Summer is almost here – the warm, dry weather conditions are ideal for camping and outdoor activities. If you are a dog owner, you may be reluctant to leave your canine friend behind while you hit the trail to enjoy the sunshine. But why not take you dog with you. Whether you enjoy hiking in the mountains, biking, or swimming at your local beach or lake, these outdoor activities are much more fun if you share them with your dog. Not only will your dog enjoy the company, it is a wonderful way for him to get exercise, while you are both having fun!
Camping is a great way to get away from the hum-drum routine of daily living, and there are many pet-friendly campsites that will gladly welcome your dog. It is far easier to travel with your dog if you camp outdoors than it is to stay in upmarket establishments. It is also much more fun. But having said that, if you are going to take you dog along, some careful planning is necessary to ensure that the trip runs smoothly and that it turns out to be an experience you would love to repeat as apposed to an experience that you would rather quickly forget. The following tips will help you plan a successful camping trip with your dog:
- Book into a campsite before you arrive, checking that they are pet-friendly and will happily accommodate your dog. Find out what their regulations are pertaining to pets so that you are well prepared.
- Make sure that your dog can be easily identified in the event that he should run off and get lost. Your dog should have a collar fitted with an ID tag; alternatively it should be fitted with a microchip. Consider attaching a cheap plastic tag with your cellphone number and/or the address and contact number of the campsite where you are staying.
- Natural areas are home to wild animals, and there will also be other campers around, some of whom may also have dogs, so some form of restraint will be necessary to ensure you have control over your dog at all times. Some hiking trails may insist that dogs are kept on a lead, so make sure you bring a leash – better still, bring a spare one in case your dog’s lead should break or get misplaced. A hands-free leash may be handy on trails.
- If your dog is undergoing training, bring all the necessary training aids, such as his remote dog training collar if you think you may need this. Remote dog training collars are a great way to let your dog run off the lead while still allowing you to maintain full control of your dog – great for camping and hiking.
- Bring your dog’s regular dog bed and/or blanket as this will not only ensure his comfort, but it will also provide a familiar smell in strange surroundings.
- Make sure that you pack sufficient food and water for both you and your dog that will last the duration of your trip. There may not be shops nearby to stock up on supplies, and dog food may be particularly hard to come by, especially the brand that your pooch is used to. Remember to pack a portable water bowl or a handy water dispenser for your pet too.
- Ensure that you pack a first aid kit that contains basic first aid for both you and your dog. If you dog is on any medication, ensure that this is included. If your pooch has a pink nose, sunblock is essential to protect this sensitive area.
- It is a good idea to pack a flea and tick treatment that is easy to apply, such as a powder, spray, or spot-on treatment. These parasites can easily be picked up when hiking through long grass or woody areas.
- If you plan to go boating with your dog, consider packing a safety flotation device, such as a doggie lifejacket to ensure your pets safety. Likewise, if you plan on hiking far distances with your pooch, protective booties may come in handy.
- Try to choose a campsite that has some shade, but pack a beach umbrella or pop-up shelter to provide your dog with shade in the event that there is no shady site available.
Camping with your dog is a wonderful experience that both you and your dog will thoroughly enjoy if you are properly prepared. Start planning you summer camping trip now – check out www.GoPetFriendly.com for a list of pet-friendly campsites, and www.hikewithyourdog.com for a list of dog-friendly hiking trails in the US and Canada.
This article is reposted from Tails to Tell