If this is your first time attempting to camp with your dog, be sure to get him familiar with camping customs (i.e. car journeys, sleeping in or near tents, long walks or hikes, etc.). As exciting as it is for dogs to go camping, it will break up their routine and throw some new things at them which they may have trouble fetching. Some dogs can become stressed, aggressive or even ill if their routine changes. It is important to get your dog as comfortable as possible with the camping idea before you go. It is also important for you, the owner, to see how your dog reacts to particular situations.
What to do With Your Dog Before You Go:
• If your dog is not already used to taking car journeys, take him a on a few short trips to get him accustomed. Take him on short car trips such as when you go to fuel your car or when quickly dropping something off.
• Get your dog used to being in or around a camping tent. If you know that your dog will be sleeping with you in your tent, it is probably best if you familiarize him with the tent before you go. Set a tent up in your backyard, go in your tent with your dogs bed for an hour or so each day and read a book, listen to music, etc. Try to encourage your dog to come in and join you. If he comes into the tent and sits with you, reward him or give him positive attention
Preparing and taking precautions with your dog will help make your camping experience more pleasant for the both of you.
Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date with a phone call to your vet. Take a first aid kit for you and your dog. Make sure to include sun-block.
You may want to apply flea and tick preventive on your dog. Fleas and ticks can be anywhere, but are more prevalent in the woods. Using a preventative product could help to keep you from bringing fleas back to your home and yard.
Be sure to have an updated ID tag and/or microchip on your dog, just in case your dog gets lost. If you’re staying at one campsite for any number of days stop by your local Wal-mart/Petsmart and create a dog tag with the name, location of your campsite and a phone number where you can be reached. Bring an extra leash in case something happens to your regular leash.
Make sure your destination allows dogs; most campgrounds are dog friendly. Verify the trails around your chosen campsite allow .When picking out your campsite try to get one that offers your dog some shade. Camping near a stream or lake is also a good idea. It will provide your dog with an easy source of water.
Pack enough dog food and water for your pooch. You can take collapsible bowls for their food and water. Collapsible bowls are lightweight, and you can easily pack them in a backpack if you decide to go hiking. After feeding, empty your dog’s food dish of any leftover food. You do not want to attract any unwanted insects or wildlife.
Bring your dog’s brush with you to remove stickers, fox tails and other things caught in their fur. I have found using a small black men’s comb will remove most stickers from dog hair fairly easily.