A Three Dog Night in the Great Outdoors

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We have one more month until summer is gone for another year.  Some people have already taken their summer vacation while others are planning on taking a camping trip in August and want to include their dogs.  Many of our National Parks are dog friendly when it comes to tent camping and there are so many places now that accommodate dogs, check out Bring Fido for specific locations. For this blog I’m going to assume you are going tent camping with your canine family member and I want to make sure that your trip is safe and fun for everyone so here are my tips.

First make sure that you never leave your dog in your car when it is warm outside.  Internal car temperatures can quickly approach fatal levels, so have a family member wait in the air conditioned car with them or take them for a short potty break while someone else runs into the store for supplies.  Speaking of supplies the following is my list of recommendations for camping with your dog.

  • A current picture of your dog just in case your pup gets way from you in the campground you want to have a picture to show around.
  • Fresh water and a collapsible bowl. Giardia can be a real issue when dogs drink from natural water sources; you don’t want this it could ruin your trip for everyone.
  • Food and treats and if you are in bear country be sure you place this in your bear proof containers
  • Current Id tags, well-fitting collar and I highly recommend a microchip.  Remember that a collar can get caught on a bush and then unless your dogs are micro chipped no one would be able to contact you.
  • A sturdy leash.  I recommend not using retractable, they can snap.
  • A proper car restraint such as a seat belt or kennel.  Remember if you are in an accident or have to stop suddenly your dog will fly forward if they are not properly restrained seriously injuring or killing them and possibly your passengers.
  • A bed or blanket to lie on.
  • Doggie bags for waste
  • Protective Booties for rocky/rough terrain.
  • A pet first aid kit.
  • A towel to clean your dog off.
  • A snake bite kit if appropriate for your area.
  • A list with the closest vets and emergency clinics near your campsites.
  • Dog sunscreen
  • Doggie backpacks

Once you have your supplies you are ready to go.  Your dog should sleep inside the tent with you.  You may want to do a backyard campout first to make sure your dog is going to respond okay to this.  Remember to give lots of praise and yummy treats, because this is a new experience.  Sleeping outside of the tent exposes your pup to all kinds of dangers such as wildlife encounters.

Also, be sure to avoid Poison Oak, Ivy and Sumac, foxtails and wild mushrooms.  All could be disastrous.

Please also, remember that not all dogs like to be approached by other dogs so keep your dog on leash and under control at all times.  Most campsites require this.

The campfire can be a real danger most dogs don’t understand that they need to keep a safe distance from it.  So please always supervise your dogs around the campfire.

Camping with your dogs can be an amazing experience.  Just remember to plan ahead and be prepared.

Happy Camping.

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