Canines make such great companions because they really can accompany us anywhere. From neighborhood walks to campgrounds, dogs can enhance basically any experience. If you are considering camping with your dog, here are tips on how to keep it easy, stress-free, and fun:

Prep for Camping

In order to ensure a fun and safe camping trip for everyone, you should do some work before you even arrive at the campsite. First off, find local camping areas that allow dogs. The last thing you want is to arrive at a campsite only to learn your furry friend isn’t allowed to stay with you. 

Ask yourself if your dog is physically able to handle the activities you have planned for your camping trip such as swimming, hiking, etc. and that it won’t be too hot or too cold for them to be active with you. You may want to schedule a wellness exam for your dog to ensure he or she is in good health for an excursion. If your dog is not already on a flea and tick preventive, now would be a good time to start one.

Get the Right Camping Gear

Camping gear can help you prepare for any kind of weather you might find in the wilderness, so it’s important to invest in quality pieces. Take time to research the following equipment to find gear that will enhance your trip:

  • A tent: Your tent should comfortably fit all the people and animals on your trip. If your dog is medium-sized or larger, consider them another human when thinking about tent size. Tents should stand up to all the elements in your area and provide shelter from a variety of weather patterns.
  • Leashes: Even when campgrounds allow dogs, they often require them to be leashed at all times. Be sure to find an option that is durable and still gives your pup plenty of room to explore the great outdoors.
  • Backpacks: You need to be able to carry all your gear to your campground (especially if you are hiking there). Find a backpack that can fit all of your gear, but will not be too heavy to carry. You might even want to consider investing in a small doggy backpack so he can help carry some of your supplies!
  • Food and water: Bring a little more food and water than you think you need to be sure you are prepared for any scenario.
  • Doggy Bags: You might feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere on your camping trip, but it’s still important to clean up after your dog even when you’re so far from home.
  • A First-Aid Kit: It’s always better to prepare for an unexpected situation than to not have what you need if you find yourself in one. Bring basic first-aid equipment, insect repellent, and throw in some treats in case you need to encourage your dog to do something while camping.

Do a Trial Run with Your Dog

If you aren’t sure how your dog will take to camping, you can do a sample run a little bit closer to home. Set up your tent in your backyard and see how your dog sleeps in it (with you, of course). Before you do the real thing, be sure to collect your pet’s health information, your vet’s phone number, and a recent photo, and keep them with you at all times.

Whether you are planning multi-species camping with your dog, or it’s time for your pet’s annual exam, Union Lake Veterinary Hospital is here for you. Our full-service veterinary care helps keep your pets healthy and happy so you can enjoy life together. Call (248) 363-1508 to learn more.