If you’re a dedicated dog owner who also enjoys spending time out in the wilderness, you’ve probably always wished your pet could accompany you. You dog can be a great companion when camping. All it takes is a little extra care in preparing for the trip.
The first thing to consider is whether dogs are allowed in the camping area in the first place. You don’t want to arrive there and find out only one of you can get it.
The next thing to make sure of is that your dog’s health is in perfect order. It’s a responsibility you have toward your dog, other people and their pets, and yourself. It is also useful to bring along documentation pertaining to your dog’s health status and vaccination history in case a professional needs to be consulted away from home.
Another thing that should be understood is that only well-trained dogs make for good camping companions. If you have a problem training your dog, consider not taking her on a trip (I have owned exactly 5 dogs, all of them females. I will continue referring to the dog as a she in this text, but you do what you have to). As dogs can be well-trained and still have a tendency to wander off, leashes and carriers are always handy.
Keep in mind that constant barkers can be a nuisance. If your pet cannot be controlled at all times, you may get in trouble. Your dog can also get into conflict with other animals and this can injure or even kill her. This is the ultimate reason you should only bring a well-trained dog camping.
The breed of your dog, her size and strength, and her physical capabilities are all important factors. Not all breeds can learn or do everything. Darren Bush has written a handy article on how different breeds fare in the wild.
Since your dog will need a lot of energy, remember to get online and purchase dog food than you usually would. As for keeping your dog hydrated, do have some extra bottles of fresh water at your disposal. Although dogs are much more tolerant to impure water than people, some waters may still be a bit too impure.
It’s very important to remember that you’re responsible for every piece of waste your dog produces. To that end, prepare yourself by bringing enough poop bags. Sometimes, the terrain will allow you to dig a hole and clean up after your dog in that manner, but use your discretion.
Be mindful of possible physical injuries. As your dog’s feet are very sensitive, check them regularly. Campfires are another hazard you should keep an eye on. In some cases, you will need a first aid kit. Ordinary painkillers, however, can cause problems for dogs, so specialized medicine is needed. Ticks are also a common problem. Don’t forget a pair of gloves to keep you safe while cleaning your pet and have a shaving tool ready should a tick problem occur.
Finally, it is crucial to always have a relatively easy option to get back to where your dog can receive professional medical attention. Getting to know the area you’re camping in really well, before you even go there, is strongly advised.