If you are like us, your dog is a big part of your life (she is our furbaby). If we could, we would take her on vacation with us everywhere we go. Okay, I would… not sure about my husband. When our beagle, Honey, was around 2 years old, we took her camping with us. I had no clue about camping with a dog, and learned a lot from the experience! Here are a few things I wish I had known before taking her camping with us.
Tips for camping with your dog
Leash, leash, leash!
At the time we took her camping, Honey was doing really well with staying close by us at all times. I didn’t have any reason to think she wouldn’t when we went camping. Wrong! Picture Dug the Talking Dog in the movie Up. You know how he will be talking and then suddenly say “squirrel” and look in another direction? This was Honey – times 100. Most of the time, she was fine and just hung by us. Then, she would see or smell something and run off.
Lesson learned: Keep your dog on a leash. Most pet-friendly campsites will have this as a rule anyway. Bring two leashes – a shorter one for hiking and a longer one for around the camp so your dog can wander a bit.
Stay on schedule
Dogs are creatures of habit. Although you may dine later in the morning and evening while on vacation, your dog will not. Yep, Honey had us up at the same time we would get up for work. Not fun!
Lesson learned: keep on the same feeding schedule. Or, you could slowly change your dog’s feeding schedule before you leave to go camping. That way your dog will let you sleep in while camping.
While camping and hiking, your dog will get dirty and smelly just like you. When we took Honey camping, she would come into the tent to sleep and puffs of dirt would come off of her as we pet her.
Lesson learned: bring grooming supplies. Pack a brush, towel and even some dog shampoo – never know what your dog will get into! A brush or comb will also be helpful when looking for any ticks that may latch on to your dog while hiking.
Keep things familiar
Just like you should stay on schedule, you also want to bring things from home that will help your dog feel comfortable. All new surroundings can overwhelm them.
Lesson learned: bring your dog’s bed and/or a couple of favorite toys from home. This will help with the adjustment to the new surroundings.