How to Prep Your Dog for Camping

Is it a good idea to take your dog camping?

On the plus side, when you take your dog along on a camping trip, you don’t have to board her in a kennel or leave her alone with just an occasional dog sitter dropping by. She may really enjoy the outdoors, so the trip could be a lot of fun for her. And dogs are pretty good for security, so especially if you’re going by yourself, a dog could make it a lot safer for you.

On the other hand, not all kinds of camping trips are good for dogs. If you’re planning on backpacking over very steep terrain that might involve some technical rock climbing, leave your dog home. The same goes for camping in harsh cold conditions where you might be able to dress for the weather, but your dog can’t. Winter camping in snow and maybe ice might sound like fun to you, but your dog probably won’t love it.

If your trip does seem like it’s safe for your pet, here are several other issues to take into consideration:

Rabies

Make sure your dog’s rabies shots are up to date. You could encounter rabid foxes, raccoons, squirrelsor other animals.

Ticks and Heartworm

Many dogs have gotten Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick. If your dog is likely to be crashing around through woods, chances are she’ll encounter these nasty insects. Lyme disease can be as debilitating for dogs as it is for people, so please make sure that your pet’s flea and tick treatments are up-to-date. Comb outyour dog’s fur regularlywith a flea comb while on your trip. Make sure your dog’s heartworm treatments are also up to date.

Water

Take an unbreakable water bowl for your dog and give her water regularly so she won’t be tempted to drink standing water. When you calculate how much water you’ll need overall for your trip, include what your dog will need and remember, the hotter it is outside, the more H2O you’ll both need. When you filter water for yourself, filter some for your dog, too.

Food and Treats

You might be able to eat reconstituted, freeze-dried food, but not your dog. Your dog needs to stick to her regular diet, so pack inthe same amount of food she’d consume at home. Don’t be tempted to give your dog a piece of a s’more; a chocolate marshmallow sandwich is guaranteed to make your dog sick. If you cook meat or fish over a campfire, your dog could probably eat some morsels, as long as there are no fine fish bones. But otherwise, be good to your dog and feed her regular dog food. Keep treats handy in your pocket or in a reusable bag so you can reward your dog when she comes when she is called or obeys other commands.

Microchip

If your dog isn’t already microchipped, consider getting a chip implanted under her skin. Dogs can get lost in the wilderness just like people can; the microchip contains your contact information, which a veterinarian or animal control agency can use to contact you when they find your pooch.

Collar and Leash

Make sure your dog’s collar is secure and the tags with contact info and the dates of the last rabies vaccination are attached. Always have a leash with you in the event you need to restrain your dog.

Raincoat or Vest

Pack lightweight protection against rain or snow to keep your dog warm and as dry as possible if the weather turns foul.

Pador mat

If possible, have your pet sleep inside your tent with you. Bring a mat or pad for the dog to lie on, especially if the ground is cold.

Spade

Your dog will pee along the trail, and that’s fine. When she poops, if it is unrealistic for you to pick up the poop in a plastic bag and dispose of it at a later point, dig a hole 6-8 inches deep and bury it. The same goes for your feces. Here’s exactly what you should do.

Related:

What Camping Gear Can You Buy Used, and What Needs to be New?
10 Tips to Keep You Safe from Bears When You Go Camping this Summer

83 comments

John B
John Babout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Tin Ling L
Tin Ling Labout a year ago

Thank you.

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Nellie K Adaba
Nellie K Adaba1 years ago

That's great, just like getting kids ready.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for sharing

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Tnvir H.
Tnvir H1 years ago

Think about your pet dog's food. Best healthy

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Tnvir H.
Tnvir H1 years ago

Think about your pet dog's food. Best healthy

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Tnvir H.
Tnvir H1 years ago

Think about your pet dog's food. Best healthy http://petcaresunday.com/top-5-halo-dog-food-reviews/ for your Dog at pet care blog.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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Dennis Hall
Dennis Hall1 years ago

Thanks for this article.

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