The idea of taking your dog camping in the wilderness isn’t something that you can decide on at the spur of the moment. Camping in the wilderness with a dog demands preparation and consideration.
Have you ever taken your dog in the wilderness for a few days? The age of your pet and quality of relationship with them will determine your readiness to have a smooth sailing experience or a potential accident? Going into the wilderness means that you two will be staying in a place where wild animals live. And this is the reason why you should prepare yourself and your doggo first.
In this article you will learn what you must consider for a safe trip (for you and your pet), what gear and things to bring along, how to protect the pooch and how you can spend some quality time together without risks or danger.
How Do-able is it to Take a Dog Camping?
The answer to this question depends on several factors. If you will take him outdoors or not depends mostly of the pet (breed, character, year of age, health condition, etc.) and his obedience.
Which dogs can be problematic outdoors?
Young puppies are not appropriate to take with you as they are not obedient and don’t know what is right or wrong. Without obedience on your commands he could be in danger due to other animals as bears, and coyotes.
It is best that you take the time and work with him so he will know at least basic commands and connect with you.
Dogs with behavior issues can be a problem. If you have an aggressive one you risk your safety. So what I recommend is to train with your pup at home often so he will learn to react more calmly in certain situations (without barking and biting).
Do you have a pet that has destructive behavior? Was he diagnosed with depression? Was he abandoned? If this is the case, talk to your veterinarian before heading to the great outdoors with him.
The vet will help you to diagnose the type of anxiety so you two can help him to decrease the symptoms and even solve the main reason for it with the right treatment plan (if it is necessary).
If you want to take Fido camping for the first time you should be extra prepared.
Which Dog Breeds are Best to Take Outdoors?
It is best if you decide to take an adult dog on your wilderness trip. A young pup doesn’t know what obedience is and can get in trouble and an old dog can have health issues that will burden him even more while being away from home.
Best Outdoor Breeds
There are some breeds that are more appropriate to take camping than others. Siberian Husky, Labrador Retriever, Australian Cattle dog, Australian Shepherd, Brittany and Alaskan Malamute are those breeds that are great for such an activity as camping.
Tips & Tricks for a Safe Outdoor Trip
Here are the most useful and beneficial tips and tricks so you two will have a stress-free camping trip.
Visit a Veterinarian First
You shouldn’t take your companion in the wilderness unhealthy or unprepared. Schedule a check-up appointment at the vet so he can evaluate a dog’s condition.
A vet will see if a pet is microchipped and vaccinated. Due to the fact that a dog will go to the natural environment of the ticks and fleas, a vet will give him a proper tick and flee prevention treatment. Also, a vet can trim his nails if necessary.
Grooming your pup is another thing that you must pay attention to before heading to the wild. You may need to brush your pet out before hand in the event of rain or snow, rivers, lakes and ponds that all spell disaster for matting if you have a long haired pooch.
If a doggo is healthy in general and he receives all that is needed to go outdoors you two can prepare for the home training.
Training your Dog at Home
If you are an owner of a moderately well trained canine that doesn’t have any health issues you can train him on your home turf and neighborhood parks etc so he will obey you while you explore nature together.
Walking Well on the Leash
I suggest that you train him how to walk well on the leash. If he is not used to walking nicely on the leash at home, make a training plan and walk with him every day so he will get used to it. It will be easier to do it in familiar territory that he/she feels safe in that start in an unfamiliar area such as a camp ground or hiking trail.
Teach him Commands
Another thing is to teach him obeying commands as sit, stay, heel, come and others. He should know when you are calling him (name recognition) and when he has to stop. This includes mastering coming, staying etc at the dog park, in the parking lot of dog daycare or dog parks, on walks around the neighborhood and on your immediate block.
Learning these commands takes some time and patience but with a clear goal and dog’s treats you will accomplish what you started.
Dog Gear That You Will Need
Before you go outdoors you must consider getting the gear that will protect your pet and make him feel good. You task is to provide him a warm and dry place to rest and sleep, consider his physical needs, and get the gear that will help you have him close.
