Going Camping? Read This First if You’re Bringing Your Dog Along

camping guide for dogs

If you’re a dog owner who loves to go camping, taking along your four-footed friend on your outdoor excursions probably seems like a good decision. And, in most cases, it is. But, in order for you and your pet to enjoy the great outdoors in a safe and comfortable way, there are some things you are going to want to keep in mind, especially if this is your first time going camping with your dog.

Bringing along a pet into the woods can introduce her to certain risks, and you need to be able to provide care when and if it’s needed. Here are ten important things you need to take with you on your camping trip in order for your dog to remain safe and healthy.

#1: Dog License, ID Tags, and Papers

Before leaving home, make sure you pack copies of your dog’s license, immunization records, and other important papers, including a list of medications she’s on, into a waterproof bag. You should also ensure that your dog has an updated ID tag on her collar and/or updated information on her microchip. These items will be helpful if your dog gets lost or requires a vet visit with a vet that isn’t her normal doctor.

#2: A Strong Leash and Collar

For a dog that’s entering the woods for the first time, the sights, sounds, and smells are new and overwhelming. This can cause your dog to become overexcited and thus increase the risk of her lunging at small animals or noises. Having a very strong leash and collar on your dog will help you gain better control over her should this happen. Bringing along a back-up leash and collar is also good practice.

#3: Plenty of Fresh Food and Water

Just because you’re camping out in nature doesn’t mean the water in the nearby streams or rivers are safe for your dog to drink. In fact, they could be teeming with all sorts of bacteria, parasites, or chemicals. Therefore, make sure you bring along more than enough food and fresh water for her along with bowls for each. Because space is at a premium in a camping kit, consider buying collapsible bowls prior to your trip because they take up minimal space.

#4: A Ground Stake and Long Lead

While you’re at your campsite, the last thing you want to have to do is hang on to your dog’s leash the entire time. With a ground stake and long lead, you will be able to ensure your dog can’t run too far off and your hands will be free for pitching the tent, building a fire, cooking, and doing other chores around camp.

#5: Poop Bags

When you arrive at the campsite, you don’t want to have to maneuver around someone else’s dog poop, so you should make sure you bring enough poop bags. This way, you won’t leave your pup’s waste behind. Most campsites and trails have very strict rules about this, so do your due diligence, clean up after your dog, and you won’t get in trouble.

#6: Bedding and a Plastic Tarp

You want your dog to be as comfortable as possible on your camping trip, so make sure you bring along her favorite bedding so she’ll have something recognizable to sleep on. You will also want to bring a plastic tarp to put under her bed as the cold from the ground can work its way up through the bedding and make your pet uncomfortable.

#7: A Brush and Tick Remover

Between laying around camp and going for walks through the woods, your dog will get dirty on your camping trip. Bringing along a brush will make it easier to clean her up and it will remove any debris from her fur. Being in the woods also increases the risk of your dog getting ticks on her, so having a tick removal tool with you will help keep her safe from these parasites.

#8: First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is extremely important to bring along with you on a camping trip. You should not only have one for yourself, but also one specifically designed for your dog because dogs face certain risks in the outdoors that humans do not.

#9: Toys and Treats

In order for your dog to enjoy her camping trip to the max, you should bring along a few of her favorite toys and treats. This will not only help make your dog feel more relaxed, but it will also give her something to focus her attention on while you’re cooking or sitting around the fire.

#10: Medications

If your dog is currently taking any medications or supplements, you don’t want to miss a dose. So, make sure you have more than enough of your pet’s medication to get her through your trip. If you’re going camping far from home, you should make sure you bring plenty of extra medication just in case your return home gets delayed for any reason.

If you are going to require more medication or supplements for your pet while you are away camping, ask your veterinarian for new prescriptions. You can receive a free quote for the medications from Diamondback Drugs. We can help you save money on all of your pet medications and ensure you have enough doses for your pet while you’re away from home.