Like most dog owners, I like to take my pooch on every adventure I go on, whether it’s just to the store or a big camping trip, having your dog by your side, makes even the most mundane tasks seem far more exciting.
The trick to taking them everywhere, like a camping trip, is to pack the essentials to stay calm and stress-free.
Here’s how to plan the perfect getaway with your pooch:
What to do Before Your Trip:
Ensure your pet is up-to-date with all his shots and flea and tick medication
Did you know? Ticks transmit diseases that create bacteria and organisms that can make your dog sick.
Is it Pet-Friendly?
Make sure to check the location’s website or call ahead before making your reservation to ensure that they’ll allow your pooch onsite.
It shouldn’t be much of an issue since nowadays a lot of campsites allow families to bring their pets.
Some campsites require you to pay an extra fee for pets
Make sure you understand the rules and regulations of the campground before heading out on your trip.
Check out these great campgrounds across the US to help you start your search.
If you’re taking your dog camping for the first time, it’s important to do it in weather that they would be most comfortable in
Avoid extreme weather like lightning and thunderstorm
Pro-tip: I like to start checking the weather at least two weeks before my trip in an attempt to track consistencies in the forecast.
After your vet visit, double check that all your paperwork reflects your pup’s current vaccinations
Consider obtaining pet insurance before your trip in case something happens, especially if it’ll be a long trip through the unfamiliar ground for Fido.
Make sure your ID tag has your current address and phone number
You never know what could happen!
It’s essential to have a pet specific first aid kit or topical wound gels that could be used for any open wounds or treating injured bones. EntirelyPets.com has a complete package available just for you or keep the following items in your pack for emergencies:
Where’s your pup going to sleep?
Will they be loose in the tent with you? Or will they be in a crate inside the tent or outside? Once you figure out your sleeping arrangements, invest in a travel bed that will protect them from the outside elements.
Also, did you know that sleeping bags for dogs are a thing?
Pro tip: I wouldn’t recommend bringing in your dog’s regular house bed because it’s not as easy to carry and not as durable for the outdoors.
Make sure your tent is big enough to host both you and your pup if he’ll be staying inside with you. Usually, a two-person tent can fit both you and a larger dog -- if there’s more than one person, plus your pup, consider a bigger tent to fit everyone comfortably.
It may seem obvious, but some owners don’t like to bring a retractable leash and use a regular one instead to keep their pack light and more flexible while out in nature.
Even if your dog is excellent off-leash, a lot of campsites require your dog to be secured when they’re at the campground. Getting a longer leash will still give them the freedom to roam around with you! Maybe consider bringing a stake to keep them in place and keep you from continually holding the leash.
Depending on your preferences, don’t forget to bring your pup’s harness!
A travel bowl is a great way to keep your pack light and still keep your pup hydrated while you’re both enjoying the great outdoors.
Make sure to plan your dog’s food according to the length of your stay.
And it’s always a good idea to have treats to keep his spirits high!
Pro tip: I like to keep a separate water bottle just for my dog to keep track of how much water he’s drinking while on our hikes.
Even though you’re not at home, it’s still essential to keep the campsite and trail clean.
It can be tricky depending on where you’re going.
If it’s up in the mountains, not all dogs have the most appropriate fur for colder conditions so they’ll need a jacket to keep them warm.
What if your campsite is near a water source?
Not all dog breeds are natural swimmers so a life jacket is imperative to bring if you’re not sure if your pooch can swim.
While you’re camping, day hikes play an essential part in the camping experience; so when you are out, dog booties will protect your dog’s paws on not the so smooth terrain. The booties will also keep them clean when it`s raining or through muddy ground.
You never know when your pooch will want to take a dip in the lake or river or go through the muddy ground. Pack a towel to keep your tent clean, as well as their bed!
The nights will be sufficiently darker when you’re away from the city lights. Make sure to bring a flashlight to keep on his collar or attach to their leash. Always keep their path clear and well lit!
One last thing! There will be downtime while you and Fido are out camping. Don’t forget to bring some of your pup’s favorite toys! But that’s just me. Joey loves playing with a bouncy ball and playing fetch.
And there you have it! The essential list of pet products and to do’s before any big camping trip. Have a great trip!