Canine Camping Misconceptions: Telling Facts from Fiction

Photo Credit: Christoph Wesi via Unsplash

Canine Camping Misconceptions: Telling Facts from Fiction

Some human/canine duos make things look easy. You see them at the lake or beach with their dog running free greeting everyone. Or they’re sitting peacefully having lunch al fresco on a sunny day. Those things don’t just happen. They require lots of training. The same is true for camping with your four-legged friend. So before you em-bark on your first camping trip with Buddy, learn to tell the truth from the “tails,” and how to prepare for the reality of a dog-friendly vacation, care of Camping Tools.

The Tail: Every Dog Loves Camping!

The Truth: Not every dog is designed for outdoor life, but most can be trained. Here are some ways to tell the difference, and prepare your pooch for their first camping trip.

  • Before you go, take your dog to the vet. They can tell you if your pet is healthy enough for camping, and if there is anything you should do to prepare.
  • How does your dog do on car rides? If they get anxious in the car or motion sick, find ways to help them on the journey.
  • If you already take your dog with you to restaurants, dog parks, or hotels, then your pooch has already done some basic travel training. But if Spot is generally house bound, try some training and small excursions
  • If your dog is anxious, you’ll definitely want to work with them before you hit the trails.
  • Remember, your stress before and during your camping trip can rub off on your dog. Ideally, camping will help you both to relax and shake off that stress, but keep an eye out for signs of stress in your pooch, like excessive urination, frequent scratching, or changes in attitude.

The Tail: Dogs are Animals. They Don’t Need Gear!

The Truth: our canines are a long way from their ancestral wolf relatives. Most are pretty spoiled, and are used to the comforts of home. Make sure your pup has what they’ll need to be comfortable and safe on your trip.

  • Whether you consider yourself a camper or a glamper, your dog is going to need some of the supplies you use. From beds to booties to backpacks, this list has the essentials your dog will need.
  • Your dog may get hurt on your adventure, so pack a special dog-friendly first aid kit.
  • It’s important that you can keep track of your dog at all times. You may want to invest in a staked lead for camp, and look into a harness. They don’t get caught on branches as easily as collars, and you can lift your dog up and out of dangerous situations, if needed.
  • And speaking of keeping track of your four-legged friend, consider getting your dog microchipped if they aren’t already. A collar can fall off and a tag can get lost, but a microchip is guaranteed to stay with your dog

The Tail: All Camps are Dog Friendly!

The Truth: Camping with your dog requires some preparation. Just because campsites are outside doesn’t mean they will all welcome your pet. And even those that do may have specific policies and precautions for you to take. It’s best to do some research before you hit the campsite.

  • Find out which campsites are dog friendly. You can check here for canine-friendly campsites or search online for state-specific options.
  • It’s important to understand what makes a campsite pet friendly and where you can find that site’s pet policies so you know what you can – and cannot – do while you’re there.

The Tail: Dogs Will Care for Themselves!

The Truth: wild animals have to deal with injuries and pests with their limited resources. Your dog likely has the same natural resources, but even less instinct on how to apply them. Be prepared with knowledge and supplies to care for your pet.

  • Fleas and ticks abound in most mountainous regions, so it’s important to know how to identify and safely remove ticks on your pet.
  • You’ll be glad that you packed that doggie first aid kit if your pup gets a cut or scrape, but you’ll need to bone up on some basic wound care
  • Camping or hiking in hot regions can be dangerous for you and your dog. Know how to identify the signs of heat stroke and learn how to cool your dog down safely.
  • While you’re looking for ways to keep your pooch safe, don’t overlook yourself. Thieves can target vehicles at campsites while the campers are away. While it hopefully won’t happen to you, it’s good to know that your homeowners policy covers many lost or damaged items even when you’re not at home. Check with your agent for specifics so you know how best to protect your stuff while you’re away.

Now that you can tell fact from fiction, you and your pooch will soon be exploring the wilderness together. Buddy will take in the sights and smells right alongside you, and at the end of the day, they’ll enjoy curling up next to the campfire with you. You and your pup will be closer than ever, and you’ll make lasting memories. Happy trails!

If you’re looking for camping and gear tips, check out Camping Tools! We offer plenty of advice from avid campers to help you make your next outdoor adventure a pleasant one.

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