Camping with your dog can be one of the most fulfilling adventures the two of you can have. It feels so good to be with your favorite animal among all that nature has to offer. I especially like watching my dog let his instincts be his guide, as he teaches me to see the world differently.
But ultimately we are domestic creatures- we have our needs that nature can’t fulfill, and desires beyond the forests and plains. And since you are your dog’s caretaker, there are things you need to do to ensure your dog has as much fun in the wilderness as you do. Here are a couple of tips to help you along the way.
Bring a Bit of Home with You:
The outdoors can be overwhelming to dogs, especially if they are in unfamiliar territory. Other campers, wild animals and lack of fences or walls can break down a dog’s security. Little things can help them be comfortable in their new surroundings. Bring along your dog’s crate if he’s crate trained, or a bed or blanket that smells like home. Like how some people bring their own pillows to hotels, the feeling of something familiar in both scent and touch will help your dog de-stress and relax. Rawhide chews and peanut-butter kongs can be seen as meditation tools and will help your dog relax.
Camping is a Workout:
When you’re camping, everything is a bit more difficult than being at home. From cooking meals to going to the restroom, everything is a bit more involved and takes more energy and time to do. Remember your furry friend when you go about your day- just as you feel more tired and hungry, so does your pal. It’s okay to feed your dog a bit more when you camp (food = energy to burn) and look to doggy aspirin to relieve his muscle aches after a long hike or swim. And don’t forget to relax!
Check in with the Vet:
Just as they say you should Check with your Doctor before you start any serious exercise, you should take your fuzzy friend to the vet to make sure your dog will be physically sound enough to “rough it” at Camp. Vets can also give your friend special treatments to protect against parasites while you’re out. Remember to make sure your vaccines are up to date too- many dangerous illnesses that are transmitted through contact (such as parvovirus, rabies and mange) can be prevented by keeping you pet up-to-date on his yearly shots.
Don’t Force Happiness:
Some dogs just can’t handle camping, and that’s okay. Scared or resentful dogs may wind up ruining your Camping trip, and then no one’s happy. With dogs that don’t enjoy the outdoors, their best bet for happiness is to stay behind. Find a nice kennel to board your pooch that fits your needs and his personality, or hire a dog-sitter to feed and play with your pet while you’re away. And don’t feel guilty- if you have to sedate your dog for you two to enjoy your camping trip, then he’s not really there anyway.
These tips will help you figure out how to approach your trip with your furry friend. As you go on more trips, you can tailor your activities to your dog- and will find all sorts of new ways to have fun in the wild!
Check out this website for some great places to Camp with you four legged companion in the USA. Pet Friendly Travel.com