Camping is a great family activity and we know that pets are an important part of the family too. Bringing them along camping can be a lot of fun, but it’s important that you are aware of the pros and cons associated with bringing a pet camping, as well as some important things to remember to pack and do while camping with pets.
Should you bring your pet camping with you?
There are advantages and disadvantages with camping with pets. First let’s take a look at the pros and cons:
- No worries about someone else watching or pet or paying expensive kennel fees.
- Gives pet plenty of opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and exercise.
- Dogs especially can be helpful for survival and security at your campsite.
- May restrict some activities you can do, since you won’t be able to leave your pet unattended at the campground.
- Some campgrounds and parks do not allow pets, so may restrict where you can stay or visit.
- Pets may become overstimulated by all the new sights/smells/animals/people.
If you decide to bring your pet with you, here are some important tips for your pet’s comfort and safety:
1. Know the Rules:
Each campground has different rules for pets. Be sure your campground allows pets and know what type of rules they have. If you have any doubts or questions about the rules, ask the campground owner or manager prior to arranging for your stay there.
2. Be Sure Your Pet is Up-to-Date on Vaccinations:
You’ll want to make sure your pet is up-to-date on all of his or her vaccinations. Bring your vacination certificates with you on your camping trip so there are no questions if something should happen. It’s also good to bring with you your pet’s health records should you need to visit a vet while traveling on the road.
3. Train Your Pet Prior to the Trip:
It’s important your pet is able to understand and follow basic commands before you leave on your trip. A simple “Leave it” command can often be one your pet will pick up on quickly and can be very beneficial.
4. Treat your pet with flea and tick medications:
Sadly, the great outdoors are also great places to pick up fleas and ticks for a pet. Ask your vet what they recommend – many options are also available over the counter at most retail pet stores. Be sure to inspect your pet for fleas and ticks daily to be proactive.
5. Make Sure Your Pet is Well Identified:
Be sure your pet’s tags have their name, your name, your cell phone number, and a veterinarian’s phone number. Also include a rabies or other vaccination tags onto your pet’s collar. This will be invaluable if the pet gets lost.
If your pet has a microchip, make sure the contact information for you is accurate and current.
6. Always keep your pet on a leash at all Times
It is very important your pet is on a leash or otherwise confined (ie: a portable fence) at all times during your camping experience.
You do not want your pet to become lost while in an unfamiliar setting, nor would you want your pet to disrupt or disturb your neighbors in the campground.
Never tie your pet up or leave unattended, even if in an RV. If the power were to go out on an RV while a pet is inside, the temperatures during hot summer weather could prove fatal.
7. Make Sure Your Pet is Comfortable With Nature:
Pets who spend most of their time indoors may be shocked when camping the first time. Prior to your trip, spend as much time as possible outdoors with your pet – take them for walks in the park and give them plenty of practice with nature.
8. Pack for Your Pet:
Your pet will need his own dishes for food and water, plus of course treats and things to eat while camping.
You’ll also want to be sure your pet has a good location for sleeping inside with you, and be sure you have the supplies for cleaning up after your pet in public areas as well.
Also, when packing for your pet, make sure you have appropriate things for the weather so he or she does not get too hot or cold.
9. Bring Shampoo, Extra Blankets, Towels, Brush:
Your pet will likely need bathed while at camp, especially if he or she is laying on the ground a lot or gets into prickly bushes. Being prepared can help keep your pet comfortable and clean.
10. Have fun with your pet!
The important thing is that your pet and you have a good time. Play fetch with a ball or a frisbee, go for nature walks around the campground, and don’t forget to snuggle up together around the campfire!
It’s a lot of fun to go camping, and you and your pet will be making plenty of great memories together with the whole family!
Do you have any tips or secrets for camping with pets you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!