Camping season is approaching, and if you like getting out in the woods you probably want to bring your dog with you. You need to prepare them for camping just as much as you need to prepare yourself, plus you may need to consider the rules around trails you plan to go on or if your campsite is dog friendly.
Let’s start with the basics. You want to bring a good amount of their food (extra just in case), and we highly recommend you bring plenty of fresh, clean drinking water as well. Just like us, dogs can catch illnesses from drinking from streams, ponds, and puddles. We recommend collapsible bowls for food and water as they can easily be packed in your bag should you go hiking for the day; other useful items are dog water bottles or drinking reservoir attachments for your own water bottle.
You will also want to pick up or put together a canine first aid kit, including hydrogen peroxide, tweezers, bandages, tick/flea repellant, and possibly your favourite dog deodorizer or moisturizing cream. Be sure that your dog has all its I.D. tags, and it could be helpful to get a GPS tracker for your dog in case they wander out of view. We also recommend going for a vet visit to make sure all shots are up to date and that your dog is in good health.
Think about what your dog needs besides the basics. For example, be sure to bring plenty of poop bags on your trip. We always want to do our best to leave no trace on trails and even at the campsite. Also, bring a couple of leashes—a shorter one for trails and hiking and a longer, more comfortable one for the campsite. Tie-outs or kennels can be good as well, depending on the campsite. Bring plenty of toys so you don’t have to worry as much about sticks/logs getting chewed up; toys give your dog a nice distraction to avoid trouble.
Have some basic cleaning supplies for your dog as well. A towel and a brush will help remove any dirt or sand and water from their coat. Having their own bed in the tent will also keep your area a little cleaner as well as giving your dog their own space. Finally, make sure you pack the correct outerwear, whether that is some dog booties for hot or sharp stones, a doggie backpack for helping carry supplies, cooling coats, life jackets, or a nice little sun hat.
Camping with your furry friend can be rewarding, but you want to make sure you are prepared to give them the best chance at having a good time, and that you also get to enjoy a stress-free camping experience!