As a dog lover, I completely understand the desire to take our furry, four-legged friends on all of life’s adventures with us. However, when we plan to bring them along for our adventures, it is imperative that we plan accordingly.
Recently, I took my dog camping with me for the very first time! And I learned a lot. Here are my top 8 tips for camping with your pet:
Find An Appropriate Campsite
If you plan a camping trip, try to find a pet-friendly campground. When I visited Red River Gorge in Kentucky for camping, I found a pet-friendly campground very easily. However, if this becomes a challenge, backcountry camping is always an option!
Prepare Documents/Pre-Vet Visit
Anytime you plan on taking your dog on a trip, it is important to ensure that your pet is up-to-date on all vaccinations. Additionally, you may want to bring a copy of your pet’s vaccination documentation and their dog tag.
Bring a Tie Out
Believe it or not, this is something that I actually thought to bring — and yes, I’m giving myself a pat on the back for that. A tie out can be used to tie your pet to a tree, or anything stable nearby, so they have the freedom to move around the campsite safely and with limits.
Pack Portable Food and Water Bowls
One of my favorite pet items is the collapsible food and water bowls. These rubber bowls collapse into themselves, which makes them easy to carry with you. Additionally, you can usually find these bowls with links on them so that you can attach them to a backpack when hiking.
Remember Poop Bags
The last thing you want to do is forget the poop bags! If you forget this necessary item, your campsite will be very stinky. Plus, it is a sign of respect to clean up after your pet. Remember to #LeaveNoTrace.
Bring a Pet First-Aid Kit
Okay, this is something that I am guilty of forgetting. Sigh. Although my dog, thankfully, did not sustain any injuries on our camping trip, it is also possible that an injury could occur. Therefore, you should prepare a pet first-aid kit when you plan to go camping. Oh, and maybe prepare a human first-aid kit as well!
Plan Sleeping Arrangements
Regardless of how you generally sleep at home, co-sleeping at a campsite may be the best option. Even if your pet usually sleeps outside, there is often wildlife roaming near campsites, especially if one of your camping neighbors forgot to put away all of their food and/or trash. So, it may be safer for your pet to sleep inside the tent.
However you plan on sleeping with your pet — freely inside the tent, in a kennel inside the tent, or anything else — it is important to plan that ahead of time! Preparing sleeping arrangements before arriving will reduce some stress.
Savor the Time Together
Remember that dogs don’t live as long as humans. We never know how many adventures that we will have with our furry friends, so it is important to savor the time together when we get the chance.
Regardless of where you go or who tags along with the two of you, make sure that you have fun!