Ah, it’s finally starting to feel like fall… time to get outdoors with your best furry friend! I mean, we’re all going a little stir crazy at home, right? Maybe a weekend camping trip with your loved ones is exactly the kind of escape you need right now. Spending some time together under the stars can recharge your batteries and have you feeling better about the world in no time. After all, that’s what your dog (and nature) were created to do.
Time to get planning! We’ve put together a “top 10” list for making the most of your trip together. Drop us a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other fun ideas to add to our round-up.
Tips for Camping with Your Dog
1. Do some research on your campground.
Do you need reservations? Is the campground pet-friendly? We would hate for you to drive out there only to discover that the park is full, or pets aren’t allowed. Bum-mer.
2. Plan out your hikes and water adventures.
Many state and national parks are pet friendly, but some have off-limits areas for pets. Cell service may be spotty once you get there, so it’s best to research the trails prior to arriving (or ask the park rangers at the info booth when you arrive).
3. Remember, your dog is there to be with you, so never leave your pup alone at a campsite.
Not only is this potentially disruptive to your fellow campers, but it can turn dangerous as weather changes and wildlife wanders. Let them partake in the adventure too. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
4. Bring your leash and make sure your dog has mastered the “come” command.
When you’re hiking with your dog on the trail, many parks will allow your dog to be off-leash, but be considerate on hiking paths and at the campsite. Not everyone wants to come upon a dog on a trail, or have a dog roaming around their food or inside their tent. We recommend bringing a long biothane leash so you can let your dog wander and sniff a little while you’re still in control. Plus, biothane is easy to wipe off and clean when you get home.
5. “Leave no trace” rules apply to dogs too.
Be sure to pack out all garbage and dog waste. It’s being considerate to your neighbors and kind to the environment.
6. Pack the essentials!
Remember to pack things your pet needs as well as what you need. Must haves include pet food, lots of water and a bowl, bags for dog waste and garbage, a leash, and a coat for your dog if the temperature drops at night. If you’re going to be rafting or kayaking, make sure to pack your dog’s lifejacket too. And, of course, throw in some of your trusty iFetch tennis balls for some rounds of fetch while you’re away. We know they’d probably like for you to pack their iFetch ball launcher or iDig digging toy too, but it’s probably best to leave those behind unless you have lots of space in your car or camper.
7. Be prepared for the dark.
Always pack a flashlight, a head lamp (super handy when you’re walking around at night with your dog on a leash), harness lights (if you have a vest with these or can attach one safely to the harness), and/or a reflective collar so you can see your pet clearly at night.
8. Pay attention to your food.
Keep in mind you are staying near wildlife and they would surely love a bite of your food or your dog’s dinner. So, when you’re not enjoying it, be sure it’s safely packed away.
9. Plan your sleeping arrangements.
You’ll want to ensure your tent (or camper) is big enough for your dog to also have his or her space to sleep comfortably. Also, consider bringing a roll up dog bed or comfortable mat for them.
10. Lastly, disconnect and enjoy!
These moments together are precious. You can return to the calls and emails in a couple of days. Enjoy this time watching your dog explore, sniff, and play. Phones are for capturing photos only.
We hope this inspires you to plan a little getaway camping with your dog this fall. Taking a road trip away from home for a couple of days and getting outside is good for the soul. We hope you make memories that last a lifetime. Happy camping (and fetching)!