Essential Things to Bring When Camping With Dogs
You’ve gone camping several times before – once or twice alone, and a few more times with your loved ones. You had fun hiking the treacherous mountain trails, swimming the swollen rivers, or simply chilling out in the camp.
And now, you are going with yet another companion – a friend you’ve never gone camping with. You are going on this camping adventure with your dog. You’re both excited and can’t wait to hit the trails with your little furry friend.
Camping with dogs is a fantastic experience
Canines are made for the wild, and their hunter instincts can have a profound effect on your outing. Essentially, they are animals in the first place – and friends that man has known for generations.
You, therefore, expect to have the best camping experience being with your dog. She will be your ultimate companion all through, perhaps even help you avoid dangerous sites or alert other campers in case you get lost.
But camping with dogs demands more planning and attention to detail than that of your typical outdoor camping expeditions. Whether he’s a seasoned camper, an ordinary puppy, or a beautiful indoor dog, all his needs must be well cared for, much like yours. And that means bringing everything your pet will need, far beyond the leach, dog food, and his playthings.
Things to pack when Hiking and Camping with Dogs
1. Dog Bed and tarp
You aren’t going to sleep inside that cozy sleeping bag with your friend. And she isn’t going to nap on the hard, rugged surface either.
Pack a nice bed with its tarp for your dog. You can shop for something comfortable for your pet – there are several camping dogs’ beds that you can order online. Some come with beddings, while others are simple foldable gadgets that require you to buy them separately.
I’d highly recommend that you choose something light and easy to pack. Of course, it should be warm and comfy for your friend to lie on whenever you decide to go camping in the future again. Essentially, choose one that’s tough enough to last beyond two future camping adventures yet water-resistant.
2. Adequate dog food alongside her favorite bowl
This should be your perfect chance to show your friend how much you love him. And the best way you are going to do that would be to pack several varieties of dog food, including his favorites. But be careful not to include items she has never taken before.
The best foods are those which are loaded with dog-friendly calories. That includes energy-giving dishes as the dog will be pacing up and down the camp restlessly. But don’t forget to bring a couple of clean water as well – do not allow your friend to quench his thirst with the dirty water in the stream.
Most importantly, do not forget your pet’s favorite food and water bowls. If possible, make sure it is a handy-dandy collapsible bowl that you will use throughout your stay.
3. Poop Bags or Shovel
Whether this is a solo camping expedition or you are an entourage of several adventure junkies, don’t be an embarrassment by allowing your pet to poop anywhere. With a poop bag, you will be able to clean your tent and around the campsite and rid it of the dog’s poop with ease.
Alternatively, use a shovel and bury that shit. Remember, smart campers stick to the Leave-No-Trace principle because they know they’ll be back again someday.
There’s no way you aren’t going to pack at least two of them, especially if it’s going to be a multi-day camp. A leash is good because besides helping as you walk your furry friend, it will also help retrain the beautiful animal if it feels like straying away from the campsite.
But make sure you pick something of the best quality and indestructible – a leash that you will confidently trust to help walk, run and hike your dog on. It should be of an adjustable length, too, so that you have the convenience to allow your friend to walk closer or roam on her own.
It would be better if you can find one fitted with a tracker. But even without it, ensure it comes with a hook that you can clip to yourself to free your hands and allow you to walk with that hiking stick, water bottle, or something extra.
5. A Canine First-Aid Kit
And this is very, very important, especially when you are taking her for the first time.
Out there, your dog may not know about the risks posed by the rugged trails, including thorns, tangles, and bruises. A camping trip is a chance to get loose and experience the jungle, far from the comforts and luxuries of everyday living.
You should, therefore, anticipate injuries that she might encounter and prepare adequately to arrest them. There’s a fully-kitted First-Aid kit complete with simple meds you can use. However, make sure it comes with standard essentials like hydrogen peroxide, tweezers, bandages, and other items.
Is it important to pack any camping gear for your dog?
This mostly depends on your choice of the dog-friendly campsite you choose. There are those dog-friendly camping grounds where there’s no need to bring a coat or vest for thermoregulation. Some are safe for your friend to run around without a leash.
One important piece of camping gear worth buying for your dog is a pair of decent booties. This is especially vital if you do a lot of hiking in rough terrain and your friend’s paws aren’t soft enough to withstand the punishing surface.
But if need be, buy a doggie backpack. Inside, you will pack a few gears that she’ll need out there, like a water-soaked vest, cooling collar, or dog snacks and water.
But packing for a camp with pets doesn’t end there!
Along with those ID tags, acquire one of those minute and unobtrusive, weatherproof safety lights to clip onto your dog’s collar. You never know when the tiny pet’s killer animal instincts will force her to rush into the woods and face off with the wolves!
I’d also prefer that you pack your pet’s grooming items. Bring his towel, shampoo, those scissors, and even that first-aid healing balm. Just load them, especially if you are to be away from home for days.
Toys and whistles?
Yes, pack them as well. Who said you aren’t going to play in the evening or when there are no hikes?