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Tips when camping with your dog

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Taking a dog with you on a camping trip can be a fun and exciting experience both for you and your dog. He’ll love the new sights, sounds and smells. There are some important preparation tips that you should remember before you go.

  • Vaccinations and license should be current. A dog can encounter un-vaccincated animals while camping   Ask your vet about the areas where you will be camping/traveling, as some carry additional health risks for dogs and may warrant additional precautions.
  • Chip your dog – A microchip will help locate your dog should he get lost.
  • Know your dog – You must know how your dog deals with other people, what frightens him and puts him on guard? What makes him growl or whimper? How does he deal with children or other dogs? Know your dogs body language and know how to calm him down.
  • Start with short day trips – Dogs stress out with drastic changes in their environment, they could even get sick. Take your dog on a day trip every week for awhile. Take along a bowl and a bed, some of the things that you will take with you when you go camping.  Put up a tent in the back yard before the actual trip. Sit in it with your dog in the yard. Give your dog lots of attention if he joins you.
  • Make sure your dog is in shape – There may be more walking, hiking etc. so make sure that your dog is exercised regularly and is in good shape.
  • Leash your dog – Make sure you dog is kept on a leash. This will protect both your dog and other campers.
  • Notify a friend, ranger or relative This is a tip for camping in general, let a friend, ranger or relative know where you will be, how long you will be there and well you are returning. When you return, notify them right away. You are at risk for adverse encounters with wildlife, weather or people. Don’t rely on a cellular phone; coverage is not good in many areas and technology fails (batteries die, phones get dropped and break, you can’t get a signal, etc.). Make arrangements to check in with a friend upon your return, and let them know when that is supposed to happen; the check-in is essential because, if you often forget to check back with them when you get home, then when you’re really in trouble it may take an extra day for them to realize that there’s a problem and notify searchers.

Follow these simple tips and have a great time camping with your dog.

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