12 Packing Tips For Camping With Your Dog
Outdoorsy dog lovers love to load up and set out for national and state parks, forests and scenic campgrounds. Before you pack the pooch for a camping trip, however, a few essential preparations are needed.
What equipment, supplies, and other items should dog owners grab to ensure their pets are safe, healthy and happy while camping? Here are a dozen tips to help canines and their human companions enjoy the great outdoors, even overnight.
- Vaccinations and immunizations
Before leaving home, it’s important to be sure each dog is up-to-date on all required shots. Take copies of the canine’s immunization records with you, in case park officials or others ask for them.
A camping dog should also be dewormed, if needed.
- Current medications
Does your dog take any medicines, vitamins, or nutritional supplements? Make a list. Pack sufficient quantities of all of these, preferably in their original and labeled containers. Stow them in a secure spot, where your pet and other animals cannot dig in.
Many dog owners pick lightweight, soft-sided portable coolers for this purpose.
- Flea and tick prevention
Parasitic prevention treatments are a prudent idea for any dog, but especially for a canine camping outdoors. Why not stick a flea collar on your furry friend for extra protection as well?
While camping, give your dog frequent full-body flea and tick checks, removing any hitchhikers before they have a chance to embed themselves in your pet. After the trip, a flea and tick bath is a great idea, particularly if you’ve been camping in wild wooded or brushy areas.
- Pet first-aid kit
One first-aid kit may serve both dog and human, if items are properly chosen. Basic supplies include alcohol pads or wipes, bandages, cotton swabs, hydrogen peroxide, matches, popsicle sticks (for splinting), rubber gloves, scissors, styptic powder, tweezers and vet wrap.
Toss in a dog brush or comb, as it will prove handy for removing tangles, burrs or even bugs from your canine’s coat.
A well-fitting dog collar is a must for camping. In fact, the dog should wear the collar for the duration of the trip. Affix an accurate identification tag, including your home and cell phone numbers (and perhaps your email address), as well as your pet’s current registration and rabies tags.
Even the best trained dogs need leashes for camping in open public areas. A portable dog run, such as one that corkscrews into the ground, can be a convenient take-along for campers.
- Dog photos
Carry current pictures of your dog when you leave home. Printed snapshots or cell phone photos are useful for sharing with searchers, if you become separated from your dog.
Does your dog sleep on the floor at home, or does she prefer a comfy bed or mat? How about taking an old blanket or pad along to cover the hard ground at your campsite?
- Food and water dishes
Camping equipment stores and pet shops offer sizable selections of lightweight and portable pet feeding receptacles. Pack plenty of your dog’s own food, and take along a supply of fresh water, unless your destination offers potable plumbing. Pick up some extra disposable bags for dog droppings, so you won’t leave those behind at the campsite or along the trail.
Campers routinely pack flashlights or compact lanterns, but these are also useful for dog owners on-site. A lightweight flashlight can be a lifesaver for night walks. Toss a few extra batteries in your pack, so you don’t run out of juice on the trip.
- Dog sweater
A delicate, short-haired, or clipped dog may need an extra layer on a chillier night at the campsite. Some pet owners jacket their dogs for camping to keep burrs and bugs off their animal companions.
- Cell phone
Don’t forget your cell phone, as well as a portable charger, for your own convenience and safety. Hopefully, you won’t need your phone to report a missing dog or veterinary emergency, but it’s prudent to be prepared.
There are more helpful tips that you can find online like some blogs from reliable writers / bloggers. As an example, read what he said about proper way of preparing or packing your dogs for camping here.
Be sure to alert a few family members or friends to your camping plans, and let them know where you plan to go. Certainly, you don’t have to post your itinerary publicly on your Facebook wall, but it’s helpful to tell a couple of trusted contacts how long you’ll be gone.
Sitting by a campfire with a favorite canine companion can be memorable and marvelous. Smart packing can make you and your dog ready for a pleasant recreational excursion, as you go camping together.