Camping with your dog is a wonderful experience and one that will strengthen your bond as well as leave you with a lifetime of memories. It’s an adventure that you will both love, and dogs enjoy nothing more than exploring new places and discovering all the hidden smells and sounds of the area.
However, before you pack up and leave with your canine bestie, there are a few things you need to take into consideration first – namely your dog’ checklist. Just as you need to be prepared for your camping trip, so too does your dog.
Camping Safely and Comfortably with Your Pet
First things first, you need to make sure you camp correctly with your dog. Obviously, you need to make sure that your chosen campsite is pet friendly and also check over any rules that they might have for pets that are staying there (lead rules, keeping pets contained, that kind of thing). You also need to check out the hiking trails and other activities to ensure you both have fun.
Your dog will likely enjoy the trip even more than you do, and this is because there is so much more for them to enjoy in terms of sights, sounds, and smells. It’s a great way for them to exercise every part of their mind and body as well as enjoy a new experience with you. Plus, it certainly beats leaving them in the kennels while you are away on holiday.
The Dog Camping Checklist: Essentials
There are a few key items that you absolutely need to bring with you when you are camping with your dog. You will find a detailed checklist below.
#1 Food and Water (with Dishes)
Your dog will need a good supply of food and water, and you should always bring a week’s worth of extra food just in case anything happens. While most campsites provide water taps, having bottled water is perfect for emergencies. They should also have collapsible food bowls that can be taken out and put away neatly.
They need a comfortable place to sleep, and that means bringing a bed. Whether you want a dog-style camping bed or something plusher for them to snooze on, they need a place to relax and recoup after a long day. Just make sure to choose something that is comfortable and easy to pack into the car.
#3 Collar, Lead, and ID Tags
You should always have a spare collar, lead, and ID tags in addition to the ones that they are wearing. It’s good to be prepared, especially if your campsite is specifically an on-lead only area. It also helps to keep them safe on walks. Even if they wear a harness, they should have a collar on as well just in case the harness gives way.
#4 Poo Bags
You’ve got to clean up after your dog, even in the wilderness. Always have a good supply of poo bags on-hand, and you can even designate one of the outside pockets of your pack to storing the full ones until you find a bin or get back to your tent.
When the day is over and you are relaxing in the tent (or the weather is wet) your dog will want something to play with. Bring a toy to keep them occupied as well as give them comfort while they sleep. Most dogs love having a toy to mess around with when there is nothing else to do, and it will save your shoes from being played with instead.
The Dog Camping Checklist: Pet Safety
In addition to the essentials, there are a few other things that you need to keep your pet safe and healthy while you are on your trip. You can find them below.
#1 First Aid Kit
This is pretty much the same as a human kit, but you can pack your dog’s medications in addition to human ones. It makes sense to share a kit between you, but you can add things like hibiscus in case your dog ends up with cuts and grazes.
#2 Tick Treatment
You should flea and worm your dog before you leave, but there is still the risk of ticks. You should bring a set of tick tweezers with you for quick and easy removal if your dog ends up with one of these unwanted guests.
#3 Crate or Pen
It’s a safe way for them to sleep during the day when you are at the site, but also offers security at night if you are afraid they might get out or someone may try to get in. Crates can fit comfortably inside a tent, and pens are a brilliant way for them to play freely in an on-lead campsite without you needing to keep them tethered in one place.
In the summer, many dogs are at risk of their nose and ears getting sunburn. This is especially true for white dogs as their skin is more sensitive. Sunscreen helps to protect these delicate areas so that your dog doe not end up in pain and their risk of skin cancer is decreased.
Once you’ve packed up the car and arrived at your campsite, there will be plenty of time for you and your dog to relax and enjoy the sights and hikes that await you. However, you have to make sure that your dog is just as prepared as you are before you can have a good time.
Things like food, collapsible dishes, and a pet first aid kit are absolutely essential. Always remember to pack your pooch a bag and the pair of you will be able to fully enjoy your time away from the bustle of daily life.