You wouldn’t want to leave your best friend behind, so here’s what you need to know in order to take your dog camping.
Before you take your dog camping, make sure you know about the certain requirements, gear, and supplies for camping dogs.
You can never be too sure or too safe when it comes to your pup.
Not all parks have the same requirements when it comes to taking your pup camping with you. That being said, all U.S. National Forests Campgrounds do allow pets as long as they are leashed and under control while in the park and on the trails.
Most U.S. National Recreation Areas allow pets, but they must be leashed at all times and they are usually not allowed on beaches or in buildings. And you are not allowed to leave your pet unattended.
To find a U.S. National Forest Campground or a pet-friendly U.S. National Recreation Area, click here.
You should prepare your dog for a camp trip before the date actually comes.
If you are planning on hiking during your stay, exercise your dog before you go, and start slowly. Ease him into it and build his endurance for those long hikes. Too much too early can cause joint damage.
A good rule of thumb is to exercise your dog five minutes for each month of age, until they are fully grown, twice a day.
Do not have your dog carry any weight in a backpack until they are in condition to do so and are fully grown.
Gear and Supplies
Always have enough water for not only you, but your pup as well. Carry a light, collapsible bowl and when hiking, every time you stop for a break, offer some water to your dog. Try to keep your water and your pup’s water separate.
Once your dog is ready, you can have them carry a backpack. For long, multiple day hikes, his food and water can get heavy. Have him help carry the load in a backpack. Dogs can safely carry up to 25 percent of their body weight.
At twilight or full darkness, it’s always nice to know exactly where your dog is. A light can help you find them. A flashing light attached to their collar or light collar are great for knowing where he is and for others to spot him as well.
Your dog will most likely always have to be leashed when at a campground, so a tether is a great investment. It’s a great tool to keep him from wandering off where he shouldn’t be. A braided steel cable wrapped in plastic is a good choice so he can’t chew through it.
It’s a good idea to carry a small first aid kit for your dog. The basics are much like a human first aid kit; make sure to have supplies to stop bleeding and prevent infection. But when it comes to medicine, be sure to ask your veterinarian what you should pack in the kit.
An ID tag or a microchip are both great forms of identification are great to have even when not camping. If your dog gets lost in the neighborhood, out on the trail, or in the campground, these tools will help you find him and others find you.
Your dog’s ID tag should include your dog’s name, your name, your address, and your phone number. When camping, it’s a great idea to create a temporary tag that includes your dog’s name, your name, your mobile number, and the name of the campground, what site number you are staying in, and the dates you will be visiting.
Once you know the requirements of the campground you are visiting and have all the right gear and supplies, there is no stopping you from bringing along your four-legged best friend.