That well-trained dog can definitely come [tag]camping[/tag] with me, if nothing else, just so I can show him off.
Are you planning to take your dog on your next camping trip? I have a dog who mind-reads. She knows long before the camping bags come out. She paces and worries and gets all anxious about being left behind. And the guilt that stabs me as I push my dogâ€™s struggling body back into the house before pulling the door shut can only be matched by the pain of unlatching my wailing toddler off my legs the first day I went back to work.
If you are planning to take your dog camping, prior planning and preparation can make the trip much smoother for everyone.
5 Tips for camping with your dog
1. Find a dog-friendly [tag]campground[/tag] â€“ do your research. Make sure pets are allowed and under what kind of restrictions. Are there big open spaces for Rover to run around? Are the campgrounds sprayed regularly against mosquitoes and ticks? Are you required to bring and show your dogâ€™s rabies certification?
2. Doggie Bag â€“ what unsettles a dog is the myriad of unfamiliar scents, people, objects and spaces he suddenly finds himself in at camp. Comfort him by packing a doggie bag of all his favorite things: sleeping pad/blanket, snacks and toys.
3. Scoop the poop â€“ bring lots of plastic bags and scoop it up just as you would at home. Itâ€™s the great outdoors, not the great outhouse. Some campgrounds have banned dogs because of the negligence of a few dog owners.
4. Dog etiquette â€“ your dog may not have mastered hugging a baby for a photo op, but she should at least have acquired basic etiquette such as not jumping on people, coming when called and not barking at strangers â€“ even weird strangers, which you are bound to encounter in a campground.
5. Last but not least, dog safety
- Donâ€™t leave her alone in the tent. Keep her in sight at all times.
- Keep him hydrated. Dog and heat donâ€™t get along. Water him often.
- Leashed. Just because a campground doesnâ€™t require you to keep her leashed, you may want to in certain situations if she is apt to chase after rabbits or unfamiliar scents.
- He should have his id tag on his collar at all times. In case he does chase after that rabbit and get lost.
- Be familiar with basic animal first-aid for ticks, scrapes or poison ivy. For Red Cross guide to animal first aid, click here.
Campgrounds are one of the last few vacation places that still allow dogs. So, why not, bring her along, let her frolic under the sun, swim in the pond, roll in the grass…