Enjoying a day together.For outdoor enthusiasts, camping is one of the more enjoyable summertime activities. All that fresh air, starry skies, and wide open space – what’s not to love?

For pet owners, camping with a dog makes the experience a hundred times better. However, along with the wonders of nature also come certain dangers. For our canine camping buddies, this includes the risk of becoming lost or encountering wildlife.

Camping with a Dog 101

To keep your four-legged friend safe, plan ahead for your camping trip and know how to handle emergency situations.

Know the Rules

Before you ramble and roam, call the campground beforehand to inquire about pet policies. Most require dogs be leashed or kept on a tie-out no longer than 6 ft. in length. Trail rules often include picking up after pets and keeping them on a leash.

Parasite and Disease Prevention

While being outdoors is a great opportunity for exercise, it also increases the risk of illness and disease. The basic core vaccines, like rabies, may not be enough. If you spend a lot of time outside, your pet may need to be protected against bacterial illnesses or vector-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Please contact us to discuss your pet’s parasite prevention needs.

Avoid a Missing Pet Scare

Traveling to new places presents a greater risk of your pet going missing. Even if you keep your four-legged on a tie-out or a leash, we recommend he or she also acquire some basic obedience skills. While ID tags are a must, microchipping is strongly encouraged as well.

Packing for Your Pet

To avoid stomach upset or behavioral challenges, stick to your pet’s basic daily routine while away from home. This means packing items like food, treats, fresh drinking water, leash, tie-out, toys, crate/dog bed, and anything else that comforts your pet. For added safety, you may also want to bring veterinary records and a pet first aid kit.

A Happy Camper!

Now that you have your pet’s health and safety covered, it’s time to set up camp! Practicing good pet owner etiquette can go a long way to creating an awesome outdoor experience:

  • Always pick up after your pet.
  • Don’t leave your pet alone for any amount of time. Ask a friend or family member to watch your pet if you need to step away for a while.
  • Prevent your pet from chasing wildlife by keeping him or her on a leash or tie-out.
  • Bring your pet in the tent with you at night or allow him or her to sleep in the car (if temperatures permit).
  • Discourage your pet from drinking from puddles and standing pools of water, as these may contain giardia and leptospirosis.

For more tips about camping with a dog, please contact The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital.