Camping WIth Your Dog!
Gram and I have been talking about what I have been doing since the weather is summer like here in Florida, my parents and I do not go camping, we go boating and I love being a sea going dog.
We have a pontoon boat that even has a potty on it for my mom and dad along with a grill for cooking and a big cooler to keep food. We can sleep on it as it has beds and sides we can pull down to keep out the bugs and weather. Not to mention that we have a huge river and the Gulf of Mexico just minutes away from our house.
However many of you love to go camping and so Gram and I have written this article to help you enjoy life with your dog.
Having a dog gives you an abundant supply of opportunities to do many activities that you cannot do with a cat. Most of us think of walking our dogs, going to the Dog Park, possibly boating (with proper equipment) and swimming as activities we can do with our dogs. But, how many of us have thought to taking our dogs camping with us? Dogs make wonderful camping companions as long as you preplan your trip.
However, before we load up the dog and camping equipment into the car there are a few things to consider before going on that new adventure.
Traveling in the car with your dog has certain needs to be considered, especially if you are going to travel a fairly long distance. Many dogs travel very nicely in the back seat of the car and if your dog is one of those, that is fine. However, there are dangers in having a dog loose and not in a crate. In case of an accident it can be thrown out of the car, it can escape and run away when you open a door, or it can get under your feet or hit your arm while driving and cause an accident. I am a believer in crate traveling for all of those reasons and for my own comfort. How would you like a dog on your lap for a 10 or 12-hour drive?
Another consideration when traveling with your dog is you cannot expect to be a gourmet eater. Most restaurants will not allow dogs inside, except for service dogs and so fast food chains are the way to go. You use the drive thru get your meal and you are on the road again. Even hotel accommodations create problems for leaving your dog alone, while you make a quick run for food. So it is usually room service or a pizza delivered unless you have someone with you that can run out and get take out.
If your dog is a puppy, you have to be aware that you will need to stop more frequently for potty breaks and a little exercise. Older dogs do not need as many frequent stops
Some dogs suffer from stress when traveling by car, so you need to have something to provide stress relief. There is a product Farnam Pet Product’s called Comfort Zone that contains D.A.P. (dog-appeasing pheromone) which comes in a spray to use inside the car and a diffuser to use in a motel room if necessary. It helps calm dogs down and it is a natural product and reminds dogs of their mommy. It can be found on the Internet and in most pet stores.Also, you need to take along all your dog’s regular food and treats and it is worth while taking along water your dog is used to drinking. Along with paper towels and plastic bags to clean up messes and of course, toys, leashes, an extra collar or two and a list of current shots and vaccinations.
It would be a good idea to take some pictures of your dog along, just in case it happens to run away when you stop and make certain you have all pertinent information on your dog’s collar for that very same reason.
Camping is fun and if you are going dogless you can camp just about anywhere camping is allowed. However, with a dog you need to find campsites that allow dogs, many do not. Some dogs are allowed in camps, but not on trails, so call ahead and get all the necessary information about restrictions and what you need to bring with you.
If you find a good campsite and you can fulfill all the rules make certain you make a reservation. Nothing is worse than traveling all that way and finding all the spaces are full.
Most campsites require proof of shots and vaccinations, so be certain you have up to date confirmation of your dog’s information.
Finding dog friendly campsites and national parks takes some time. The Internet is a great source. National forests are probably the best place to look for dog friendly campgrounds. They usually require dogs to be kept on leashes at all times.
What else should you look for? Facilities are important, if you are using an RV, you need to have electric, water and sewer hook ups. If you are planning on tent camping, are there bathroom facilities and water or are you planning on roughing it?
Camping requires packing all sorts of things to make the trip pleasurable and it is the same for your dog. Make certain you take spare leashes, collars, food, treats, some toys, water, bowls, a tether stake, flea and tick stuff, a dog bed or crate, paper towels, plastic bags, first aid kit, tweezers for ticks and diarrhea remedy is also a good idea.
It would be wise to have an idea of where the nearest vet is just in case of an accident or some other mishap.
Once at the campsite, settle your dog in before you set up camp. If hiking on the trails is permissible, go for a short hike, if that is not possible tether your dog so it can watch what you are up to and settle in.
Once settled in your dog can help you locate wildlife to watch as they have a great sense of smell. However, do not let your dog interact with wildlife, either/or might get hurt and most campsites do not allow such interaction.
Try to keep your dog’s routine as simple and as normal as possible and be careful when feeding your dog campfire food, diarrhea is not fun even on a camping trip. Follow as much of the “at home” rules as you can.
When considering taking your dog camping keep in mind, is your dog well behaved and does well with other dogs? Is your dog in good health and is your dog too young or too old. These are factors you should take into consideration, puppies younger than 18 weeks maybe too young to take on a camping trip as their immune systems have not kicked in and they could pick up certain diseases. If your dog is too old the stress of hiking and running just might be too much.
The secret here is you want your dog to have as much fun as you do, so make certain the dog and you are up for this new adventure. Happy Camping.
Well, I hpe you enjoyed this article and will take your dog camping. I love the fact my mom and dad take me boating.
Enjoy the summer. Until next time I remain