Summer is the time for experiencing the great outdoors up close. As many of us choose camping and hiking as our mode of connecting with nature, we have considered what it would mean to take our beloved dogs along with us. Who better to ask for camping tips than 4-year-old Yellow Lab, Diesel and his human Becky Bishop, a renowned dog trainer who runs the commercial kennel and training facility Puppy Manners. Located in Woodinville, Washington, Becky’s home is Crystal Creek Farm, a 5-acre ranch where she instructs family dogs and their humans in obedience and manners. Becky’s work focuses on making puppies and family dogs into well-behaved canines, rather than on performing tricks. She is a long-time advocate of bell training, and Diesel is an old pro with PoochieBells®!
Becky offered us some great advice about camping with your dog.
Before you leave on your fun adventure, make sure your chosen campsite allows canines. Also, plan for everything, especially safety! Look up weather forecasts—if it’s going to be hot, take lots of fresh water. Hot or not, never leave your pooch in the car unattended.
- Travel safely on the way. In the car, harness or crate your pooch. Eight states have implemented secure dog laws, and the ticket can be up to $1000. Dogs are also more likely to get hurt in a car accident when unsecured, just like humans are when they aren’t wearing seat belts.
- Put together a first aid kit—dogs get hurt too, often cutting their feet or becoming overheated. Brachycephalic dogs, in particular, are prone to overheating, so do not let them overdo. Include tweezers, eye wash, gauze, scissors, a vet wrap, a sock, Benadryl, antibiotic ointment and peroxide.
- Observe your pooch’s behavior—canines can become overly territorial of your campsite. Your couch potato at home may turn into a Cujo when you’re camping. Your pooch is with you (and you count as his or her “pack”) in an unfamiliar environment. Know how to deal with this kind of behavior so you can reduce danger for your pooch and for others.
- If your pooch wanders off, leave someone behind in case he or she returns! Not everyone should leave on the search party. Dogs usually come back.
- Bring a long tether for your pooch so he or she can wander and explore comfortably, but still be easy to locate. Some breeds like to wander up to 30 miles a day, so know your pooch’s tendency and nature. Here at Poochie-Pets we offer & recommend our gentle, rotating pet tie-out the 3Sixty Fun.
- Do not leave dogs tethered alone at the campsite—bring a crate. Dogs could be stolen, get tangled up, or hunted by predators in such a vulnerable situation. If it is hot, get a battery-operated fan for the crate.
- Make sure your pooch has ID and is micro-chipped in case he or she gets lost. Tags should have your cell phone number on them—why have people call home when you won’t be there?
Do you have any camping tips to add?
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