Camping with your dog can be an amazing experience. There’s nothing quite as rejuvenating as a night under the stars listening to the unhindered sounds of nature, especially when you have your beloved dog sleeping by your side. However, this peaceful scenario can quickly be disrupted when you wake with the realisation that you forgot to pack the dog food! Or the poo bags! This can easily happen when you’re cramming the car with camping equipment and want to get going fast. Spending a few minutes thinking about where you’ll go and what you’ll need will ensure that your camping trip with your dog goes exactly as planned.
The best advice we can give you is to prepare as much as possible before you go. A great adventure with your dog always starts with a first step, but in this case, there are a bunch of steps to take before you even get your paws outside the door.
1. Make sure your destination is Pet Friendly
Some places don’t allow pets, so it’s worth double checking whether or not your chosen destination actually allows you to bring your doggo along.
2. Make a checklist a couple of days before
Making a checklist a couple of days before will ensure that you can add to it if needed. Your checklist should include all the camping essentials for your dog as well as possible appointments you need to make with your vet.
3. Do a Test Run
If it’s your dog’s first camping trip, do a test run so that they’re comfortable with the setup up. Set your tent up in the back garden or even in the living room before you go. Have your dog sleeping by your side to see if they feel comfortable.
4. Prepare for Boredom
You don’t want to be “the one” on the campsite with the noisy dog! Make sure they have everything they need so they’re not bored. Remember to pack a ball, toy or game so you can distract them. If they are prone to barking, seek advice from a trainer for any tips you could use on your trip.
5. Update Your Microchip
Ensure microchip details are up to date in case they go on an unplanned adventure of their own! The last thing you need is to worry about is your dog going missing, but if it does happen, you want to make sure that they’re easily returned.
6. Protect Them Against Critters
Make sure they are protected against ticks, particularly if camping near sheep grazing pastures or woodland. Speak to your vet to find the best treatment for tick prevention, and research how to check your pet for ticks, if you’re worried they might come in contact with them.
7. Do Your Research
Research the campsite, and be aware if there is any danger such as wildlife, or even livestock nearby. If your dog is likely to be distracted by livestock, it might be worth staying away from particular areas or camping locations.
Top Tip: Paw on over to the official Dog Furiendly website for up to date information on dog friendly places to visit.
We all tend to pack essentials when going on any trip, and for your dog, it’s no different. If you’re going to have an amazing camping adventure with your dog, there are a few things you’ll need to bring along with you. Here are our dog camping essentials:
• Towel for muddy paws.
• Toy or chew to distract while erecting and taking down the tent.
• Tether or dog leash anchor.
• Pre-portioned dog meals in sandwich bags
• Collapsible bowl and water bottle
• Poo bags! Lots of poo bags!
• First aid kit & meds if they’re on them.
• Light up collar for the evenings.
• Dog bed, and a coat if it’s particularly cold.
Top Tip: Consider taking along a light weight hiking dog backpack. These backpacks fit comfortably on your dog, and are a great way to lesson your own weight because they allow your dog to carry their own poo bags, water and snacks.
Remember that even though a camping trip can be wonderfully exciting for us, it can be quite puzzling for dogs. They don’t understand why we’re not sleeping in the house or what their role is in the scenario, so we have to remember to be patient and empathetic if they don’t take to camping like a duck to water first time!
If you’re thinking about going camping with your dog, but you’re worried about any training needs they might have, check out our Virtual Dog Training School.