Camping is always better with company. Is there any better company than your dog? Probably not. Before going camping with dogs, be sure to check out these helpful tips on making the experience as enjoyable as possible for you and your dog.
Do Your Research
Be sure to look up the policy on pets before arriving at your destination. Some campgrounds and parks may not allow dogs or there may be certain restrictions.
Keep Your Dog With You at All Times
Don’t plan on going on a hike, or anywhere away from the campground, without your dog. They should be with you at all times.
Avoid tying up your dog near the tent or leaving it inside the car. Not only could it be potentially disruptive for other campers, but also it is dangerous for the dog. Also, keeping your dog with you is important during unforeseen circumstances like changing weather conditions or if other wildlife wanders through the campground.
Use a Leash
Even though they may want to run wild in the campground, it’s best to keep your dogs on a leash. This can protect them from wildlife that may come around. Also, it will prevent them from getting into bushes that may have poisonous plants.
Bring Plenty of Water
Remember to pack enough water for yourself and your pet. Some campgrounds may not have a clean water source your dog can safely use. Be prepared to keep them hydrated throughout the entirety of the trip.
Layer Your Tent with Towels or Blankets
To avoid your pups clawing a hole through the tent flooring, lay down a layer of towels or blankets. This will also make cleanup much easier when leaving the campground.
Only Bring out Food at Meal Time
Leaving food out can attract other wildlife to the campground. Bring a bowl that closes at the top such as the Quencher Cinch Top. Another smart idea is to use a collapsible bowl. Specific bowls are made for hikers and campers that will save loads of space in your pack.
Use Pickup Bags
When camping with dogs, best practice is to leave no trace from your visit. This applies to you and your dogs. Also, leaving dog waste in the woods can harm the environment. The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Park cites water and soil contamination from parasites and bacteria as reasons to use pickup bags, according to REI.
Protect the Paws
Remember to keep your dog’s paws protected from the snow or hot ground. Dirt or cinder can get extremely hot in the summer. Packing a pair of dog booties can protect their paws from the heat. In colder weather, consider using wax products such as Musher’s Secret. Apply it directly on your dog’s paws and it will protect their fur from balling up in the snow.