Heading off for a weekend in the woods? Whether you’re hiking alone or with friends to a nearby campground, you should consider bringing your dog along.
Camping with dogs is a lot of fun. You can get outside with your dog and share the adventure of the great outdoors with them. Relax by a campfire, roast some marshmallows with friends, give your dog some natural antlers to chew on, and eventually fall asleep together to the sound of the forest around you. What’s not to love?
But how do you keep your dog safe while heading out for a weekend of camping? From packing bully sticks to bringing them a set of bedding, here’s your essential checklist to keep them safe and comfortable.
DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFOREHAND
First things first: You need to research wherever it is you intend to go. You need to make sure that your dog will be safe and welcome while you’re out in nature.
MAKE SURE IT’S PET-FRIENDLY
You need to make sure that your dog is actually welcome on the trail and at your campgrounds. Otherwise, you run the risk of either getting kicked out or being fined for bringing your dog where they don’t belong.
Some trails and campgrounds will state that dogs are not allowed for the safety of local nature and wildlife. Others may allow dogs but will restrict other breeds — Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, Mastiffs, etc.
MAKE SURE YOUR DOG IS HEALTHY
Before you head off into the woods, check in with your dog’s vet to make sure they’re in good health. It might sound unnecessary, but it could save your dog’s life.
You never know what you’ll run into while out on the trail or at the campground, and you want to make sure that:
- Your dog is in good enough physical shape to undergo prolonged strenuous activity.
- Your dog is up-to-date on all of their vaccinations to prevent diseases.
If you have a puppy, they should not be taken camping with you. Reason being is that puppies shouldnot undergo prolonged exercise and it’s likely that they have not gotten all of their vaccinations yet.
DOG ESSENTIALS FOR THE WOODS AND TRAIL
So what do you need to keep your dog safe and comfortable while camping? Be sure to bring along the following.
Your dog will need food to stop them from barking at you and trying to steal your own food, but it’s especially important to get them safe water. While some dog owners are fine with allowing their dog to freely drink from any nearby pond, lake, or stream, we recommend avoiding it. These water systems often have bacteria living in them that can be harmful to your dog’s health, leading to illnesses like giardiasis or leptospirosis.
Make sure to bring along a portable water filter. You and your dog can share clean water, free of worry.
And don’t forget to bring a dog bowl along. You might feel compelled to let them slurp right from your water bottle, but it’s safer to give them a bowl of their own.