How to Plan a Camping Trip with a Dog

How to Plan a Camping Trip with a Dog
Many state and federal parks now allow you to not only bring dogs into the park, but camp with your dog overnight, too. Planning a camping trip with your dog is almost like planning a trip with the kids. There will be certain necessities you will need to bring to accommodate your dog's special needs. You will also need to satisfy the particular park's restrictions and rules regarding dogs. With a little planning, you and your dog should have a great experience camping together.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • First aid kit for the dog
  • Leash
  • Collar
  • Food
  • Bedding
Step 1
Research the park's rules and regulations pertaining to dogs in the park. Most parks will require you to show proof that your dog is up to date on vaccination shots before it's allowed to enter. There are usually certain areas, including some trails, within the park that will be off limits to your pet. It's best to familiarize yourself with the park's restrictions before camping. Contact the park for clarification if you're unsure of any rules regarding camping with your dog.
Step 2
Consider where your dog will sleep while camping and bring extra bedding. Some dome tents have added extensions that are big enough to accommodate a dog. You usually won't be allowed to leave your dog outside or enclosed in your car during the night. In fact, this isn't safe for a dog as it can become prey to a wild animal or become loose and lost. Since it's generally cooler at night, bring a blanket for your dog while in the tent.
Step 3
Bring enough food and snacks to last your dog a couple of days longer than the planned trip. It's best to be prepared in the event weather or other situations delay your departure. If water is not supplied at your campsite, bring enough to sustain your dog through the trip. You'll also want to pack a couple of bowls to hold food and water.
Step 4
Make a medical first aid kit. If your dog will be hiking with you, you'll want to be ready to handle an emergency if he or she gets hurt. It's a good idea to bring the kit with you while you're hiking. Though you can purchase a dog first aid kit, they're easy to make. You'll want to pack items such as bandages, gauze, antiseptic spray or salve, as well as any other medications your dog may be required to take. Since ticks inhabit woodsy areas, make sure to apply a tick/flea repellent.
Step 5
Pack a secure leash and make sure your dog is wearing a good collar (with a current ID tag) that won't snap open or break. Most parks require a dog to be on a leash no longer than six feet. This is for the safety of both human visitors and dogs. The last thing you want is your dog running away and becoming lost in a strange area, or scaring a child by running around loose.
Step 6
Respect your fellow campers while camping with your dog. In most areas it took a long time for parks to relax their restrictions on dogs being allowed into their parks. You don't want to ruin it for everyone else because your dog wasn't controlled and following the rules. Keep your dog attended to and don't leave it alone at the campsite to bark or disturb others.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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