Each year, over 30 million Americans go camping with their pets. Although there was very little information about camping with dogs in the past, more and more is coming out, with people providing useful information on how to do it right. Certainly, the more experienced gave us the necessary information about bringing along his chew toy, ensuring there is enough water for him, and the like. However, when it came to essential information, it is hard to obtain. So, we decided to tackle it and provide the useful information you may need to ensure safe camping with your dog. Here are some of the most important considerations regarding camping with dogs.
Preventing Your Pet from Getting Lost
Your dog knows where to go in his neighborhood at home, but when you’re camping miles from home, he is at risk of getting lost if he goes free. Therefore, you must ensure your dog is well-trained and obedient before going camping. He must be able to come immediately to you when you call. Otherwise, keep him on the leash at all times.
Your dog’s vaccines must be up to date before going to any campground. This is true regardless of where you go. However, on a campground, rabies shots are a must because it is possible that an altercation could occur. All logic aside, certain campgrounds demand a dog’s vaccination records before entering. And for Americans that will do cross-border camping in Canada, pet owners will have to provide immunization records to border agents. If you don’t have the vaccination records with you or you are lacking certain shots, you may not be allowed entry into the country.
Ensure Your Dogs Are Easy to Identify
It’s not something that happens all the time, but it happens enough times that it should be addressed. It is critical to be able to have your dog identified in case he gets lost. Tattoos and microchips are safe ways to properly identify your dog permanently. Worse case scenario, ensure their dog tags indicate their name as well as their last rabies vaccination date. Also, your phone number would be helpful to locate you and bring you back together with your dog.
Cleaning up after your dog is one of the most important things about camping with your dog. One might think it has to do with their disruptive behavior, but no, it’s their calling cards. A lot of times dog owners disrespect other campers and leave their dog’s calling cards everywhere. It’s unsanitary, it’s dirty, it’s unfair, and it’s irresponsible to do so.
First Aid for Dogs
Most of us panic if anything happens to our pets and we are at home. However, at home, we are close enough to contact a veterinarian to help. However, should any medical crisis take place somewhere remote, it could be fatal and, at best, be a nightmare. Certainly, especially today with our smartphones, we can get help easier than in the past, but it will take more time, and that time is precious. If you are well-versed in pet CPR, then you’ll be able to provide the care and techniques that will potentially save your pet’s life.
When you go camping with your dogs, they have to be included in virtually every activity so that they can also have a good time. They will enjoy a long walk or swim if permitted by the campgrounds. Play ball, throw a Frisbee, invest in an inexpensive wading pool so that they can splash about in the pool and stay cool. The bottom line is dogs love to be with you, and if they have an enjoyable time camping with you the first time, they will be game for more anytime.
Check Campground Policies
While the park may claim that they are pet-friendly, calling in advance to ensure you understand any policies they have regarding dogs is a smart way to go. For example, some pet-friendly and dog-friendly campgrounds accept only small dogs! That would be a huge disappointment for anyone who’s traveled hundreds of miles, at times, to discover that there are large dogs were not welcomed.
Have you ever thought of what could occur to your dogs should there be an emergency situation, such as a serious accident, or even as little as a flat tire. If it was something more serious, like a fire in the RV, be prepared with a fire extinguisher. Have a pet carrier on board to ensure your dog is safe. Have a thorough plan figured out in advance, just in case. As a wise man once said, “while you’re busy making plans, life happens.”
Inform Yourself Regarding the Camping Environment You’re Visiting
Consider everything that’s in the environment and how that may affect your dog. For instance, there can be dangerous plant life, or some they can just cause your dog to be ill. There are unpredictable weather conditions that could arise at any time. Above and beyond all that, there is, in some places, dangerous wildlife that could cause potential harm to yourselves but also your dogs.
Some of us won’t go anywhere without our dogs, and that’s fine. However, others are not as open to the idea of dogs everywhere they go, especially campgrounds. Even these people have an opinion that may not be entirely wrong, considering some dog owners may not be very considerate of others. However, if you ensure your dog is well-behaved, controlled, and don’t leave anything behind that would suggest his existence there, most won’t say a word.
On that note, stay safe, plan ahead, and happy camping.