Are you planning on taking your dog camping with you this summer? If so, you'll want to read these tips! Camping can be a lot of fun but can also be stressful if you're not prepared. Dogs are creatures of habit and don't love change. But, if you take the time to prepare for your trip and follow these tips, your camping trip with your dog will be as stress-free as possible!

   

Bring High-Value Treats

There's a big difference between regular treats and high-value treats. Regular treats are treats they enjoy, but not necessarily something they would drop everything and come over to you for. High-value treats get your dog to stop in their tracks and give you their full attention because they love the treat so much.

If you aren't sure what high-value treats are for your dog, you can try cheese, chicken, liver, hamburger meat or other types of deli meat. Bringing along high-value treats when camping can be super helpful in getting your dog to listen in situations where it's important.

doggie good boy campingiStock

Handy Must-Haves

Just like you need certain gear items when camping, your dog does too! It's important to ensure you have everything they need to be comfortable and adequately taken care of.

Some things you might want to bring for your dog are a compact water/ food bowl, a compact dog bed, a long line leash and a hose-down shower. Make sure you always have a clean spot for them to eat and drink from, a comfortable place to rest, and the ability to clean them up when they inevitably get dirty.

dogs are cuteiStock

Prepare For Bad Weather

The weather can be unpredictable, even in the summer. You want to make sure you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. If it's going to be hot, make sure you have plenty of water on hand and a shady spot for your dog to relax. If it's going to be cold and your dog's coat isn't designed for cold temperatures, make sure they have a warm place to rest.

Most importantly, if there is a chance of bad weather (thunderstorms, high winds, etc), have a plan to keep your dog feeling safe. Dogs are often scared of loud noises and can get very anxious during storms. If you can, find a spot for them to stay that is sheltered from the storm. You may also want to bring a thunder shirt if storms make them considerably uneasy.

safety first dog walkiStock

Safety Precautions

Just like you take precautions when camping, you want to do the same for your dog. Make sure you bring along a dog’s first aid kit in case of any accidents. It's also a good idea to have an LED light attached to their collar so you can easily see them at night.

If you're worried about the possibility of your dog getting lost, you can also get them a GPS tracking dog collar. This way, you can always know where they are and can find them if they do happen to wander off.

listening german shepardiStock

Commands They Need to Know

When you're camping, there will be many new things for them to see and smell. Unfortunately, this can often lead to them getting excited and not listening to you.

You want to make sure your dog knows basic commands such as come, sit, stay, leave it and drop it. This way, you can keep them under control and prevent them from getting into things they're not supposed to. If your dog doesn't know/listen to these fundamental commands, it's a good idea to sign up for obedience classes before your trip.

Remember, the better trained your dog is, the easier it will be to make your camping trip as stress-free as possible.

woman smiling with dogCanva Pro

Walk Before You Run

You might be excited to take your dog camping, but it's important to remember that not all dogs are ready for an overnight trip. If this is your dog's first time camping, start with a full day trip. This will give them a chance to get used to the new surroundings and see how they do.

If they do well on a long day trip, then you can start thinking about an overnight camping trip. But if they seem stressed or uncomfortable, they are not ready for camping.

Before going on a week or weekend-long camping trip with your dog, it's a good idea to test how they respond to shorter times in environments similar to where you plan to go. Start with one night.

day trip with dogsiStock

Stimulation is Important

Dogs need both physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. When camping, there are often a lot of new things for them to smell and explore. This can provide them with the mental stimulation they need.

However, they also need physical activity. Make sure to bring along some of their favourite toys and take them on plenty of walks. If you can, find a place to let them run off-leash for a bit. This will help them burn off any extra energy and keep them from sitting still for too long.

space for dogiStock

Have a Safe Space for Them

When you're camping, there's a good chance there will be many new people and animals around. This can be overwhelming for some dogs. Have a safe space for them for when they need a break from all the excitement.

You could bring a collapsible crate they use at home and feel comfortable inside. It will help give them a sense of familiarity and a place of refuge when there's too much going on around them.

 

Don’t forget to check the rules for pets and dogs in the campground you are visiting! This could include no-go and off-leash areas. Always leash your dog at your campsite, stay away from wildlife and pick up after your dog. Never leave your dog alone at the campsite and do not let your dog bark excessively.

Specific campground regulations may differ, so have a read-through to ensure you are prepared for a stress-free camping trip with your dog.

   

More Dog-Friendly Adventures on Explore-mag.com: