Camping With Your Furry Friend
When you go camping, especially for a longer period of time, you probably want to take your furry friend with you. Dogs do make wonderful companions, and their love for the great outdoors is so infectious and we can’t help but smile seeing their excitment! But with that being said, it can have it’s challenges that require us to just be a little bit more organised. Here are some tips you can follow for camping with your dog that might just make your next trip away that little bit smoother You don’t want your dog getting injured, running away, getting lost, or getting into fights with other campers or their pets. Let’s get right to it and go over the most important tips for camping with your furry friend.
1. Cleaning Up
Ok, so this really has nothing to do with safety per say, but it is a big courtesy to other campers. Don’t forget to bring along more than enough doggy bags. Nobody wants to step in a doggie doo-doo with bare feet coming back from a dip in the lake. At the very least, having a camp site plastered with Fido’s dinner from the night before doesn’t smell nice and it certainly isn’t sanitary. Plus the bags are super usefull for all other types of rubbish and keeping things dry. They are the perfect size to hang over the gear stick in the front of the car for all your roadtripping rubbish along the way.
2. Dog Food
Despite common misconceptions, dogs actually have rather sensitive stomachs and they get used the food we feed them on a regular basis. Any vet will always advise you to have a transition phase of weaning off one brand and onto another brand, rather than swapping straight away. As such. when away camping, its really important to keep up their normal diet. Sure, while a couple of hotdogs is not going to be bad for your dog, feeding it human food for several days on end is not healthy for a dog, and at the very least, will probably cause digestions issues. Bring along more than enough dog food and don’t start feeding your doggo marshmallows and the like. This is a good time to remind the children too that there are actually a host of foods that are poisonous and not good for dogs at all, even though they are delicous to us humans.
First Aid Kits & Nearby Vets
Another important thing to keep in mind here is that you need to be prepared for medical emergencies and small injuries alike, and not just for the family. The bush and other campgrounds can be dangerous. You want to bring along a first aid kit with splints for broken bones, disinfectants, and bandages too. A standard first aid kit for humans will usually do fine for dogs.
If you are camping in an area that is known for dangerous animals, it might be wise to read up on any symptoms of a bite or a sting so that you can recognise it right away. Moreover, you might also want to know where the nearest veterinarian is. If your puppy experiences a medical emergency of any kind, you don’t want to waste time Googling the nearest vet because you should already be driving there.
A Collar With ID – Possibly A GPS Tracker
The next tip you absolutely need to follow when camping with your furry friend is to always have your pet wear a collar with an ID tag, council rego disk, and your up to date phone numbes. Yes, dogs like to run away on occasion and they definitely like to chase animals. If your dog runs away, an ID tag will help anybody who finds your dog contact you, or at the very least, find out who the dog belongs to and where it lives.
If your pet is not wearing an ID tag, people will never know who or where it belongs to, and might end up lost forever or in a nasty dog shelter. Another great option, is actually a GPS collar. This way, you can always find your pet using the GPS tracker, which usually always work on smartphones.
A Long Leash
Yes, you always want to keep your dog tied or tethered when camping. Sure, you might think that Fido will never stray too far from you, but when it comes down to it, especially when out in the bush with other animals, you just don’t know.
Bring a long leash and always keep your dog securely tethered, especially when you don’t have the time or energy to keep a close eye on it. By having a long lead, you can rest assured that your puppy can reach the water, and reposition into some shade if needed, which is especially important in our long hot Australian summers.
Extra Doggie Bedding
One thing to not forget is to bring along proper bedding for your dog, and extra as well. This is something, that for some reason, many people seem to forget. You want your pup to be comfortable when camping, and this goes for sleeping too. Having thought about where your dog will be sleeping will make sure you have enough for its bed, whether in a crate, in the car, or in your tent. But its also good to have extra for those days out and about on the beach away from the campsite. Dogs often feel unsettled in new environments, and some breeds wont settle down if they feel they need to remain ‘on guard’. By having a spare blanket or two, you can create a space for them that smells familiar and might help them to relax and know that for the next little while, this spot here is home.
Toys, Toys, Toys
Yes, when camping, your dog will probably have lots of fun. There’s wildlife to meet, trees to wee on, beaches to run in, barbeques to try to steal from, and so much more. With that being said, dogs do have short attention spans and will inevitably get bored. A bored dog is a dog that is bound to get into trouble. Bring along lots of your pet’s favorite toys to stave off boredom and keep it out of trouble. This will make sure you all have a relaxing enjoyable holiday as well.
Lots of Towels
Another tip, that seems like an obvious one, but is so helpful if you’ve ever forgotten, is to bring a long a good amount of extra towels. Dogs get wet and dirty, especially ones with long fur or hair. A wet and muddy dog is going to make your tent and everything around it super dirty, not to mention that the wet dog smell that comes along with Fido is not attractive either. Lots of towels will ensure that you can dry and clean your pet before letting it anywhere near your tent, your car or your cabin, ensuring we all continue to have a fun and relaxing holiday!
A Flotation Device
If you plan on going boating or canoeing with your pet, bring along a special dog life jacket. Most dogs can swim just fine, but you never know what currents, rips, or incidents might occur, and you are better off being safe. A flotation device specifically designed for dogs will keep your best friend safe on the water at all times, even for the strongest swimmers amongst the pack. Check out our fun lifejackets here.
The bottom line is that camping is a whole lot of fun, especially when you can bring your furry friend with you. However, just like with children, there are certain safety precautions, as well as other common sense tips that make life just that little bit smoother for the best experience and ensure we can avoid any issues that may arise.