Is It Time to Go Camping With Your Pet?

The visions that pet owners may have about experiencing the great outdoors with their best furry friends don’t always match up with the reality. But, like anything else, the more you prepare for contingencies, the better off you’ll be. In other words, camping with your pet probably sounds like a great idea – and it certainly can be. 

Of course, being away from home, sleeping in the woods, and being exposed to the elements all have their own risks. We can help you get started and share tips on how to have a safe, enjoyable campout together.

First Things… First!

Are your pet’s vaccinations up to date? How about their parasite preventative? If you’re not sure where they stand with these safety measures, we encourage you to schedule a pet wellness examination before you hit the open road. Of course, traveling together can be super fun, but only if their health is up to the demands of going away. 

Don’t forget about the importance of microchipping. If your pet wanders off or becomes separated from you, their chip could bring them back home.

The Right Stuff

Not only is acquiring all the necessary gear a big deal for camping with your pet, but it’s a good idea to introduce them to all of it beforehand. Set up a tent in the backyard and let them get used to the sight and smells of all your other camping equipment.

Flashlights and headlamps can be highly distracting for dogs used to chasing beams at home. Invest in some lanterns or solar powered string lights to illuminate the campsite.

Don’t Forget

Make room in the truck for the following essential pet items:

  • Crate, bedding, and extra blankets/towels
  • Extra leash, collar, and ID tags
  • A copy of their medical records, just in case, and a recent picture of them
  • Food, treats, extra water, and their bowls
  • Toys 
  • Stake and a lead/tie-out
  • Grooming tools
  • Dog booties or shoes for rocky trails or hot sand
  • Doggie life jacket if you’ll be anywhere near water
  • Pet-safe bug spray and sunscreen
  • Pet first aid kit

Camping With Your Pet

If you’re not camping in an unimproved area, you’ll likely be in a public campground surrounded by other campers and their dogs. Prepare for this by understanding the rules and layout of the campground. 

An enjoyable experience depends on your pet’s obedience. Ensure that they know basic commands, like sit, stay, down, leave it, and more. Discourage them from barking. Other tips include:

  • Never leave your pet unattended. 
  • Prevent an encounter with dangerous wildlife by keeping your pet on a leash at all times.
  • Give your pet options for bedding down. They may want to sleep with you in the tent, their own crate, or in the car with the windows cracked.
  • Keep a clean camp and never leave food out for wild animals to raid at night.
  • Be mindful of your pet’s limitations regarding the heat, water sports, and exertion.
  • Ensure their constant access to clean water and shade.

Enjoy Nature

Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates hope that camping with your pet is everything you dreamed it would be. Without a doubt, there’s no better way to strengthen the bond between you, get fresh air, and work out together. 

By practicing pet safety in the woods, you can ensure the best possible experience while recreating together. Enjoy!