At Freespirit, we LOVE dogs! Most of the staff has a dog (or two!) and we all often take our pups out with us when we camp (and even bring them to our offices sometimes too). Camping with man's best friend makes the trip so much better. Seeing how excited they get to be out enjoying nature reminds us to ENJOY it too.
The most important thing to remember is always safety, for you and your dog. So below, we’ve put together some tips that can help you have a stress-free and enjoyable camping trip with your dogs.
1. Prep Your Pup
On camping trips, there’s a lot going on for dogs. Long car rides, meeting new people and other dogs and seeing new places. Be prepared for all the obstacles your dog might face, like anxiety or stress, by doing a little test run. Try taking your dog to a park for a day trip that’s not too far away so you can see how they do with travel, new people, dogs, and smells.
Make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccinations and check with your vet to be sure your dog can handle an active camping trip. Make sure to use some sort of flea or tick preventative to ensure your dog won’t be bringing home any ticks and always bring lots of water.
2. Pack the Essentials
As well as bringing camping essentials, remember to pack your dogs essentials. Dog food and bowls, plenty of water, leash and harness, dog treats, outdoor safe dog bed and toys are a good start. If you plan to tie your dog up at your campsite, don’t forget to pack a stake or tether. Don’t forget the dog waste bags, pack it in, pack it out!
When feeding your dog, it’s best to only bring out their food during meal times. Some dogs like to graze on their kibble but leaving their food out can attract wildlife, so bring an airtight container so you can easily put away the food when they aren’t eating it.
3. Plan Ahead
If you plan on camping at a regulated campsite, be sure to check the guidelines for pets ahead of time. For State Parks, Local Parks and National Parks the rules vary so best to check ahead. The general rule of thumb is where cars can go, dogs can go.
When planning what activities to do, keep in mind that dogs may not be left unattended at campsites so plan accordingly. If you want to hit the trials, check ahead to see what trails are dog friendly. If you are camping near water, check what beaches allow dogs and which don’t. There are plenty of dog friendly activities you both can participate in.
When camping in National Forests or on Bureau of Land Management Land, there aren't a ton of rules and regulations when it comes to pets. It’s best to use common sense and check with local agencies for guidelines. Dogs can generally be off leash but it’s best to always have a leash on hand. Always be sure your dog has on it’s ID tags in case they get separated from you.
Camping with dogs can be so much fun!
So bring your pup on all the adventures you can so they can enjoy nature and time with their humans!