With summer rearing its beautiful head, it’s time to start planning for some warm-weather excursions. Camping might be one of the best ways to spend a warm weekend, and if you can bring your furry friend along for the ride, that’s a bonus. They are man’s (and woman’s) best friend, after all. It isn’t necessarily as easy as that, though. Carting along their food, bed, and entertainment, as well as ensuring they don’t embarrass you in front of other campers, can make it trickier than it might seem at first glance. If you’re considering taking your furry friend on your camping trip this summer, here are a few essential points to consider.
Make sure they’re trained for the occasion
When your dog is roaming around the campsite, you need to be certain that they, and others on the site, are going to be safe. This means you and your pup need to be comfortable with basic commands and recall. You won’t be able to keep them on a lead for the whole time, so if they’re a wandering dog who takes off at the first taste of freedom, they might not be the best camping companion. If they’ve got a high prey drive that could also cause problems, especially if they don’t respond to you immediately once they’ve spotted something – you don’t want to have to deal with dead birds and squirrels when you’re supposed to be on your vacation.
Ensure they’re cut out for the job
Some dogs are the perfecting camping buddies, while some dogs are just not outdoors dogs, and some will certainly never forgive you if you drag them out for a six-mile hike. If your pup isn’t accustomed to long walks, that isn’t going to change just because they’re on a trip. Little legs and camping trips aren’t a match made in heaven – if you want to trek, leave your mini dachshund at home (with a dog sitter!)
Prepare them for the great outdoors
The great outdoors poses new challenges for dogs, and it’s important to make sure they’re prepared. Flea and tick treatments are a good place to start. Ticks caught from the wilderness could cause your dog to get unwell, so make sure you get the best tick treatment for dogs before you go. A coat for cooler weather and their food bowls will also help to ensure they’re safe and comfortable, and discourage them from eating anything they shouldn’t.
Bring along some creature comforts
Some dogs just aren’t going to deal well with being forced to sleep on cold, hard ground at night. If your dog is a lover of the warm and cozy, either leave them at home or bring everything but the kitchen sink with you. They’re going to need at least a bed and blankets, but they might be happier sleeping in your bed with you – if your tent isn’t particularly sizeable, it could be worth going back to the drawing board.
Be a responsible owner
Finally, your dog is your responsible when you’re out in public. If they’re a barker, either train them not to or leave them at home, so you’re not disturbing your neighbors and the wildlife. Remember to pick up after them too; nobody wants to find an unaccounted-for poop in the dark on their midnight restroom trip.