Like any adventure, camping with your dogs will need a bit of planning, and to get the most out of it and make it an enjoyable experience for everyone, there are a few basic elements we shouldn't leave home without. Whether your dog is an experienced camper or you are planning your first adventure with your new puppy, I hope this will be useful to you and will improve your camping experience for years to come. Discover dog-friendly campgrounds near me This list focused on camping in cars. For backpacking, the basics can be minimized to their most functional state to comply with the “every ounce counts” rule.
I divide the equipment into three sections, so you can decide how to customize your luggage list based on your adventure. A collar or harness with a set of labels and license is essential. My dogs wear theirs on the collar, but I have an extra set on their harness. If you want to be more cautious, keep an updated copy of your vaccine records in your package.
If your dog has a microchip, make sure the contact information is up to date. Bring one for yourself and one for your dog. Make your own or get one like this at Adventure Medical Kits. Pack, pack, or bury it, but don't leave it behind, especially near bodies of water or high-traffic areas.
Be considerate of everyone and pick up your dog's waste. I love the foldable silicone bowls from Messy Mutts, they are lightweight, take up very little space and are easy to clean. Depending on the age, physical condition and level of activities you enjoy during the trip, your dog's nutrition is as important as yours. To avoid clutter, buy a garbage bag designed for dog food.
Planet Dog, Kurgo and Orvis make some good ones. It will be important to carry treats or toys with you, whatever your dog finds most rewarding, especially since you will compete against wonderful nature for their attention. A small, discreet, weatherproof security light that attaches to your dog's collar is a must on my list of equipment items. Know where your bloodhound friend is in low light or bad weather.
The Ruffwear Beacon is great. A healing first aid balm for your dog's foot pads is a good addition to your first aid kit or as a staple in your hiking backpack. Scratched, scraped, or cut pads due to rocks, hot sand, or ice are enough to make your dog feel uncomfortable on their feet, and if you've ever had a blister, you'll know it's no fun. I learned it the hard way, when the rain caught us and we had to share my towel or sleep next to a cold, wet dog in a small tent.
I keep one in the car and the other in our backpack. Depending on your dog's needs, age and tolerance for the weather, you may need a coat or jacket to keep them warm, especially at night. Our dogs use their coats as portable sleeping bags. Willow, our youngest dog, doesn't have much inner fur, and our 13-year-old Corbin can struggle with stiff joints when it's colder, so the coat helps him stay comfortable.
An added benefit of their coats is visibility at night. With bright colors or reflective trims, I can easily see my black dogs at the campsite. Choose a coat that doesn't hinder your dog's movement and that protects it from the elements. I love Ruffwear's Powder Hound coats.
Hurtta also makes some great ones, ready to defy any type of weather. For furrier dogs, fur can help minimize the amount of dirt and leaves that build up in the tent, especially if they cover the belly area. You have books, board games and friends. Give your dog the equivalent of something to do while relaxing on their mat.
I use puzzle feeders, such as a Kong or similar, to teach my dogs to sit on a mat since they were puppies. I think it's essential when we camp, so while my dog is relaxing with a toy, I can set up a camp, start a campfire, or prepare (and eat) dinner. The mental stimulation provided by these toys helps the dog to relax and to entertain himself. I often feed them dinner that way, but it's also great to fill it with healthy treats and dog-friendly fruits or vegetables.
Bloodsuckers aren't just a nuisance to humans; if given the opportunity, they'll also make your dog a meal. Consider the location, climate and time of year and decide which product best suits your dog. I tend to prefer more natural solutions, but I won't hesitate to increase protection if necessary. And Mercola Healthy Pets makes my favorite natural repellents.
Depending on where you go, you may encounter wildlife. A small bell attached to your dog's backpack or harness helps alert wildlife to your presence and gives them the opportunity to run. However, depending on your dog's sensitivity to sound, you may need to opt for one that doesn't leave everyone deaf. You can consider them a luxury item, and they may be for some dogs with super sturdy pads, but spend a weekend walking through the Desolate Desert or the Lost Coast and you'll know that rocky terrain or hot sand can be brutal for those legs.
Get ready and carry your dog's booties and socks in your backpack. Buy extras in case you lose one (read, you'll lose one). Discover unique experiences at ranches, nature reserves, farms, vineyards and public campgrounds in the U.S. UU.
Book tents, tree houses, cabins, yurts, primitive country sites, car camps, air creeks, small houses, RV campgrounds, glamping tents and more. Plan your next adventure from anywhere. Available for iOS on the App Store. I have used a lot of camping beds for dogs over the years and, since I can't choose just one, I wrote an entire post dedicated to the best camping beds for dogs.
To travel with a backpack, I bring light dog food to save weight and space. Zippered bags are also ideal for backpacking because they fit more easily into your dog's backpack. A thick waterproof bag with a roll-up top makes it easy to transport and store dog food for camping trips. The Kurgo kibble carrier can hold up to 5 pounds of dog food, enough for a week or so of camping for most dogs weighing 50 pounds or less.
The kibble carrier is made with a hexagonal fabric design that keeps dog food fresh. A lower pocket can store a foldable dog bowl and a zippered side pocket can hold small items such as treats. I simply fill the candy bag with my dog's food and use it for training instead of treats, which can lead to obesity if they get too many treats throughout the day. I use two different leashes for free dogs for my various activities, but my two main leashes are a multi-purpose leash and a biotane leash.
I usually bring both for car camping, but I'll only bring the biotane strap for backpacking. While kits for humans have some items that can be used on dogs, there are specific equipment for pets that you should have on hand. You can add these items to your own kit or buy a specific first aid kit for pets, like the one I have. I have found that carrying a foldable dog cage with soft sides on camping trips by car is very useful.
Always carry more than you think you'll need and predistribute it in Ziploc bags or containers for ease, or carry a measuring cup for rations on the go. You should always bring a copy of your pet's veterinary records when traveling with it, especially if it crosses provincial or national borders. I like the Me and My Dog Adventure medical kit because it includes both human and canine first aid items, eliminating the need to carry two kits. When camping with your dog, you'll need a combination of what you have at home, only the camping version and what works for you, only the dog version.
While you might not want to carry your dog's shampoo with you, it's a good idea to bring pet wipes to quickly wipe the dirt off your pet's coat. Get tips on what to remember, what to bring and the best dog-friendly Canadian camping spots to enjoy. You can't predict what will happen on your adventure, so be sure to bring some parts, just in case. .