There is nothing better than enjoying some RV or Camping time with your dogs. Fresh air, peaceful silence and the smells of nature make camping a relaxing and enjoyable adventure. Dogs love exploring outside of their home and camping provides the outdoor experiences they enjoy. Nothing recharges my batteries more than spending time in the great outdoors with my two dogs, Stella and Buddy.
Camping season is upon us, and June is National Camping Month. It’s a terrific time to try camping with your dog, or to resolve to do it more often. To make sure you and your dog have as much fun as you possibly can, it’s important to follow the Scout Motto: “Be prepared.”
Camping is a great fitness and outdoor activity, and it can be done in a solo or with your pets. Camping solo has its perks, especially when it comes to privacy and quiet. But, even better than just camping alone is camping with dogs! So, you’re thinking about taking your dog camping. Well, he’s part of the family so why shouldn’t he come? Camping is fun for you and will likely be enjoyable for your dog. Camping with your dog is a great idea.
Here are some suggestions to help create an outstanding experience:
WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR DOG
Just like you, your dog likes the comforts of home at the campground. Bring Fido’s kennel or dog bed, a leash, and his food and water bowls. Bring his favorite dog toys for chewing around camp or chasing at the lakeshore. Consider bringing a runner or stakes and cables, so your dog can be outside and free to roam around the campsite without wandering into the neighbor’s campsite. Bring treats for rewarding good behavior and any medications they may need. A nightlight for your dog’s collar is also a good idea, so you can see your dog at night.
SELECTING A CAMPING TENT FOR YOUR DOG?
If your dog likes to stretch out and sleep diagonally in the bed. When considering a sleeping space for a dog camping trip, make sure the tent is large enough for you and your pets to sleep comfortably. Consider your dog as a person when buying a tent.
Also, remember that dogs can easily claw their way out of a tent, so locking Fido inside could be disastrous if he decides he wants out. Your tent is not a good place to keep your dog when you are away from camp and should never be left unattended in your tent.
GET THE RIGHT FOOD
Part of making sure your dog doesn’t pick up parasites is to make sure you bring enough good-quality food to keep him from eating things out in the wild. Remember that food is fuel for both of you, so bring healthy options for your dog the same way you do for yourself.
You will want to keep the weight light, which means dehydrated dog food is a great option. These foods can be reconstituted with water and are a healthy, protein-packed meal for your pooch.
BRING A STAKE WITH A LEAD, OR “TIE-OUT,” TO SECURE YOUR DOG
This satisfies the common “Dogs must be leashed in the campground” rule, and gives you peace of mind that while you’re staring up at the stars, your dog won’t wander off or chase wildlife. Don’t forget to bring a hammer to drive the stake into the ground securely.
You may not have heat or A/C, but there are lots of natural ways to manage your dog’s temperature and keep them comfortable. In the summer, this means plenty of water and shade. In cooler temps, this means warmth, be it from blankets, a dog sleeping bag, or a jacket.
ENSURE PROPER HYDRATION
Hydration is also hugely important to prioritize when camping. Dogs can pick up dangerous intestinal parasites from drinking outdoor water. You will want to make sure you are able to keep your dog hydrated with clean, filtered water for the entire extent of your camping adventure.
Because water is extremely heavy (more than 8 pounds per gallon), it may benefit you to carry a water filter or purifier if you’re planning to be out in the wilderness for multiple days.
You should also carry bottled water with you, in case you become lost or do not wind up near a water source. You should also bring at least one bottle of Pedialyte along with you. This is a safe way to give your dog electrolytes and provide hydration if you are short on water or stuck in hot weather.
GET YOUR DOG USED TO THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF NATURE
If you live in the city or most of your outings are in urban settings, the sights and sounds of nature can be really distracting. Getting your dog accustomed to the woods will make sleeping there a whole lot easier for both of you.