Camping is made so much better with man’s best friend, right? There’s no one who will appreciate the great outdoors more than your dog, or if you’re lucky, your cat too! Getting out in the middle of nowhere and letting your dog run free sounds ideal. While that is possible if you know the right spots to go to, there are most likely some rules and regulations depending on where you camp. The first thing you’ll want to do is research where you’ll be going, what their pet policies are and also what dangers are in the area for pets such as predatory animals or ticks so you can take precautions before you go.
If you’ll be staying at a busy campground you’ll also want to take into consideration if your dog is a barker and how he/she does with other dogs and people. If you have behavioral trouble at home, there’s a very good chance it will happen on the trip as well. And while you might not seem to mind, other people will. It’s better to be safe than sorry and leave your pet at home if your dog barks incessantly or is aggressive towards strangers.
If you love hiking and plan on going on a day hike, you’ll also need to think about how this will impact your pet. For instance, some trails don’t allow dogs at all. This is something you’ll definitely want to plan ahead for to either have someone else stay with your dog at camp or find trails in the area that are dog-friendly. As far as cats, we’re not sure national and state parks have caught on to the new cat hiking trend! Just keep mind that some national parks prohibit dogs from trails because of the scents they leave that can disrupt the natural habitat. We’re sure this would be the same as cats. So if your camping fur baby is a cat, best to stick with trails where dogs are allowed to hike.
Most of us camp during the warmer months of the year to enjoy the sunshine and good weather for outdoor activities. While us humans love to spend time in the sun, you’ll want to take into consideration the dangers of heat stroke when it comes to dogs. Avoid taking your dog on long hikes on warm days or hiking at all on hot days. Always have plenty of water on hand of your dog and be close to areas with shade. Taking your dog for a hike in the desert is not a good idea! Heat stroke is a serious issue with dogs and can cause death. Keep your pup safe while camping outdoors and do your research on heat stroke and the type of weather you’ll encounter when you go camping.
All in all, folks camp with their dogs all the time without issues. But if this is the first time camping with your pet, be sure to be as prepared as you can. After all, they are your baby and deserve the best! Make sure you have your leash, poop bags, food, snacks, plenty of water plus water bowl (you can bring a collapsable one on a hike as well), first aid and room for your dog in your tent at night so they’re safe from wildlife. Oh, and don’t forget your camera for those camping selfies!