Camping With Dogs – Pack a Dog Backpack

Do you take your dog camping?

In the U.S. alone, more than 30 million people each year take their pets with them while camping. Yet, when we first started camping with Chloe, I was unable to find much written on the subject of camping with dogs.

Sure, there were the occasional articles in magazines that reminded us to use pet ID tags, bring plenty of water, and take their favorite toy.

But in terms of providing genuine support or bottomline information, there was nothing out there. Since it was something that I felt was badly needed, I decided to write this article.

While there are numerous issues to consider while camping with dogs, these are some of the most important.

1. Make Sure that Your Dog Can’t Get Lost

We bring Chloe camping with us.

It’s one thing if your dog gets free in your neighborhood. It’s another when you’re at a rest stop, nine hundred miles from home. Either train your dog to come when called or make absolutely sure that they’re on a leash at all times.

2. Get All of their Vaccinations Up to Date Before Camping With Dogs

Be sure your dog is all up-to-date with vaccines before camping.

If your dog gets into an altercation with another animal (or a person), the central issue will become their rabies shots. If you stay at a campground that has a demanding pet policy, you’ll need to verify your dogs vaccination records.

3. Make Your Dogs Easy to Identify

Have a collar or harness with your dog's name so if they get loose while camping, they can be identified.

If your dog does get lost (unfortunately, it happens all the time), the ability to easily identify them will become critical. For permanent identification purposes, consider tattoos or microchips. At a minimum, make sure they wear tags that show their name, your current phone number, and the date of their last rabies vaccination.

4. Clean Up After Your Dog

Poop Happens sign. Says to pick up after your dog.

The biggest complaint about dogs has nothing to do with their bark, their bite, or their behavior. If you pick up after your dog, you’ll be helping dog owners everywhere by not spreading diseases found in feces.

5. Learn How to Provide First Aid to Your Dog

Have medical supplies for your dog while camping.

If a medical crisis occurs while at home, you drive to your local veterinarian. But if you’re heading down a dark highway in a strange town, it will seem like a bad dream. Although there are ways to get help while on the road, it always takes more time. In the meantime, your ability to provide competent first aid could save your dog’s life.

6. Involve Your Dog in Everything You Do

When Chloe goes camping with us, we include her in all out adventures.

If you really want your dogs to have a good time, include them in your activities. Take them with you on long walks. Buy a cheap plastic wading pool and let them play in the water. Throw a ball. Cook them up a hamburger. If you do stuff like that, they’ll do cartwheels the next time you decide to take them camping.

7. Call the Campgrounds Before You Go Camping With Dogs

Call the camping ground before you bring your dog to make sure they are dog friendly.

Even if a park claims they’re pet friendly, always call ahead to confirm their policy regarding your dogs. Most parks we’ve been to are very pet friendly and always love on Chloe.

8. Plan Ahead for the Unexpected

Have emergency plans in your car/RV for any road accidents.

Have a plan (for your dogs) in case of a flat tire, a serious accident, or a fire in your RV. Start with a few extra leashes, a pet carrier, and an extra fire extinguisher. Then have a fire drill to identify potential problems.

9. Learn About Your Camping Environment While Camping With Dogs

Learn about your camping ground.

The U.S. is a huge country with a vast assortment of dangerous wildlife, treacherous plants, unpredictable weather conditions, and demanding environmental challenges. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might inadvertently be putting yourself and your dog in danger.

10. Recognize and Respect the Views of Others

Chloe showing respect while camping around people.

While some of us can’t imagine traveling without dogs, others can’t image traveling with them. If you keep your dog under control and clean up after them, you won’t give others much to grumble about.

1 thought on “Camping With Dogs – Pack a Dog Backpack”

  1. Good article! A friends daughter lost her dog while camping near Wallowa a couple of years ago. So heartbreaking 💔

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