Camping and Hiking with Your Dog: How to Do It Right

If a dog is a member of your family, camping and hiking together with your companion are one of the best ways to enjoy your spare time together. Most campsites accept pets, so you don’t have to worry about accommodation. Not to mention that if you choose backcountry camping, you’ll enjoy even more freedom.

However, there are some aspects you need to bear in mind when camping and hiking with your dog. If taking care of yourself is not a problem, you will have your dog along this time. You know it depends entirely on you, its owner and pack leader, so you must keep it safe. Whether you have a dog and would like to go camping together or you’re interested in getting a dog, the following pieces of advice will make time in the outdoors safer for both of you.

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Pick your campsite and check out the rules

In case you want to set up your tent in a proper campsite, check out the rules of that particular campsite before you actually get there. In most cases, having a dog with you on the campsite does not represent a problem. Still, there are campsites that do not accept dogs, so you should check this aspect first.

Even if they do accept pets, you may have to walk your dog on a leash around the campsite or keep it in the proximity of your tent. The idea is to keep the dog from bothering the other campers on the site. Of course, keeping your dog on a leash will prevent it from chasing wildlife or eating plants that could be poisonous. Ideally, it should listen to your commands as well, so you may want to practice on this.

Food and clean water should be sufficient

Having drinking water and food around may seem like an obvious thing to do when camping and hiking. But, you’ll have to consider your dog as well this time. It is very important to keep the dog hydrated, especially if you’re hiking during the warm season. You should not allow the dog to drink from puddles or standing water. Keep it away from salt water also, if the case. So, you should have clean, drinkable water with you at all times or find a water source that is safe for both of you.

Make sure to follow the same rules when it comes to food. Your dog should have sufficient food supplies during the camping experience. Considering that there will be a good amount of physical effort on a daily basis, you should both eat well.

Keep the dog’s paws safe

While dogs are tough and sturdy animals, their paws can get damaged or injured. If this happens, the dog will experience discomfort when walking or, in the worst case scenario, it won’t be able to walk at all. It doesn’t matter if you’re hiking during the winter, on snow, or during the summer. Both the freezing ground and hot rocks can injure the dog’s paws.

So, when packing for your next camping adventure, look for a set of special booties for your dog. You can find booties that are extremely practical and easy to use, regardless of your dog’s breed and size. Just make sure to let the dog try them on around the house and give it time to get used to them before you go hiking.

Your tent should offer sufficient room inside

If you plan on moving the tent around, camping wherever you decide it’s suitable, you need a tent that is sufficiently large. As you can tell, it will have to house you and your dog, and anyone else coming along. Considering that the weather is unpredictable, you cannot let your dog sleep out in the open. This is not safe either, as there are wild animals you’ll have to protect yourselves from.

Yellow dog in tent

Yellow dog in tent.

In case you would like to sleep separately from your dog at night, a tent with a vestibule can be an ideal choice. This way, you can set up the dog’s bed there. But, if you have a dog with short hair and the night turns out to be rather cold, make sure it sleeps comfortably. Offer it an extra blanket or allow it to sleep in with you.

>> See also: Can You Wash a Tent in a Washing Machine? The Myths and The Reality

Have your dog checked by a vet before you leave

It would be ideal to have your dog checked out by a vet before your expedition. This way, you avoid missing any potential problems that may get aggravated in time. Not to mention that your vet can give your dog medication for ticks and fleas. These two bugs can be an issue during warm months, so it is definitely worth taking precaution measures.

If fleas are just annoying and bothering, ticks can transmit severe diseases, so a camping experience can turn into a tragedy instead of being a fun experience. Thus, tick medication is one of the things you must remember about before you even leave home.

Pack several supplies for your dog, besides food

If food and food and water bowls appear like normal choices, there are other items you should consider. A comb, for instance, can prove to be extremely practical. You can clear the dog’s coat with it after a hiking trip, making sure there’s nothing that can bother it. Also, don’t forget about toys. Even if you think that your dog won’t get the chance to get bored out in the open, its favorite toy will actually calm it down. Being away from home, even in your company, can be rather stressful for the dog, so help it relax by bringing along its favorite items.

Don’t forget about a first aid kit for your dog

A responsible camper and hiker always carries around a first aid kit. But, the one you have for yourself may not provide what you need in case your dog has an emergency. So, it would be best to get a pet first aid kit. You should be able to find it in pet stores. If not, you can always talk with your vet about it and create a kit on your own. The vet will tell you about the essentials the kit should contain.

What kind of dogs can go camping and hiking?

When it comes to camping, any dog can do it. Even if you have a small breed, you can easily have it camping with you, as long as you keep it safe against the weather and low temperatures. But, if you plan on hiking, a dog with a higher level of energy and physical resistance will do better. If you don’t want to get a large dog, a mini Goldendoodle can represent a very good choice. The Goldendoodle is a mix between a Golden Retriever and Poodle, meaning it is a medium-sized dog, which sheds very little and has a great personality.

The Goldendoodle managed to earn the hearts of very many people, with its friendliness, native intelligence, easy-going character, and loyalty. If you're interested in this type of dog, you can take a look at these mini Goldendoodle puppies for sale. They come from responsible dog breeders only, so you can be sure that you’ll get a happy and healthy companion for very many years to come.

Mitchell Wood
 

I am Mitchell, founder of muskethunting.com. Here at Musket Hunting, I provide guides on how to hunt effectively, answer reader's questions, and review on the latest hunting gears. Hunting will give you the experience that nothing else in this world can provide with.

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