For those who love both the outdoors and dogs, there are few more attractive ideas than taking a puppy camping; fresh air, open, expansive skies and bonding with your dog under the starry night sky; what’s not to like? However, the dream and reality of taking a puppy camping with you can be very different from one another if you don’t properly prepare beforehand. If you follow these tips for camping with dogs, though, there’s no reason why your pup-accompanied camping trip shouldn’t be everything you’ve ever wanted!
Can I Take My Puppy Camping?
Yes, absolutely! However, you need to know a few caveats and pre-conditions before you go rushing out of the door, complete with your dog in one arm and your rucksack in the other: the main two being your puppy’s vaccinations and its age.
Firstly – and before anything else – you must ensure that your puppy is fully vaccinated before you even consider taking them camping with you. Being fully vaccinated helps ensure your puppy is as protected as it can be from any nasty bugs or diseases you might encounter whilst away camping with you.
We’d always advise your puppy has reached the age of around five months before taking them camping. By this point, they tend to be better socialised (which is helpful for campsites where other dogs might be present) and more likely to cope with the physical demands that an outdoors trip tend to require.
What To Bring When Camping With a Dog?
There are several essentials you need to take with you when camping with a dog; now, camping equipment can be expensive, so to then pile more gear on top of that might not sound ideal. Fortunately, though, most camping equipment (whether general or dog-geared) can be hired rather than purchased outright, and this can save you a good deal of money if you’re looking to camp on more of a shoestring budget.
The following items can all be considered essential for when you go camping with a dog:
It sounds obvious, but whether you’re camping on a campsite (which we’d always advise with a puppy, anyway) or wild camping, you need to be able to clean up after your puppy. We’d always recommend using plant-based, compostable bags wherever possible, as these are much better for the environment than the single-use plastic alternatives.
First aid kit
Again, another obvious one for whether you’re camping with your dog or not, but it only takes one forgetful moment to not have a first aid kit with you, and sod’s law is that’s when you’ll end up needing it. These days, various brands offer first aid kits specifically designed for humans and dogs, reducing the need for two separate kits and saving on space (and money).
Purchasing a lightweight camping dog bed (of which there are countless options out there on the market) will make sure your dog remains both comfortable and warm and means they’re more likely to get a full and restful sleep. Nobody wants to be kept up by a restless dog all night. You might also want to consider getting an elevated, foldable dog bed; these beds, which typically sit a couple of inches off the ground, don’t get as cold because there’s no direct contact between the bed and the tent’s groundsheet.
Collapsible dog bowl
Being efficient with your space is an integral feature of any good camping experience. Taking a ‘lot’ of stuff that doesn’t take up a ‘lot’ of space is something that any seasoned camper will advocate. You’re already taking a lot of equipment with you when you go camping before you even think about bringing your dog along. When you factor in your canine companion, you quickly realise just how savvy you’ll need to be with your space. A collapsible dog bowl is an absolute essential, not just when you’re camping with your dog but whenever you’re out and about with them.
Ideally, your puppy should have a tag on its collar wherever it goes, especially camping. Out in nature, when you let your dog off the lead, there are countless more temptations and distractions, and it takes much less for your pup to go off on its own little adventure – no matter how good your recall. A dog tag is a great reassurance should someone come across your dog, as they can quickly ring you up and reunite you both.
How to Keep Dogs Warm While Camping
One of the essential tips for camping with dogs is to make sure they’re kept warm at night; anybody who’s ever been camping knows just how cold it can get at night when you’re out under the stars and how vital a good-quality sleeping bag is to help keep you nice and toasty. How, though, can you keep your dog warm while camping? There are several things you can do to keep your pup warm, including:
Using a thermal fleece
Now, whether you’re a staunch advocate of doggy clothing or not, these (relatively inexpensive) items of clothing can make all the difference in helping keep your dog’s temperature up whilst camping.
Upping their food intake slightly
Like humans, dogs use more energy when colder to keep themselves warm. If you use more energy, you burn more calories, and if you burn more calories? Then you need to eat more. Dogs are no exception, so if you’re going camping with your dog, then put a bit of extra kibble in their bowl – after all, it’s not like they’ll be complaining!
Keep your puppy dry
Your pup getting damp is a quick route to a cold, shivering pup. If you’ve been out in the rain or your dog has gone for a swim in the nearby stream, then make sure you towel them off thoroughly before hunkering down for the night. Drying your dog will help ensure its core body temperature stays stable and right where it should be.
Other Tips for Camping with Dogs and Puppies
Other top tips for camping with dogs and puppies include layering up your camp with as many blankets as possible; not only will this make the tent more comfortable, it’ll help keep it warmer, too, which is excellent for you as well as your puppy.
Next, always have a pack of wet wipes or baby wipes on hand. It’s remarkable just how mucky your pup can get itself in the great outdoors, and whilst some camping sites will have access to shower facilities, not all will, and this is a decent alternative to help clean up your mud-covered pup – at least partially.
Finally, make sure you have a dog tick remover in your pack. When your puppy is galavanting through forests, fields and other parts of nature, they’re going to be more
exposed to picking up ticks. A tick remover is a cheap and easy piece of equipment that might save a lot of veterinary hassle down the line.
Going on a camping trip with your puppy is an incredibly exciting prospect. Provided you put in the appropriate preparation beforehand, there’s no reason why your holiday shouldn’t go off without a hitch! We’ve got a wide range of items here at Beco that’ll stand you in good stead for your first camping trip away with your puppy, including poop bags (and dispensers), collapsible bowls and toys!
Article written by Author: Jessica Simpson