Let’s see which gear is a must when camping in the wild with your furry friend.
A Dog Friendly Camping Tent
You have two options when it gets to providing a proper resting spot for your canine. If your pet is used to sleep besides you then you can opt for a dog-friendly camping tent. This is a type of tent that is meant for camping with a dog.
One of these types of tents is the Nemo Aurora backpacking tent that is paw print compatible, meaning your pet won’t tear the floor with his claws. He will sleep in a dry and breathable place and be close to you.
Don’t Let Your Dog Sleep Outside
Whatever you do- don’t let your dog be outside the tent or trailer unsupervised -even if you think he can fend for himself. Put a tarp on the ground outside the tent if you anticipate the rain. In order to make sure that he won’t explore the surroundings while you sleep is a must because it is too dangerous. Also, letting other wild animals come explore your campsite and leaving your pup to defend himself (and you) is not a good idea.
Buy a Durable Leash or Harness
A leash or a harness is a must when you take Fido outdoors. Why? You will be entering the space of wild animals and you really don’t want that your 4-legged friend wanders around and encounter a bear or other animal that can put him in danger.
A pet should be restrained most of the time, make sure you achieve this.
Get a Portable Dog Fence
Investing in a portable dog fence is a clever idea. I always pack it together with dog’s stuff because he can be unleashed that time and active. I set it up close to my tent.
When getting one for your pet, make sure that it is big and high enough for him. This fence sets up quickly with the poles and provides a safe space for an animal. It protects him from other animals that could come close to the campsite. He can sleep, play and eat in this area supervised.
Sleeping on a Soft Dog Bed
If you want your doggo to feel comfortable and have his own place where he can rest and sleep, get him a pet bed. Make sure that it fits him, is made of soft material and that it is washable. You may want to consider putting a plastic bag or putting some sort of insulation between the ground and his bed as condensation tends to seep in over night.
Bowls for Water and Food
If he is used to drinking water and eating his food from bowls that you bought him, take them on a trip. Make sure he has his own place in the camp and place the bowls there.
Extra Nutritious, Delicious Dog Food
Many dogs do not eat well when they’re outside. Camping and hiking is physically demanding. Your dog can’t afford missing their meal because they need all that energy for the journey. Instead of their usual dry kibble, pack a fresh, high-quality dog that’s extra nutritious and delicious. This way, they’ll have an appetite to eat and get the fuel they need for the exciting adventures ahead.
Activities For Fun
Now that we covered the gear for him we can discuss a few words about activities that you two can do together. Here are some of the ideas.
Walking and Exploring Trails
Going on a hike with your dog is the most beneficial thing to do for both of you. Your furry friend needs activity every day and what is a better activity than walking. Get him leashed, put hiking shoes on and hit the trail.
Enjoying Time Together on the Lake or River
If you have a lake or a river nearby then you can take advantage of it. If you doggo is a good swimmer and loves water then he can get a quick refreshment. You can also take him to a boat or kayak ride, I am sure he will like it.
I don’t know a dog who doesn’t love play catch. Look for a stick or throw him a ball that you packed along and you two will be occupied for some time and have fun. You can play the game in the camp or at the nearest meadow. With this exercise he will get his dose of movement, fun and mental agility that he needs.
Taking a dog outdoors requires some action and preparation. What you shouldn’t forget before going out there is to take your friend to a vet, get him a warm bed (and a blanket if he’s a short hair dog), food and water, his toys and a first aid kit is something happens.
My guide will help you to get the essentials. The next thing is to consider what else your pet needs to have a safe and pleasant time with you in the wild. If he is talking medications don’t forget them at home. Have fun!
About the Author
Tadej Kozar isthe founder of Camping Valley. The site is an extension of my lifestyle and passion for outdoors. Everything that I learn, experience and find valuable is on the site for you. We live in a technological era but nature is reminding us more and more that we should go to the places where our heart and soul feel like home.
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