Planning on a camping trip for the entire family this summer, including Fido or Fifi? You’re not alone. More and more pet owners are camping with pets every year. It can be a lot of fun to share outdoor experiences with your dog (or cat or whatever). By planning ahead, you can make sure all the members of your crew have a great time. Here are some great tips to make the trip more enjoyable for all of you.
Decide if you will be doing activities that your pets would enjoy with you. If so, it makes more sense to bring your furry children with you than to leave them at home or in a kennel. But if they will just be tied up or in the RV the entire time, you might consider boarding them or leaving them at home with other family members. There are also a few other questions you need answers to before departing:
- Does the park, campground or hiking trails allow pets?
- How well-behaved or socialized is your dog?
- Are the vaccinations, flea & tick meds, heartworm treatments, etc. up to date?
- Do your dogs’ collars have tags with the correct and current contact information?
- If your dog is microchipped (highly recommended), is that info current as well?
Pack Their Bags
Like every other family member, your pets need their belongings on the camping trip too.
- Collars – Be sure each collar is complete with ID tags.
- Leashes – Short ones are great for going on walks. Longer “lunge” lines are more appropriate and handy for exercising.
- Food – Bring plenty of your pet’s regular food. A trip is no time to change their diet.
- Water – It is a good idea to bring water from home for your pets. Some animals won’t drink if the water smells or tastes different from that at home.
- Dishes – Don’t forget the food and water dishes for your pets.
- Pet First Aid Kit – Like a human kit, a pet first aid kit needs to be available for anything from bites to cuts to scrapes or worse.
- Towels – You’re probably already outfitted with plenty of towels. It’s still not a bad idea to have extras for drying off soaked pups or wiping dirty paws.
- Poop Bags/Scooper – Be courteous and don’t leave your dog’s poop laying around for someone else to step in. Pick it up and dispose of it properly.
Camping With Pets Not Pests
Just like some people’s children, your pets can become little monsters when out and about. Don’t be those people. Keep your dogs on their leashes. Don’t let them bark non-stop and shatter the peace and be sure to clean up after them. You don’t want to be the campers who make people cringe when you pull into the campground. Strive to be the ones who are known for being a joy to be around when spotted camping with pets.