TOP TIPS – Camping with Dogs

November 29, 2016

Do you want to enjoy the great outdoors with your slobbery four-legged friend? We look at the great ways you can camp alongside your beloved canine companion, and provide you with some top dog camping tips.

Nothing signals the start of summertime than planning that great camping trip with friends and family. The wonderful news is that your beloved pooch doesn’t need to be left behind. However, like with all camping trips, planning is paramount.

Firstly, you need to find a camping ground that is dog friendly. This is made easy with great websites such as www.campsaustraliawide.com/faq/free-dog-friendly-campsites/. It’s also a good idea to give the campsite a call to check that their rules haven’t changed in regards to dogs. Sadly, because some dog owners have not adhered to the rules and regulations of the campground, some campsites are now off limits to paws!

GOOD DOG!
Before you decide to take your dog along with you camping, it’s really important that you consider a few things to ensure you have a good, safe trip. For first time dog campers, these are a must:

  • Training – Your dog needs to be recalled easily and able to walk happily on lead.
  • Good behaviour – if your dog has issues such as excessive barking, aggression, inter-dog aggression or any other behaviour that might disrupt or harm other campers, you may need to reconsider the adventure and stay closer to home.
  • Tents – get your dog use to the tent. Seasonal campers will know that tents can make all sorts of funny noises in the wind and rain, so get your pup desensitised to these unusual sleeping arrangements with a trial-run on the back lawn.
  • Crates – these are a wonderful accompaniment to camping and can be your dog’s ‘safe’ area. If your dog is crate trained, it’s a great idea to take the crate with you on your adventures.
  • Fitness – get your dog prepared for the extra fitness required when experiencing the great outdoors. Think long walks through the bush and other areas.

LET’S GO! – CHECK LIST
Rover is officially ready for his first camping adventure. What now?

  1. Vaccinations – make sure they are up-to-date and take the relevant paperwork with you as some campground will want to see vaccinations certificates.
  2. Fleas / ticks / worms – get your treatments now, and take some with you if you are going on an extended trip.
  3. ID Tags – ensure your microchip details are up-to-date and have a special camping ID tag made. My name is Rover and I’m camping with my owners please keep me safe and call XYZ. You can even have a friend’s contact number on here who will have dates of what campsites you will be at during your trip. Remember to update your contact if the dates change. If you are only staying at one site, put the name and number of the campsite on the ID tag.
  4. Contact – let people know where you are and give contact information. Nominate a friend or family member.
  5. Sturdy lead & collar (think glowing) – also travel with spares. Glowing collars are great for night time.
  6. Tether lead and stake – a nice long strong lead as you may need to tie your pet up (supervised of course) during your stay. Having a nice long lead will allow them to move around without too much restriction.
  7. Food / water – Have enough food and water for your pet. Use ‘weatherproof’ and heatproof bowls (keep away from stainless steel bowls as they get hot in the sun) and always have water on hand for your pet.
  8. POOP BAGS – it is vitally important you pick up after your dog. The main reason dogs are not allowed on campsites is because of dog poop.
  9. Dog towel – Rover will like his own please.
  10. Toys and snuggle pets
  11. Bedding – take your pets bed as it will give them a huge amount of comfort and security during the trip.

A MUST – Doggy First Aid Kit
Develop a first aid kit for your pet. Consider putting in the following;

  • Saline solution or distilled water
  • Collapsible bowl
  • Crepe bandage
  • Gauze
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Leash and Collar
  • Emergency vet contact
  • Soft muzzle
  • CPR instructions
  • Blanket
  • Microchip and registration information

A BIT ABOUT THE BLOGGER:
Nadia Crighton is a well-known and accomplished Australian Journalist and pet magazine Editor. As a busy mum of four humans, two dogs, 50 sheep, one cat, a handful of chickens and a goat named Billy (and let’s not forget the axolotls!), she simply adores pets of all shapes and sizes. These are her personal thoughts and advice from many years of pet-ownership and working within the pet industry.

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