Camping is a refreshing experience that takes the stress off your shoulder, rejuvenates, and makes you feel lighter. The beautiful moments become even better with the presence of a four-legged family member.
The whistling winds, rustling leaves, and pleasant woofs are sounds that become imprinted in your memory. If you have a dog and feel guilty about leaving it behind, here are a few instructions and tips that will help you when you camp with your dog.
1. Try Out Your Dog In Your Backyard
If you are taking your dog camping for the first time, you will want to know its camping personality. So for starters, train it in your backyard.
Whether your dog is a daring athlete or a lounge head will determine the type of trip you make. If you are unsure how your dog will accept a camping trip, take it to a few picnics and day trips to gauge its camping personality. Also, try a training expedition in your backyard.
The other thing to consider is how well the dog will respond to living in a tent and spending a night in a new place. Some may struggle with sleeping and feel lost, and others may get nervous. Hence, while most dogs love outdoor adventures, all dogs will not adjust well to a new environment.
Try an overnight camping trip in your backyard. You can have all the fancy add-ons you want so your dog gets a taste of what it is like to stay outdoors. Also, if it gets nervous and is unable to sleep, you can easily call it quits. Try it a few times and get your dog well-adjusted before heading to a campground.
2. Pack The Necessities, But Don't OverPack
Camping is a strenuous activity that takes up a lot of energy. Both you and your dog will be exhausted by the time you set up your camp. Hence, it is crucial to pack more food than your dog usually consumes in a day. The amount of food you pack will also depend on the size of your dog. When camping with small dogs, you need not carry too much food; however, with larger dogs, you will have a heavy food bag.
It's okay to stack up if you are traveling by car, but if you are backpacking, do not overload as you will need to carry the weight during your entire trip.
On average, carry 50% more than your dog would otherwise eat. However, also consider factors like your dog's energy levels when at home, its personality, and activity levels while packing its food.
Do not forget to pack a dedicated dog food and water bowl. Although the usual one is still applicable, it is better to carry collapsible ones for easy storage.
P.S. Do not forget treats; it will help keep your dog on its best behavior.
3. Prepare For Emergencies
Camping is unpredictable, and you may find yourself in unforeseen circumstances. In such cases, it is better to be prepared for any possible hardship you may face.
First off, make sure your dog is up-to-date on its vaccines. Vaccines increase the dog’s immunity and are a solid line of defense against serious diseases. Also, try getting a tick and flea treatment for your dog.
Ensure your dog is microchipped and has an updated dog tag with details like your dog’s name, your name, and your address. This will help locate the dog if it gets lost.
Also, prepare a first-aid kit to combat medical and other natural emergencies. This is a must in your camping with a dog checklist.
Some other items that are a must in your kit are:
- Fold-up blanket (in case the dog experiences shock or cold)
- Tweezers (to remove ticks)
- Bandana (makeshift muzzle)
- Booties (protection of injured paws)
- A multi-tool with a needle (to extract porcupine quill or large thorn)
Also, get information about the pet hospital and veterinary clinics nearest your campsite. Apart from all the safety items, also invest in a collar light. It will help you locate your dog in the darkest of nights so you can enjoy the starry night at camp peacefully.
4. Look For Dog-Friendly Campsites
It would be very frustrating and disheartening if you reach your campsite only to find that your baby is not allowed. While some campgrounds are more than willing to accommodate dogs, others have strict regulations restricting pets.
So you must do your homework before hitting the road. Look for a dog-friendly campsite and call the authorities to verify the information and seek approval. Also, make sure you read all the rules and regulations on the site on camping with a pet.
While some campsites allow dogs to roam without a leash (as long as they respond to voice commands), others only allow restrained pets. Also, the campsite rules often change according to season. So a campsite may be pet-friendly during the off-season and pet-restricted during peak summer months.
Most campsites, including U.S. National Parks, do not allow pets, so finding a pet-friendly campsite will not be easy. However, to help you out, we have a few suggestions.
Dog-Friendly Campgrounds Near Dallas, TX
Some of the best camping grounds that are pet-friendly near Dallas, TX, include:
1. Traders Village RV Park
2. Plantation Place RV Resort
3. The Range Vintage Trailer Resort
4. Vineyards Campground
5. Shady Creek RV Park and Resort
6. Dallas Hi Ho RV Park
7. East Fork
8. Hidden Acres RV Park
9. Murrell Park
10. Clear Lake Park
Dogs bring love and joy to our lives, so why leave them behind on an adventurous trip? Their mere presence will make the trip memorable, and you can enjoy some special bonding time with your doggie.
However, camping with your dog is not a piece of cake. Many parks don't even allow pets, and when they do, there are many dos and don’ts.
Also, remember that you must be very observant of your dog and its needs. Watch out for signs of hunger, fatigue, discomfort, and ill health to ensure you have a safe camping experience to cherish for a long time.