Camping with Dogs
CAMPING WITH YOUR DOG can be fun if you have all the right stuff! Safety is a priority, as well as entertainment, exercise, and comfort. We have compiled a list of great ideas from our own experiences, as well as from other great blogs and websites. Start using them now to spend a great summer camping with your pooch!
Containment: A long-line, exercise pens, or trolley system all work well depending on your individual dog. It is important to consider that your dog is in a new place, with new smells, critters, and other dogs. They may not react the same way they would in their usual routine. Be prepared.
*TIP: Bring some of your dogs belongings with the scent of home. Try to keep your dog in his normal routine for feeding and potty times. This will help your dog adjust to unfamiliar surroundings.
First Aid Kit: Always bring a first aid kit for your dog. Check out a great list of what to include here, it includes the basic necessities. Some of these items you will likely already have in your own kit. *This kit does not replace veterinary assistance but is meant to help with minor issues and/or to help you help your dog while you get them to a veterinarian. *TIP: You can do this pretty easily by simply adding the items you don't already have to your own kit!
Bedding: Comfortable bedding is important! After a busy day of running on the beach, hiking, or hard play, your dog needs a soft place to rest. There are water proof bed covers you can purchase to cover your dogs existing bed, or buy a bed for outdoor use. This bed from Orvis is a great option.
Another great option is an elevated bed to keep your off the ground.
*TIP: Lay your dogs existing bed on a clean tarp, and use a Waterwoof pad on top to keep it clean and dry!
Toys and Mental Stimulation: Although your dog will be busy "adventuring and exploring", having something to do during down-time can be helpful. Kong toys are a great choice, as well as the Starmark Everlasting Treat Ball. Both are available on Amazon here. They can provide a quiet activity for your dog when you're just hanging out. Remember to always supervise your dog when using these toys.
*TIP: Stuff a Kong and freeze it to bring to your campsite. These work great to keep your dog occupied while you set up camp.
Food and Water: A clean water bowl and feeding station is important when camping with your dog.
Try to set up an area away from the main hustle of the campsite. This allows for it to stay cleaner, and offers less distractions for your pooch. Lay bowls on a small, clean mat or tarp. Remove all uneaten food from your dogs bowl immediately, and wash the bowl so you don't attract critters and bugs. Keep the water full and fresh at all times, and bring a secondary travel bowl and water with you for hikes and exploring. *TIP! An unused waste bag makes a great water bowl when hiking, walking, on the beach, etc.
Pet ID: Always ensure your dog is wearing a collar and tags when traveling. There are many high-tech ID tags available these days, but a good, old fashioned dog tag with your name and phone number is very important when traveling. It allows people to contact you immediately vs. having to scan the tag, go online, etc. Consider that many camp grounds are rural and do not have internet access or even cell service.
*TIP: Attach a key tag to your dogs collar that lists the campground name and your site number on it!
Clean up: Wet dogs, salty dogs, dirty dogs: its all part of camping with pets! That said, health and comfort are a priority, as well as fun! Bring a few "dog towels" to dry and/or wipe your dog off when necessary. A bit of dog shampoo "just in case" works well to remove dirt or salt from irritated skin, or to clean off muddy paws before they go into the tent.
*TIP: A small travel bottle works well for dog shampoo. Use a bucket and a sponge to clean off only areas that need it like your dogs belly and feet. Be sure to rinse well so as to not cause additional irritation.
The products and links recommended in this post are either items we carry at Market 22 or use personally with our own pets. We do not receive any kind of compensation from the companies that make or sell these items, nor do we make any guarantees of any kind regarding these products.