Camping is one of the best ways to get away from city life or just the general work hustle. There’s just something about being around nature that can create a reset to your life and especially your body clock.
There’s research that shows that exposure to natural light and darkness can reset our internal clocks completely, making us healthier in the long term.
Just ask any regular camper it can be a much-needed breather when life is stressful or if you simply want to take in all of nature’s riches.
While the benefits of camping are great, it can be maximized if you take your beloved canine with you.
After all, it’s a great bonding experience for you two to have and give them a well deserved break outside the house. Just think about it; they get to roam freely through grasslands, forests and interact with lots of animals. Just think about how good it will be for your dog to be able to explore its wolf instincts.
Spending time with your dog outdoors is the type of therapy we all need. But, unfortunately, you can’t just up and leave at a moment’s notice. You’ll have to make preparations to ensure your dog remains safe and happy on the trip.
But before going into the main preparations to make, it’s important that you have the right dog safety equipment and dog camping supplies to hand.
Recommended dog camping gear
If you’re camping alone with your dog, backpacking with your dog or planning on camping with others, you should always come prepared. To help make your canine camping experience run smooth, we recommend bringing the following along:
Dogs are always undergoing training and obeying commands everywhere they go. When you’re going out camping, you’ll want to be extra attentive to their good behaviour and reward them now and again to stop them from getting bored. Try to opt for low calorie treats that help practice their behaviour while you’re out on walks on the trails.
Hands free dog leash
You don’t want to feel like your dog is restrained all the time when out camping; therefore, you might want to opt for a hands-free leash. This leash can easily attach to your belt loop or any other clothing part or object, allowing your dog to roam freely.
Dog camping bed
If you aren’t planning for your canine to cuddle up with you in your sleeping bag, you should get a dog sleeping bag. A dog camping bed is easy to set up as it’s portable, allowing you to set it up in no time. Make sure you opt for dog camping beds that are waterproof, easy to clean and easy to roll. Another alternative to a dog camping bed is a travel bed which can be unrolled easily; it’s basically just a giant cushioned bed. These travel beds have waterproof bottoms, which makes them practical if your tent is pitched on a waterproof patch of grass.
Yes, it’s true dogs are just as much at risk as us of getting their eyes damaged from the sun. If you plan to camp in hot and sunny weather, you will want to get eye protection. Make sure their glasses are UV protected and are sturdy enough to stop dirt, debris and grass from going inside.
Collapsible dog bowl
You never know when your dog might get hungry or thirsty when camping. Therefore carrying a collapsible dog bowl outdoors is always practical. Most of the time, they come with a carabiner so you can attach it to your bag or clothes when walking outdoors.
Treat dispensing toy
There will be times when camping you’re not always going to be able to give your dog full attention. For example, you could be cooking, setting up your tent, chatting to friends or playing with children. Therefore to keep them occupied, you will want to get them a toy that dispenses treats randomly.
During the warmer or hot months, you will want to keep your dog feeling as comfortable as possible. Therefore having a cooling vest will help stop them from overheating and will reduce their risk of sunstroke. All you need to do is wet the vest and put it on your dog’s body so they can cool down.
Just like dog walking, poop bags are essential while camping. Wouldn’t you litter outdoors? So why leave your dogs poop lingering around?
How to prepare your dog for camping
Here are 4 key ways on how to prepare your dog for camping. As you’ll see, they’re all straightforward but will just take a bit of effort on your behalf. What a small price to pay to make precious camping memories with your fluffy best friend by your side!
Pack Enough Water
While packing your clothes, camping equipment, and even snacks will be a breeze, people often forget to pack water for both themselves and their dogs. If you’re going to be setting up camp on proper camping grounds, there may be a water tap or even a shop to buy some.
But this can be a risky assumption. You don’t want to be caught out, nor to spend a load of money just on water. Plus, don’t forget about the journey over! Especially for those whose camping trip involves a hike, you’ll want to pack enough water to last your trip, and then some. Dehydration can hit a dog fast and can cause all types of health problems. So in order to keep your dog adequately hydrated, bringing along ample supplies of water will be a must.
