As hiking lovers we thought of introducing our rescued dog Lukas to camping in the wild. Camping with your dog needs some thinking and planning. Your dog needs also previous training of the following cues for security reasons, training which you can see from our previous blog posts:
You might need to use these cues for safety and for minimizing disturbance of the natural environment when your dog wishes to bark or chase wild animals. The recall cue is of most importance, especially when your dog is a bit further away from you. This is even more important if you are having your dog off-leash.
I will present a brief list of questions to think off before going camping with your dog and what to bring along. The idea is that you enjoy as much as possible the company of your dog while camping safely. We are still learning how to camp with our dog and here we share with you our little experience. We hope to learn from readers who wish to share their experiences and tips.
Questions to think off before going camping with your dog:
- is it allowed to take dogs in the camping place or at the natural park trails – check information or make some phone calls
- can your dog be off leash and where – due to public trails and wild life
- is there a veterinary near by in case of emergency – could be good to have its phone number and address
- are your dog’s vaccinations updated, tick and worm treatments – you dog will be much more exposed to wild life, other dogs and parasites
- is your dog identified if he gets lost – tattoo or microchip and a tag with your name and phone number and where you are staying at the moment
- will there be shade for your dog to avoid sun heat stroke
- can you control your dog if he barks in the camping park towards other people – if your dog usually barks a lot, you need to consider going to a more remote place
- can you supervise your dog and control him near children, strangers and other dogs
- are you hiking in rough terrain – you dog might need hiking boots or if not check his footpads everyday
- where will your dog sleep – if you mind having your dog sleeping in the tent with you, you might need to consider a dog tent or a crate
- is your dog in good condition to go for long hikes towards the camping destination – you might exhaust your dog if he is not used to hiking terrain; it is good to train him in advance or consider the type of terrain and trails
- weather forecast – hard rain and your dog can get very wet; cold weather and your dog might not cope with the cold; very hot sun and dog might need to be on a shade or near a lake/river…
What to bring when camping with your dog?
- pet passport if you have with all health history – if you do not have the passport, bring a veterinary report health check
- regular outdoors water bowl and water – we preferably use a folding water bowl for easier transportation and cleaning
- your dog’s normal daily food – try to keep the same routines
- first aid kit – you never know what might happen
- chewing toys and treats – to keep your dog busy and motivated
- your dog’s bed or pad – due to smell it can help him sleep in the tent if the case
- a collar and 2 leashes – the second leash might be useful if something happens to the first one; you can consider a bigger leash to have on your dog when you cannot supervise him so he can hang around; this can be useful in the morning when he awakes before you and wished to be out of the tent on the leash; beware to place the long leash in places where your dog will not get tangled in trees, poles another tents
- dog towel if he goes for a swim or in the mud
- poop bags – remove your dog’s poop from the trail either with the poop bag or bury it away from the trail
- bags for your dog’s food – do not leave any dog food around which might attract wild life and insects
Well you must be thinking that if one goes camping with a dog there is a lot of things one must carry for the dog. You can have your dog carry some of his things according to your dog’s size, weight and physical capabilities. There are very nice bagpacks for dogs, like the one below from Ruffwear at Amazon.co.uk.
If you consider a dog backpack, train your dog at least one or two months gradually before going on big hikes and camping. Add gradually weight and always consider the terrain, weather and physical condition of your dog.
Do you go camping with your dog in the wild? Please share your experiences and tips!!