As soon as the weather gets warm enough, you are ready to grab that camping gear and head out.  But what do you do with Ranger?  Since he is family, you bring him along!

Camping with our four-legged best friend can be a fun and bonding experience.  Nothing beats sitting around a campfire with your faithful dog beside you.

Just like everything else though, camping with dogs requires some careful planning and thought.  Here are some tips to help make sure Ranger has a safe camping trip and you remain calm and stress-free.

  1. Choose a dog friendly campsite.  And make sure to check the rules of the parks and wildlife areas you plan to explore.
  2. Visit the vet before you go.   Why?
    • To make sure that your dog is up to date on vaccinations including preventative vaccines and medications for fleas, heartworm, and ticks.  Some campgrounds may require proof for entry.
    • To ask about an emergency kit and what should be in it.
    • To ask if your dog can handle the trip, especially if you have any doubts about the health or capability of your pet.
    • To find out if they have any best practices to share.
  3. Don’t forget the essentials of food and water.  Consider a collapsible dog bowl and dog-friendly water bottle.  But wait!  Make sure to pack those dog treats and chew toys!  
  4. Invest in the right gear.  We do it for ourselves and the same rule applies to our canine companion.  Give some thought to a doggie backpack for those treats, the collapsible dog bowl, etc. … you’ll want to ease your dog into this so practice before you go.
  5. Towels are a must if you’re going be near water.  Plus very useful for wiping paws before laying down on any blankets or joining you in your tent.
  6. Enjoy nature as you found it.  Always pick up your dog’s waste and dispose of properly where indicated.  At your campsite and when you take breaks, make sure to clean up food crumbs, spilled treats, toys, and packaging.
  7. Leashes/Tie-Outs.  Bring several leashes:  a long one for the campsite, a short one for walks and hikes.  Pack extra stakes for readymade leash anchors.

And finally, bring along your sense of humor and have fun.  And don’t forget to take lots of pictures!


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