2. Make Sure They’re Warm Enough
While the sun might be bright and shining and the nights balmy, you’d be surprised just how much the temperature drops when you’re out in the wilderness. The last thing you’d want is for your dog to catch a cold either in the middle of your trip or in the days following it.
That’s why you’ll want to ensure you pack a warm dog blanket for your dog. Not only does it keep them warm while they’re sleeping, but it will also act as a comfortable place for them to sit and take a rest. There are all kinds of features, colours, patterns, materials, and sizes to choose from (as well as different price points), so you’ll have no trouble finding one that suits your dog and your trip.
3. Put Together or Buy a First Aid Kit
Needless to say, one of the best ways to keep your dog safe on a camping trip is to have all of the first aid supplies your dog could need on hand. This is best done in the form of a doggie first aid kit that either you put together yourself or buy.
It’s likely when you’re outside that your dog is at a greater risk of getting injured than being indoors. You will want to carry a dog’s first aid kit on you at all times. After all, you never know when they could get a cut, a sprain or a broken bone. When getting a dog first aid kit for camping, you will want to have one that has the following in it:
- Bandages that stretch: To wrap around sprains or cuts.
- Eyewash (saline): If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk or something stuck in its eye, you will want to use saline to rinse it.
- Styptic pencil: This helps quickly seal small cuts and nicks.
- Multitool pliers: This help pull thorns or anything that could potentially stick into their fur.
- Dog electrolyte replacement: You never know when your dog could become dehydrated while out in nature. This type of replacement is beneficial as human electrolytes are poisonous, and it helps them become hydrated again.
- Buffered aspirin: If you try to feed your dog anti inflammatory medication you can purchase over the counter, you could put them at risk of making their stomach bleed. Instead, buffered aspirin is safe on their stomach and chewable.
- Dog booties: Dog boots are always great to carry on you if their paw pads get injured. It is also a great preventative measure to stop them from getting injured also.
- Mylar dog blanket: If you ever encountered a major emergency when camping, you might want to keep your dog warm. A mylar dog blanked will allow for your dog to stay warm and also have their wounds protected if they’re injured.
- Tick tweezers: Ticks could easily attach to your dog while camping, and to prevent lime disease, you will want a pair of tweezers handy.
If you plan on making your kit, we recommend you prepare it well in advance, as getting all of the bits and pieces can take some time.
4. Vaccinate Your Dog
Ensuring your dog has all necessary vaccinations before their trip is without a doubt one thing that slips many dog owners’ minds. It’s vital to remember to do, as you obviously can’t vaccinate your dog during your trip! Vaccinations are particularly important on camping trips, given the combination of creepy crawlies, hazards, and unfamiliar territory that camping entails.
The thought of your dog catching a nasty virus anywhere is awful, let alone on a camping trip far away from a vet! Prevention is definitely better than cure in this case. And even if your pooch is up to date with their vaccines, it’s always a good idea to pop into the vet before heading on your trip to just double check your dog is in tip-top shape.
Camping is a fun experience to have with your friends, family, and most importantly, your canine! It allows you to reconnect your body clock to the natural world and allows your dog to explore its primitive routes. But, you shouldn’t just up and go, though! It’s important to prepare for camping with your dog by placing preventive measures in place to ensure it’s safe when outdoors.
How to keep a dog warm while camping?
There are multiple ways to keep your dog warm while camping, one common technique many campers do is that they line their tent with a tarp to make sure it’s well insulated. You can also purchase a specialized dog sleeping bag to ensure they’re warm.
Where can I buy cheap dog camping gear?
Sometimes when camping, you will want to opt for quality equipment and accessories for your dog; therefore, the cheap options might not always be the best. If you’re not a frequent camper, you could always ask a friend who has a dog to borrow their gear; that way; you could save money also.
Where does dog sleep camping?
Where your dog sleeps is entirely up to you! Dogs can sleep in the tent with you; they can adapt highly to new environments and feel secure. You may find your dog wants to sleep next to you for safety or sleep outside where it’s a bit cooler. You can even buy pop up travel tents for dogs to let them have a place to themselves.
Learn about our top 5 tips on how to survive the summer heat with your dog!