit is a no-brainer when it comes to packing for your camping trip, but make sure you have some supplies that are dog specific. You can purchase a first-aid kit for pets at most major pet stores. While you’ll find that many of the supplies are the same as those you’ll likely have in your kit for humans, make sure that your pet-specific kit has a good guidebook for animal-specific first aid.
Bring plenty of water.
Most dogs will be OK drinking from natural sources without treating it like we humans would have to do, but in the event you’re someplace without a water source, you’ll need to pack it in for your pet. A collapsible water bowl that stuffs easily in your pack is also a good idea.
Pack a leash and a stake.
Even if your dog has been trained to go “off-leash,” many campsites require that your pet be secured at night once everyone has turned in. In that case, it’s always a good idea to throw a leash, some rope and a ground stake in the car before heading out.