Camping is an awesome activity that the whole family can participate in almost equally and everyone can enjoy. The adults get to get away from the hectic pace of the everyday life, while the kids have the chance to explore and enjoy the beauty of nature unchecked by a commercial skyline and pollution. With the right precautions, it can also be a fun outing for Rover (or Fido), as well. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind when planning a camping trip where the family dog will accompany you.
Remember the Food!
Many people make the mistake of making sure they have plenty of human food when they go camping, only to discover that they have no dog food when they get to their campground. If you’re only going to be away for a day or two, or are really close to a market you can buy dog food at, that’s not much of a problem. However, if you’re hours away from “civilization” you may not have the option of jumping in the car and heading to the store.
Remembering the food requires you to consider what kind of camping you’re going to be doing. If your version of camping is pulling the RV into the “campground” and hooking up to water, power, and TV, you’ll be able to bring whatever you want for Rover to eat. On the other hand, if your version of camping entails strapping on a backpack and hiking up into the hills for a few hours before setting up camp, your dog food options are rather limited due to weight restrictions.
Ensure That Pets Are Allowed Where You’re Going
You get the family all excited about going camping, get everything you need for the humans packed, then pack everything you think you’ll need for the canine companions in your group. Next, you drive for several hours to where you’ve given a deposit for your campground. After you arrive and have had a chance to get everything set up to your liking, the ranger stops by to welcome you.
However, once he sees Fido, you’ve got a problem because you forgot to make sure Fido could come with you; that he was welcome according to park rules. Since Fido isn’t welcome at that camping spot, guess what? You get to pack everything up end your camping trip several days early because you failed to ask a single question.
Your dog is part of your family and as such, you want to make sure he/she is safe when you’re camping. After you’ve made sure that dogs are welcome, ask them about any precautions you should take to ensure your dog’s safety. Are there predators you should be aware of?
Provide a Means to Keep the Dog from Wandering Off
Since you don’t want to wake up and discover that Fido has left the premises, you need to provide a means to ensure that doesn’t happen. This can be something as simple as a stake and rope to allow to dog to move around while keeping him close. You can also go to the extreme and bring a sleeping cage for your dog, which will also help if there are animals that can present a danger.
Remember His Health
Does your dog have health problems that require medication? If so, don’t forget those meds. Also, get your dog vaccinated for lime disease and get a supply of your favorite flea and tick repellant.
Neil Kilgore is the Jack (Russell) of all trades at Greenfield Puppies in Lancaster Pa. He regularly blogs about dogs, breeders and puppies on the Greenfield Puppies website.