With some cooler evenings ahead of us, it’s the perfect time to consider taking a camping trip with your four-legged friend. Before you embark on a wilderness adventure, it’s important to take steps to prepare yourself and your pup.

Planning Your Trip

Always check on the dog regulations for the areas where you’ll be camping. Many campgrounds or national parks have strict regulations on bringing pets. Even if your location is pet-friendly, keeping him on a leash isn’t enough. Your dog should have reliable voice command training to keep him away from danger, as well as remaining calm around passers-by. Brush up on basic commands like “Stay”, “Leave it”, and “Come”.

Packing for Your Trip

Prepare for the possibility of your dog running off by making sure his microchip and collar tags are up to date. Play it safe by bringing a laminated card with his most recent vaccinations.

Staying hydrated and fed is imperative for an active dog. Depending on his size, your dog may be able to carry his own food and water with a dog backpack. If not, you can always carry convenient collapsible bowls in your bag. Pack enough clean water for both of you if there’s nowhere to get more. Your dog should have access to fresh, clean water and not rely on drinking from puddles or streams as these can be filled with harmful parasites. If you’re planning on a fairly active or strenuous trip, pack at least double what your pup normally eats. He’ll be burning off more calories and will need extra nutrition to make up for it. 

At night or during restful times, your dog should have a private area to sleep and relax, just like at home. The Sportable Canine Camper is a portable, lightweight tent crate that provides protection from the elements and a comfortable interior for lounging.

If you’ll be camping at the same spot for a while, an Exercise Pen is a great way to give him more room to roam. Exercise Pens are great to travel with because they set up in seconds with no tools and fold down when you’re done. The included ground stakes keep the pen secure to the ground. You can even get an option sunscreen top or wire mesh top for more protection from the elements. 

Post Trip

Before you leave, be sure to check your dog’s body for ticks, burrs and other objects. If you find a tick, you need to carefully remove it before returning home. Keep your dog calm, and use a pair of tweezers to grab a hold of the tick as close to the body as possible without pinching the skin. Pull the tick straight out with twisting or squeezing it. If you notice your dog acting sluggish or sick in the weeks after the trip, contact your vet to make sure they weren’t bitten by something dangerous.