Camping with pets is something in which many people are interested. Because our pets are part of the family, we wouldn’t want them to miss out on any adventures. So how can you go camping with pets the RIGHT way?
Camping is always fun when you go with family members and friends. However, camping with pets can make your adventure even more enjoyable when your beloved pets are with you in the wilderness.
Domesticated animals, however, may behave differently in the great outdoors.
Pets can be wonderful camping and hiking buddies. However, it is not just a matter of bringing the right camping equipment to ensure your pet’s safety.
You have to prevent any undue stress on your pet and avoid causing any discomfort to other campers. Understand that not all people enjoy hanging out with dogs, cats, or any household pets.
It might look like you are just trying to re-acquaint your pet to the wild, but not all pets are emotionally prepared to spend a few days in the forest, beach, or desert.
Dogs, specifically, can get highly excitable and stressed when you put them in a new and strange environment. If you are not sure whether your pet is camp-ready or not, then ask yourself these important questions:
1. Is your pet the camping type?
Just because you enjoy being outdoors doesn’t mean your pet feels the same way.
Mostly, people with dogs just assume that they would easily adapt to a new environment. Unfortunately, not all dogs are made for camping. Breeds like the Labrador Retriever, Vizsla, and Australian Shepherds are usually great hiking and camping buddies.
However, pugs, terriers, and other short-nosed breeds are normally bad campers, as they are prone to heatstroke. It all depends on how well-adjusted your pets are once they are allowed to roam outside their territory.
If your pet is not used to being outside, you might want to prepare them a few weeks before your scheduled camping trip. Take them around a few hours at a time for practice to help them get used to the changing environment.
Start with the neighborhood park and allow your pet to run, smell the grass, or climb on top of low-lying tree branches. This is a great way to start your camping with pets adventure.
2. Can your pet be tied to a leash or left in a crate?
Whilst you might be tempted to let your pet loose in the wild, this is not recommended because (1) they might run off somewhere and be lost forever and (2) they might disturb the other campers or wreak havoc in the surroundings due to their curious nature.
You must remember that most people go camping to get away from the noisy hustle-bustle of the city, so taking a difficult-to-restrain pet can be very distracting to them.
When camping with pets anywhere, secure your pet in your campsite at all times.
3. Are pets even allowed in the camp site?
Before your trip, the first thing to ask is whether your chosen campsite allows pets in. National or state parks, in particular, have strict rules against bringing in pets.
But don’t despair. There are still several pet-friendly parks in Australia that will allow you to bring your beloved pets to the campsite.
These parks have different rules that you need to follow.
Tips when Camping with Pets
Of course, there’s also the matter of what to do when the campsite allows pets with you. Bringing a pet to a camping trip is a big responsibility.
Aside from feeding and taking care of your pet’s needs, you have to make sure it does not cause any mess in the campsite.
Before embarking on your camping trip, make sure that everything is ready and your pet is prepared to stay several days away from home.
1. DO visit your vet for a pre-camp check-up
Is your pet healthy enough for the trip? You might want to update all your pet’s vaccinations and take the necessary medical precautions, especially if you are camping in areas where there are ticks and fleas.
You might also want to check if your pet is already due for a heartworm vaccine. Bring all the vaccination certificates with you on the trip as you’ll never know when you are going to need it.
2. DON’T forget to update your pet’s ID.
Attach ID tags on your pets with your name and mobile number when you bring them on a camping trip.
This way, no matter what happens, people who find your runaway pet can contact you for information.
3. DO check the campsite regulations on pet leash.
Just because a campsite allowed you to bring your pet doesn’t mean that your pet will be granted unrestricted freedom in the campsite.
Most pet-friendly campgrounds have different regulations on the use of leashes, so try to inquire beforehand what rules you have to follow.
4. DON’T leave your pet’s poop.
The reason most state and national parks forbid dogs on their campsites is because they leave a rather strong odour when they relieve themselves in the wild.
This disturbs the natural habitat, causing undue stress on the forest animals and campers. Always bring a poop bag with you and be ready to pick up after your pets.
Aside from safety reasons, picking your pet’s waste is a sign of respect for the environment and your fellow campers.
Bring Camping Gear
When camping with pets, it is important to bring the proper camping gear and accessories to keep them safe.