Archive for July, 2011

Taking a Dog Camping

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

If there are two things, I love the most if the world, then they are my pets and nature. I own two rabbits and a dog. As a dog owner, I knew what to do as my friends had dogs too and we kept exchanging good ideas to keep our dogs healthy, but when it came to my rabbits I was really worried and always filled with questions like Are apples safe for your rabbit to eat? And what type of house is ideal for them?

Recently on a treck, if there is one thing I have learnt, then that is dogs and camping go rather well together. Dogs love the outdoors and many outdoor lovers who dont not have allergy to dogs, love dogs. It’s a match made in heaven, but there are some precautions and tips to be aware of when taking your dog camping.

Check and Prevent for Ticks

Most camping settings are loaded with ticks just dying to latch onto your dog as a host. Ticks can cause life-threatening diseases for your dog. You should be applying a tick and flea preventative medicine on your dog, such as Frontline Plus, on a monthly basis anyway. This is especially important if you are taking your dog into an outdoor, woodsy setting. Check for tigs regularly on your trip and have a pair of tweezers on hand to remove the entire tick (head included) from your dog.

Bring a Reminder of Home

While dogs love being outdoors, camping can also be anxiety-inducing for them if they do not feel a sense of home or “den” (remember, they evolved from wolves). Bring a special blanket or dog-bed along. Help adjust the dog to the campsite by taking him or her on a leashed walk around the premises before returning to the site of their familiar bed/blanket. This will help build a sense of normalcy for the dog and allow him or her to have a more enjoyable time with you while camping.

Bring Toys

Camping is a great chance for a real rowdy game of a tug-of-war or fetch with your dog. Let them get out all of that inner canine energy with their favorite toys and games in the great outdoors.

Store Food Safely

A loose, open container of dog food is an invitation to whatever animals may be nearby to come inspect. Keep your best dog food sealed until he or she is ready to eat. If your dog can subsist solely on “wet” dog food for a few days, just bring along a few packages of that and feed him or her at their appropriate feeding time. Just be aware that if your dog is considerably more active while camping than they are normally that their appetite may increase.

Use Common Sense Precautions

Don’t take your dog camping and insist that he or she sleep with you in the tent when it’s 100 degrees with humidity outdoors. Dogs are very prone to heat-related sickness, moreso than humans. Be aware of this and always provide ample water, shade, and resting time for your dog.

Bring poop-scoop bags to clean up your dog’s waste.

Bring a brush and brush him or her nightly to remove various burrs, twigs, etc from their coat.

Make sure your dog has an identification tag.

Bring a leash and stake to tie him or her to, especially if part of your camping itinerary is involves getting rowdy at night; you don’t want your dog wandering off while you’re not paying attention.

Be aware that not all fellow campers and woodland critters are especially fond of your dog. Be responsible and sympathetic to this, especially if your dog is prone to barking or biting at strangers.