Camping with dogs is a good idea if you are prepared. Your dog must be well trained and have excellent recall, otherwise you are at risk for losing your pet. Depending on the type of camping trip you planned–bringing your pet may not be a good idea. Here are some tips to help you decide if your dog should join you or stay at home.
Hiking and the back country
If your trip includes hiking into the back country you should seriously consider if camping with dogs is the right thing to do. Dogs in this situation need to be physically fit. Don’t bring your four-legged couch potato on a 30 mile hike and expect them to do well. Prior to your trip–get Fido off the couch and go walking to build up their endurance.
Another issue with primitive camping is food and water. You have to carry in enough food for your dog. If you are taking your mastiff camping–be prepared to add significant weight to your pack. Most dogs can handle carrying their own water in a pack. Just be sure to get them used to it before your trip.
Staying overnight in a tent is another issue for some dogs. Breeds who are keen on scent and sight like hounds and pointers might be a challenge at night. All those smells and sounds will arouse a dog’s curiosity. Do not expect a tent pole to hold a medium to large dog. Small dogs are at risk from predators. They must be kept inside a tent at night for their own safety.
It is easier to take your dog on a car camping trip. Food and water can be stored in the car until it is needed. A dog can sleep in the tent with you. In cooler weather; like spring, winter and fall, they can spend the night secured in the car with the windows cracked open.
Never leave your dog in the car if the outside temperature is above sixty degrees. The car will heat up too quickly and harm your dog. When camping with dogs, take them with you on all of your activities. This will mean eating at the campsite, and planning dog friendly activities.
RVs are perfect for camping with dogs. Travel trailers and class A RVs offer dogs protection from the outside elements. Most RVs have air conditioning that runs off shore power. You can leave your dog in comfort if necessary. Your dog is less likely to escape or get lose at night if kept inside an RV. Prior to making reservations–be sure to know the pet policy of the park.
Cabins and other rentals
Some cabins and other types of camping rentals allow dogs. Check the pet policy prior to booking your cabin. Certain restrictions may apply–like not allowing pets to be left unattended.
Be informed prior to deciding to go camping with dogs. Our pets are a big part of our family and we like to take them everywhere. Making smart decisions about taking your dog with you will make for an enjoyable vacation.