By Jessica Kelly
We all love camping. It can be incredibly rewarding to spend time in the great outdoors, away from everyday life and responsibilities. But what’s a great way to make a camping trip even better? Adding a pet into the mix! Camping with your dog can be an exciting new addition to your adventure, but if you need some tips on the best way to go about this, look no further.
Find suitable campsites
First thing’s first, you’ll need to find a dog-friendly campsite. There are plenty of sites with dog-friendly areas, so check them out in advance before you book anything.
Also, make sure the site has amenities which suit your furry friend’s needs; such as easy to access water outlets, as well as bins in order to get rid of doggy waste bags. If you’re camping near a beach, make sure there are no restrictions on where you can take your dog – the last thing you want is to get there and have nowhere to go! National Parks and forests are usually quite flexible when it comes to dog camping, but always check the rules before planning in full.
Prep for the journey
If you’re driving, make sure it’s comfortable for your dog, especially if it’s a long journey.
Plan stops which last for at least 15 minutes (ideally 30), for every 3 hours of driving you do, and pack plenty of food and water. Make sure you don’t feed them too much, though – you don’t want to be stopping off more than you need to!
It’s also probably not a good idea to blast loud music in the car either, you want your dog to be relaxed and calm upon arrival, not worked up – especially if you’re arriving at your site late in the evening when neighbours are wanting to wind-down.
Make the most of the exercise
We all know how important it is to keep active and healthy, and this also applies to your dog too.
83% of vets are reporting an increase in the number of overweight pets being brought to see them, so it’s definitely a growing problem (source: Direct Line). Embarking on a camping adventure can be a great way to switch things up and get your dog the exercise they need, with space to roam in the great outdoors.
Put aside at least an hour a day whilst you’re away to get the exercise in, whether that’s heading out for a hike, running along the beach, or playing fetch in one of the local fields. Plus, you might find other campers with their own dogs, so you can buddy up and take them out together – fun!
Taking a dog camping with you is like taking children in many ways; it’s another mouth to feed and another character to think about during your trip. With this in mind, it’s important to pack efficiently so you can make the most of your time away.
Above all, make sure you pack enough supplies to clean up properly after your pooch – the last thing you want is to run out in the middle of nowhere! If you have a tent, try a quick-pitch one so the dog doesn’t get impatient waiting. Also, if you get it up quickly, it means your dog can familiarise themselves with the smell in enough time before relaxing for the evening.
And of course, pack enough supplies such as food, water, and clean towels to clean those muddy paws (and the rest!), as well as something that’s comfortable enough for them to sleep in. But remember not to overfeed them – you don’t want to be getting up at all hours in the night to let them out, or to make them sleepy and sluggish before an adventurous day.
Last but not least, make sure you have a first aid kit, even if it’s a basic one for any paw-related cuts. And check with your vet if you’re travelling anywhere you’re uncertain about, or if you have any questions on them sleeping with you in a tent or camper van.
Camping with your pup is a great idea – it’s a fresh new way to enjoy the great outdoors, and get your pooch out and about exercising with you. Plus, it could be the adventure of a lifetime, depending on how far afield you go!