12 things about camping with your dogs you will never read in any book.
When I first started writing this blog - it quickly dawned on me that camping with dogs has as much benefit to our 4 legged furry family members as it does for us, their adoptive parents. In a world that currently has a major growing mental & physical health epidemic, too many of us are glued to our computer screens - tablets & smart phones indoors! With many large commercial tech companies now employing psychologists to keep people engaged for as long as possible - getting our loved ones wanting to get outside the house is a tough ask, let alone out and into Mother Nature camping! This is where I see dogs doing wonders for us humans, they make exercise through fun, play & love! So pack your adventure walking boots/shoes - your dog leads - plenty of food and water and take your pooch camping…. it’s a win/ win for everyone and so good for our mind, body & soul!
Preparing to head off camping
- Call ahead first & do your due diligence.
Not only do you want to make certain the camp ground destination you are heading to is dog friendly - some camp grounds that do cater for dogs will only allow them in off-peak season (especially important for those travelling around Australia, who camp in both Peak & Off-Peak seasons) Remember, dogs are not permitted in National Parks. https://parksaustralia.gov.au/
- Microchip your dog & ensure your details are up to date.
Micro chipping is a no brainer, should your pup get lost and end up in the hands of a vet or pound, technology will definitely aid in reconnecting you. Customized pet collars are available, so you can have your name & or phone number added on to it. This means that anyone with a phone can contact you, should your dog get lost (could save you a lot of money in fees!)
- Take familiar things like toys.
When your camping with dogs it's important to keep our loved pooches stress free in the unfamiliar place, by packing things familiar to your dog like its toys, Outdoor Connection Dog Bed & fleecy dog mat. You want your pooch to enjoy the camping trip as well.
- Pack plenty of excess water for your pooch
When out in mother nature, many of our camp grounds have more room to roam than you could poke a stick at! More room to run usually equals more energy to be used & more energy used equals more dehydration. Carry more water than you would usually expect your K 9 to use…. because he or she will probably use it! It’s also a good idea to make sure you have enough of your dog’s favourite food packed as well – murphy’s law says you won’t find your dog’s brand when you need it!
When at your campsite
- Scope your camp site first.
Just like we scope our camping location before we set up our tent so not to damage it, scope it for the sake of your dog’s health & well being as well. Prickles - ant nests - dead animals (eg: toads). As the old saying goes - prevention is better than the cure!
- Keep your dog on a leash.
We’re all across this at the end of the day. No one loves your dog like you do & others may not appreciate your dog’s kisses…. as much as you do! But regardless of this, keeping your dog on a leash will help enormously in keeping your dog away from poisonous plants & animals off the beaten track…. we are in Australia after all! Perhaps you could create a run by your campground giving him or her room to stretch while you relax (just keep an eye out in case they get caught up).
- Camp in a family tent with loads of room.
Dogs are an important part of our family, so ensuring their comfort & safety from the harsh elements outside (you never know what the weather could cough up!) is important. A tent with an enclosed front room / vestibule & designed with smart multi access points (like The Outdoor Connection Aria Elite 2), will most definitely make life a lot more comfortable for all of you.
- If your puppy sleeps well - you’ll sleep well!
With innovations like the compact folding Outdoor Connection Dog Bed & the super comfortable Fleecy dog mat to suit (insulated & warm for winter camping), you’re giving yourselves a greater chance of an uninterrupted sleep for your dog. In simple terms, if your pup sleeps better…. you sleep better & we all get to wake up with more energy & pumped ready to take on the day’s fun activities!
- Take your adventure Runners / sand shoes!
Dogs offer us so much more than we could ever realize when it comes to exercise. Taking them on a good walk is a sure way to do this & when in the great outdoors, having suitable footwear for ourselves, will ensure we lift the heart rate a bit!
- Stick to the walking track.
The warning signs are everywhere and they’re there for a genuine reason, it’s all in the name of safety! By sticking to the track, your safety increases exponentially.
- Prevent your pup’s car sickness
Keeping your pooch distracted does wonders for travelling in cars when it comes to car sickness. Allowing them to see what’s going on outside the vehicle (especially facing forward) and giving them toys to play with will most definitely reduce their anxiety & this will inturn help reduce the chances of car sickness. Just in case, it’s always a good idea to put them on top of a water proof lining in your vehicle (sickness can make a mess of your car!) - this is where laying down the likes of a small Outdoor Connection Tarp, would be ideal!
If your dog is like mine, it will be so tired after the camping trip it will sleep all the way home.
- Check your dogs when you arrive home
It’s part and parcel of being outdoors in Australia with animals. Without a doubt prevention is better than the cure when it comes to ticks and fleas - so keeping your 4 legged friend up to date with their treatment is a must. But just to be safe, don’t forget to check them over for ticks and fleas as well as things like prickles or burrs between their toes and around their paws.