If you love dogs and own one, you also most probably consider it as another cherished family member. You take care of it, ensure it's healthy, and that it lives a fun and happy life. Moreover, leaving your furry friend behind can be challenging and almost seem wrong when you travel for vacation or recreational trips. So, what do you do for recreation when you also want to bring your dog along?
Camping in the wild is a wonderful way to connect with nature and bond with your family and dog. The country has many excellent dog-friendly camping sites, and the trip is relatively easier to organize than ones where flights are involved. But if a camping adventure with your dog still sounds daunting, don't worry. This post will guide you on preparing and making your trip fun for your family and dog. Keep reading to learn more.
Preparing for the Trip
Before you hit the road, it's essential to prepare and ensure your family and dog are ready for the trip. Here are some of the things you should have on your prep list.
1. Choosing the right campsite
Not all campsites allow animals on their premises. As such, you should find an appropriate dog-friendly camping ground before making a reservation. This will make it easier to set up after getting to the site and reduce the possibility of being denied entry.
Researching campsite regulations
After identifying a dog-friendly campsite, look at any additional rules you'll need to follow while at the site. For instance, some camps require dogs to always be on a leash. If you're comfortable with the camp's rules, go ahead and confirm your reservation.
2. Preparing Your Dog
Basic training for camping
Before setting off on a camping trip, it's essential to reinforce some of your dog's basic training. This includes going over commands such as "come," "stay," and "leave it." Doing this reestablishes your rapport with the dog and makes it easier to control it while on your trip.
Checking your dog's health
Ensure your dog is up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations and has had a recent vet check-up before heading out on your trip. This will minimize the risk of it falling sick or spreading pests like ticks.
Packing the right supplies
Pack all necessary supplies for your dog, including food, water, a bowl, a leash, a collar with identification, bedding, and any medications your dog may need. Moreover, if you're using a collapsible travel crate for your furry friend, gently acclimatize your dog if it's new by showing it how to get in and lie down. This will reduce your dog's anxiety while in the crate, improving its experience.
While on the Road
Now that you have a camping site and prepared your dog, it's time to hit the road. Here are some tips to help you travel safely with your dog.
1. Safe Travel With Your Dog
Car safety precautions
Depending on how you're transporting your dog, establish your driving precautions and follow them. This can include not exceeding a certain speed or being too heavy on the brakes.
Traveling with a crate
If you’re using a dog crate to protect your pup, ensure it's the appropriate size for your dog and is secured in the car. You will also find collapsible dog crates make it easier to manage your dog while in transit and are convenient to store.
2. Managing Your Dog's Needs During Travel
Frequent exercise and potty breaks
Your family and dog will appreciate frequent stops during the drive to stretch their legs, go potty, and get some fresh air. This will ensure road rage does not set in in your young ones or dog and cause mayhem in the car.
Food and water management
Bring your dog plenty of water and food for the road. However, avoid feeding it right before or during the drive to reduce the risk of car sickness. Moreover, keeping it well-fed and hydrated will improve its experience on the road, which, as you know, can be hard even for the best of us.
Setting Up Camp
Once you arrive at your campsite, setting up in a comfortable and secure area for your family and dog is essential. Here are some tips to help you out.
1. Establishing a Comfortable Campsite
Choose the right campsite location
Choose a location for your tent away from high-traffic areas and potential hazards like cliffs or water sources. Setting up your tent on raised grounds will allow you to avoid floods if it rains, as well as give you better visibility of the surrounding area.
Setting up a secure campsite for your dog
Ensure your dog can't escape the campsite by securing your tent and using a leash or tie-out if necessary. You can also have your dog in your tent if it's not crowded.
2. Keeping Your Dog Safe at the Campsite
Identifying potential hazards
Look out for potential hazards like sharp rocks, poisonous plants, or other dangerous wildlife in the area. If you cannot avoid setting up near these hazards, use a tie-out or leave it in its crate overnight. It's not ideal, but it will protect your dog from other wildlife.
Controlling your dog's movements
Even if you're confident about the safety of the location you're camping, it's always a good idea to supervise your dog's movement. Have it on a leash while exploring during the day and on a tie-out to prevent it from wandering too far or getting into trouble.
Activities with Your Dog
Camping allows you to connect and bond with nature, your family, and your dog. Here are some ideas for activities you can do with your furry friend.
One tip for keeping your dog from getting cranky after your journey is taking it for a nice walk. Exercise will increase its heart rate and tiredness, mitigating the chances of it barking at night. Dogs also love being outdoors, so take this chance to enjoy nature and the beautiful sceneries it offers with your furry friend.
Dogs love playing around in the water. Hit the local lake or stream and splash around for a few minutes. Remember to bring enough towels for everyone and your furry friend.
You can also bond with your dog at the campsite by bringing and playing with toys like frisbees, balls, or tug ropes in the evening. You can also play hide and seek, teach it a new trick, or practice agility training with obstacles like cones or logs on the grounds. This will ensure everyone has an excellent time during the trip.
Even though dogs can't ride bikes, they enjoy running beside their owners as they ride. So bring your bike and hit some trails with your dog. Take regular breaks to catch your breaths, and ensure the pace is comfortable for your furry friend.
Safety Precautions to Consider for Your Trip
When venturing into the outdoors, it's essential to recognize that anything can happen. As such, preparing for any eventualities is always a good idea. Here are a few tips.
Bring a First Aid Kit
Pack a first aid kit for your family and one specifically designed for dogs, including bandages, antiseptic wipes, and tweezers. You should also pack any medication your dog needs and keep an eye out for signs of dehydration, heat stroke, or cuts and scrapes. This will allow you to react quickly and deal with potential issues before they become more serious.
Know who to Call for Help
Let a close family member or friend know you're going on a camping trip with your dog, where you're going, and your arrival times, as well as give regular updates. This is also the person you should call if you need assistance. Moreover, know how to contact the area's emergency services and the nearest veterinary clinic or animal hospital.
Have a plan in place for evacuating the campsite quickly and safely in the event of an emergency. Sometimes it can take time for emergency services to reach remote areas, and your quick reaction to situations can mean the difference between life and death. This includes ensuring your vehicle has enough fuel and fully inflated tires.
Camping is an excellent way to escape daily life's hustle and bustle. If you own a dog, you also know spending time with your furry friend can be one of the few ways to relieve your daily pressures. Moreover, camping with your dog can be a fun and rewarding experience for you and your furry friend. However, take time to prepare for your trip by finding a suitable camping site, prepping your dog for the journey, and planning activities to do with your dog. You should also remember to set up your tent safely and securely and have an idea of what to do in case of emergencies. We hope you find this easier with the tips we've highlighted above and that it makes your trip safer and more enjoyable for everyone involved. Happy camping.