Going on a long camping trip is always a great deal of fun. There’s nothing quite like the great outdoors, especially from the cozy comfort of an RV. Because you have already got an excellent ‘home base’, there’s no need to worry about things like your dog accidentally ripping holes in your tent, but there are a few tips anyone camping with dogs should follow because being out near the wilderness has rules of its own. To ensure that you enjoy camping with dogs as much as possible, you want to make sure they are happy, safe, and prepared for the kind of surprises that can occur out in the woods.
Dog-Friendly Camp Sites
Your furry friend is always welcome inside your RV, and anywhere you go, but it is no fair for them if you take them to hiking spots and they cannot join you romping around the great outdoors. For this reason, it is important to do your research before planning your travel route. There are many dog-friendly camping sites across the country, but you cannot guarantee a site will be pet-friendly until you check. Once you know where you are going to be camping with dogs, do your research on leash laws to find out just how freely your dogs can run on hikes and adventures.
Doggy First Aid Kit
Dogs can be in more danger than you are on a camping trip because they do not always know what is dangerous. Thorns, for instance, are a big problem and the best way to avoid them is with some kicking dog booties. Dogs also don’t respond the same way to human medications. When it comes to the health and comfort of your pet, it is better safe than sorry every time. When camping with dogs, make sure to pack a well-stocked kit of things your dog might need. These can include:
- gauze and antiseptic wipes or spray (nothing sticky)
- Adhesive tape and safety pins
- foil emergency blanket
- hydrogen peroxide
- disposable gloves
- ice pack
- tweezers and mineral oil (for ticks)
- Benadryl (allergy), Rimadyl(pain), and Tramadol(opiates)
If you can go adventuring without a leash, it is essential that your beloved furry friend understand every command you give and follows it to the letter. If you are not experienced with how to teach strict commands with precise meanings, work with a professional dog trainer to make sure your dog is completely obedient This will give you the chance to prevent unnecessary injuries from things like rock slides, porcupines or skunks that should be left alone.
The first and most important pet command is “come” or “come here” or however you want to say it to your dog every time you give the command. When your pet is well-trained in this command, they will drop whatever they were doing and return to you, whether it was sniffing nearby campers or investigating a dangerous animal too closely.
The second command you want to teach is your version of stop. Many people use “stop” or the standard “no,” but you may want to design a special command that means ‘stop where you are’ instead of just ‘stop what you’re doing’. If your dog ends up somewhere precarious or risky, you may want to guide them away from the spot rather than trusting them to do it themselves.
The “leave it” command lets your dog know that whatever they are carrying or about to carry should be left alone so the two of you can move on. This is a great way to keep your dog from trying to bring home unwanted collector’s items from the woods like dead birds or sticks of questionable integrity.
Finally, you will want an “all clear” command, letting your obedient dogs know that they can relax and go back to being carefree. Dogs love to romp and play, but they understand teamwork and will usually be happy to cooperate with you when you make your intentions clear to them through professional training and clear commands.
Training is, in fact, the one thing that will allow you and your dog to make it through every adventure safely together no matter what life throws at you. From time spent socializing with other campers to time spent out hiking alone, with obedience to all the right commands, you can keep you and your dog-friendly and safe on every camping trip. Of course, this is only the first half of our two-part article on camping with dogs. Join us next time for part two, and if you would like more interesting information on how to train your dog, please contact Canine Commander today.