Are you an avid camper, but have yet to bring your dog along? Or maybe you're newer to camping and need to know how to bring your dog. Being prepared with all the right knowledge and gear for your dog is just as important as for yourself. Before you head out on your next camping trip, look over these tips as well as some pet gear recommendations from some of our employees!
Every camping trip requires planning, and if you're bring a canine companion along, it will require just a little more. Planning before an adventure will help ensure the safety of you, your pup, and others you may encounter. The first step for planning your adventure is to find out what areas dogs are allowed at. Most websites should make it obvious whether or not they are dog-friendly, as well as noting other rules and regulations regarding dogs. It is important to do the proper research because some places, like some National Parks, allow dogs in campgrounds, but not all of the hiking trails. When you're out and about, make sure to keep your eyes out for any signs about dogs.
Another thing to research is what wildlife is in the area. You don't want to be caught off guard by any wildlife, and you should be prepared to know how to handle your dog if you encounter anything. Keeping your dog on a leash is the best way to protect them from potential wildlife encounters because it will prevent them from chasing any predators. If you're in an area where dogs are allowed to be off-leash, keep your dog close to you or in sight so you always know where he/she is at. While you're walking or hiking around, keep your eye out for any fresh animal prints, scat, or other signs that wildlife was recently in the area. Go Pet Friendly has an article with instructions on what you and your dog should do if you encounter wildlife like mountain lions, bears, and moose.
The weather forecast is also important to know before your trip. If it is going to rain, you can get a raincoat for your pup! Look how cute Sydney is in her raincoat when she was trying it on before Jen, Sales Rep, took her on a camping trip! If the weather is looking like it is going to be very hot, consider getting some shoes to protect your dog's paws on any hot pavement. Bridget, Director of Marketing, also recommends Musher's Secret Paw Protection Natural Wax to help protect their pads.
Having the right gear to protect and care for your dog on the trip is very important. A great first aid kit is essential on any trip, and there are pet-specific first aid kits which are perfect to bring along as well. The Trail Dog Medical Kit from Adventure Medical Kits, as an example, comes with bandages that don't stick to fur, splinter/tick removers, and more!
Water is probably one of the most important things to make sure you have enough of, for both you and your dog. Research the area you’re camping and hiking at to see if there is any drinkable water available. No matter what, having extra water is better than not having enough. There are some collapsible water bowls that you can buy for easy storage on the go!
Keep the Earth in mind while you're on your trip by making sure both you and your dog are leaving no trace. Always bring poop bags to pack out your dog's waste.
When it's nighttime, make sure your dog is sleeping in the same space as you, whether that's a tent or a car. Keeping your dog with you will prevent them from possibly wandering off and getting lost, hurt, or disrupting others. If you don't have a bed specifically for a dog, Jen recommends cutting an old sleeping pad in half to use as a dog bed. There are also light up collars and accessories for your dog to wear after the sun goes down so you always know where he/she is at.
Our last piece of advice is to always be considerate of other visitors. Not everyone is a dog person and not every dog is okay to be around other dogs. Keeping your dog under control is essential so that everyone is able to enjoy their trip.
If you bring your pup on a camping trip or other adventures, just remember to be prepared, be safe, leave no trace, and most importantly, have fun! There are so many amazing places to adventure to, and it's even more special when you get to bring your canine compainion along. We would love to see your Tails From The Trails, so share them with us on Instagram @peregrineequipment