Pets Along for the Ride

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How can you leave when you have those sad eyes staring at the door, then back at you holding your bags?  If you’re anything like me, you can’t.  Your pets are part of your family and they go where you go (where ever possible).  Let’s be honest, most of us are not bringing our cats and/or iguana’s along – we are talking about our dogs here. So those of you who are bringing birds or what not, may not get as much information out of this as the dog people. (I give you kudos for wanting to share your trip with your pets!)

Pre-Planning

  1. If you can believe it, not everyone in this world loves dogs!  I know, I was shocked too, but it’s true.  And due to that fact, not all places allow animals.  Call ahead if you are staying in a national park or maintained campsite to find out what the rules are pertaining to animals.
  2. Make sure your dogs are healthy.  Get your dogs up to date on their shots, or make sure you have enough of their medication on hand.  Even taking a copy of the health records is not a bad idea.
  3. Make sure they have tags with their name and your phone number on their collar.  If you are going to be staying at one site for an extended period, it would be helpful if you had temporary tags made that listed the campsite number you are staying at.

Equipment

  • Baggies/ Pooper-Scooper – nothing worse than stepping in somebody else dog’s poo – Clean it up!
  • Flea Collars/ Animal Safe Insect Repellant – they hate being attacked by bugs just like we do!
  • Favorite toys from home – bring just 1 or 2
  • Pet Carrier/shelter – If you don’t want Fido on your bed while you camp…bringing their own bed will eliminate that option
  • Take Breaks – if you are traveling for a long time, make sure you stop and allow them to get out and stretch their legs and take potty breaks.
  • Leash – probably will be required at camp

Notable Mentions

  • Please do not lock your dog in a car or RV during the day….the temps can become unbearably hot in just a few minutes.
  • Once you arrive, make sure your dog is being courteous to your camping neighbors – you don’t want to get off on the wrong foot.
  • Be aware of your dog’s athletic ability – if he hasn’t been walked in a while, he’s probably not ready for the 5 mile hike!
  • Do not let the dog or the dog’s food spend the night outside – there are many critters that can be dangerous.

I hope this helped you and Fido to discover a wonderful camping trip had by all.  If you have any other tips, please help us all and leave a comment!