Tighten pet relationship bonds by camping with dogs. Most dogs are full of energy that will surely appreciate outdoor activities making them the best hiking companion. However, it is important to keep in mind that this hiking companion requires special care and feeding. Before hitting the trail, be an equipped hiker with items that will keep you and your pooch happy, safe, and comfortable.
For an enjoyable camping experience, be sure to follow the Scout Motto: “Be Prepared.”
- Find dog-friendly campsites and trails. Expect long road trips when camping with your dog. Make sure that your furry buddy is comfortable to take long drives. Further, ensure that the destination is a dog-friendly campsite. Do your research and find information on rules and restrictions relevant to canines on the said location. Some campsites require extra charges for each dog, and some require dogs to be secured.
- Take a visit to the vet.
Your dog’s safety is a priority. Make sure that he is microchipped before your trip. Ensure also that all vaccinations and medications are up-to-date including preventive medications for dog fleas, parasites, and others. And most importantly, be sure that your pooch is physically fit for outdoor adventures.
- Equip necessary training.
Commands and trail etiquettes are lifesavers when undesirable situations occur especially when going hiking or camping. Obedience training is very useful especially in the company of other campers, hikers, and animals.
- Prepare your canine.
Prepare your hiking partner on what to expect. It is best to start a routine of hiking prior to the actual hiking. Try hiking for an hour and check his energy levels afterwards. If you still have an energetic dog then you may increase the length of time on the next training hike. It is best to know your dog’s limitation in preparation for the actual hiking. Pitch a tent in your backyard, and let your dog acknowledge the set-up. Allow him to be familiar with the necessary equipment that will be used during camping.
Dog camping gear
Set a camping checklist solely for your furry companion. Doing so ensures that your dog is geared up for camping and hiking.
- Trail Pack
Trail packs are designed to fit around a dog’s body with pouches and pockets to hold important equipment. It comes with straps that are adjustable to the dog’s body. Give dogs time to adjust by placing trail packs on their back before camping.Tip: As a general rule, a dog is only allowed to carry a quarter of his body weight but may vary on his age, size, and strength.
- First-Aid Kit
Always be prepared for any situations that could happen. Make sure to bring a pet first-aid kit. Items may include:
- Bandages and gauze pads
- Hydrogen peroxide (for cuts)
- Scissors with rounded tips (for hair trimming around wounds)
- Tweezers (to get rid of foreign objects stuck within the wound)
- Water containers
Water can be given through collapsible dog bowls. Some dogs drink as owners pour water directly from the bottle. There are also handy water purifiers that can be used to filter water.
Booties protect paws from sharp rocks, snow, and hot ground. However, spare boots should also be packed as it is common for dogs to lose a bootie or two. Wearing boots should be introduced prior to the actual event.
Putting on a leash helps you steer him away from potentially harmful objects or poisonous plants or other animals. Aside from that, there are parks and trails that would require putting your dog on a leash.
- Poop bag dispenser
Another thing to bring is a poop bag dispenser. It is important to pick up your dog’s dirt. Waste bag dispenser is refillable and usually comes with a roll of 20 bags.
Do not forget to bring treats to praise him for a hike well done.
Camping with dogs: Hazard Zones
Go aboard on a wonderful journey responsibly. Beware of the following:
Be keen and sensitive to your dog’s condition. Allow him to get some rest and drink more often. It is best to offer him water every half an hour.
Observe your canine’s breathing and heart rate during the walk. If you notice an increased rate of both, take a break more often. If it persists, decide to shorten the hike for the day.
Wildlife and wild plants
Your leash is your best defence to protect your dog from wildlife and potentially poisonous plants. Occasionally check your dog for any signs of distress. Avoid areas with grasses especially “foxtails”. Foxtails can cause serious damage that can work their way into a vital organ.