Pelican Flyer • November 30, 2020
Want to bring your loyal companion along on your next camping trip? Before you pack the kibble and leash all willy nilly, there are some things to consider. For starters, camping with dogs comes with rules. Plus, this time the camping trip is not just about you. You want your pup to enjoy their adventure, too! So to fully appreciate camping with dogs, find the best spots and consider these extra tips and tricks.
The best places to go camping with dogs are dog-friendly campgrounds. You came all this way with your pup, so make the best of it! But what does dog-friendly mean, really? More than simply being allowed, dog-friendly campgrounds might offer more amenities like a dog park where your pooch is free to run about with other dogs. It might also mean there are dog-friendly trails nearby.
To explore dog-friendly campgrounds and parks, be sure to check out:
No matter how loose the rules, it’s best to use some common sense and carry a leash at all times. If you come across other hikers, another dog or even dangerous animals, you want to quickly and securely clip your dog to a leash.
Not every outdoor destination and parkland is keen on dogs. But for good reason! Water destinations and public beaches frequently prohibit dogs, mostly due to sanitation and wildlife, especially endangered or threatened animals like birds. The good news is it’s not hard to find places that allow and even cater to man’s (or woman’s) best friend. Just be mindful and check the rules and regulations for dogs on the park’s website or call in advance.
As you plan to camp with your dog, you’ll find that the rules vary. But these are some of the essential tips to keep in mind when planning.
Never Leave Your Dog Unattended – Camping with your dog requires diligence. Don’t leave them tied up and unattended at the site or inside the tent or car as you go off and enjoy your own activities. Your dog may whine or bark, disrupting neighbors and even encountering wildlife, so leaving them alone is not an option.
Keep Your Dog on a Leash – Always make sure your dog is on a leash when at camp. While it’s fine to give them some room to roam, even the most well-behaved dog can get curious of other animals’ scents and take off on a chase. They might even want to investigate the delicious cooking smells of a site down the road. Many campgrounds require that dogs remain on six-foot leashes (no longer).
Practice Their Commands – Leading up to the camping trip, brush up on their commands and obeying. Obeying a command of “leave it” not only means to drop that neighbor’s steak but could also save them from harm.
Use Pick-Up Bags – Like a walk in the park, be sure to carry pick-up bags at all times. The same Leave No Trace principles don’t just apply to people. Whether you’re at a maintained campground or backcountry camping out in the wilderness, removing human waste – or in this case, dog waste – prevents bacteria and parasites from contaminating soil and water. It’s also wise to keep an LED flashlight or headlamp on hand for nighttime walks.
Allow Your Dog to Sleep Inside the Tent – At night, there are all kinds of critters a dog can run into. Plus, weather can sometimes be unpredictable. Instead of chancing an encounter with a skunk or raccoon, invite your pup into your tent. Not only will they sweetly curl up at your feet and snuggle, but they’ll also put out body heat to help you stay warm. Alternatively, they could also sleep in the car. Check out sleeping gear to make their space cozy, too. Nemo Tents offers the unique Losi Pawprint, allowing you to unsnap and shake out any dirt and hair pups track inside.
Give Your Pup Their Own Pack – When packing food for your camping trip, don’t forget your dog’s food necessities, too! Pack them plenty of kibble and serve their food using space-saving and easily packable collapsible bowls.
Never Leave Food Out – While your dog might be used to grazing at home, kibble can attract anything from ants to other critters out in the wilderness. Only bring out food during mealtime and keep it in an airtight space like a hard case rolling cooler.
The truth is, we’ve been camping with dogs since they became domesticated. Fast forward to now, however, and you’ll find entire aisles of dog-related camp gear and equipment to make your journey together that much more fun and enjoyable. Sharing meals by the fireside, just you and your pup, can make great memories, too! Keep a camera, protected with a camera hard case, on hand for capturing special or goofy moments.
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