Camp With A Dog While Keeping Them Clean: Yes, It’s Possible!

October 01, 2019

A lot of people enjoy heading out to the great outdoors, especially during the summer months when kids are out of school and the family can enjoy trips together. The dog is a part of the family too. He would love to be with and not left behind at a kennel and we’d like to offer some advice and how to make camping with dogs an experience that is pleasant. We will also explore some ideas on dog camping gearto help things run smoothly. Let’s take a look at some thoughts and ideas on how to keep organized, keep the dog clean, and still enjoy your trip.

Practice Outdoor Skills Before You Need Them

Camping with dogs that are not trained well can be especially challenging. You should do some foundation training with your dog to ensure that your life is more controlled when you’re all outdoors and in a camping situation.

First of all, make sure that your dog understands basic things such as:

  • Comes when called
  • Sits when told
  • Stays when told
  • Is friendly and safe around people and other dogs
  • How to walk on a loose leash without dragging anyone

With those basic skills under your belt and a lot of work on socialization, your trip will be so much easier. You will also be ensuring that dog friendly camping is always available. It’s up to you to make sure that your dog isn’t a nuisance so that campsites and parks remain dog-friendly. Camping with a dog is not guaranteed as a right.

Many beaches, for example, don’t allow dogs anymore because of past bad behaviors and owners who didn’t pick-up after their dogs. Don’t be that owner. Make sure that your dog is the perfect ambassador for doggy campers everywhere.

Also, make sure that you’re the perfect owner who brings doggy bags to clean-up after your family member. No one wants to step in dog poop or to have the flies that it attracts on a hot summer day.

Making the Trip Successful

Camping with dogs doesn’t need to be difficult if we make the dog partly responsible for his own stuff. Having the right dog camping gear will make everything much easier. A collapsible water bowl that can be taken on hikes is essential. You should take him a bit of food as a snack and plenty of water when you are on the move.

Consider getting a doggy backpack that he can wear on hikes. Place his water, his food, and his collapsible bowl into his backpack. Many people find that carrying a pack, that shouldn’t weigh more than 6 pounds for even a big dog, helps them be calmer and more worn-out after a hike too. That’s a nice bonus that will have him napping by the fire later when you are trying to cook supper.

It’s also more dog friendly camping for him if he has things to do that keep him involved and well-exercised. He’ll love camping!

Beware of bugs. It’s a fantastic idea to make sure that your dog is on monthly flea and tick prevention. Camping with a dog is a good way to get ticks if your dog isn’t on tick prevention. Sprays are also available that you can use for ticks.

Give your dog a spray to keep mosquitoes away too. He doesn’t like them any more than you do, so take that into consideration. If you’ve got a white dog with very fine or thin fur, remember to use sunscreen. He’ll be very susceptible to sunburn and that is not fun for him at all.

In the Car and In the Woods

Remember that your dog will need potty breaks just like everyone else. Have water available for him in the car. A great hack is to have water in a plastic gallon jug and a second-gallon jug cut in half with the whole jug sitting inside of it.

When the dog needs a drink, the bottom jug is a quick bowl that tucks away easily when not in use, underneath the first jug. It’s very stable on the floorboard of the car that way too.

Take some Dramamine for your dog, or even CBD oil for pets. They both can help with nausea that sometimes happens on longer trips. Many dogs get very ill and can vomit violently from car sickness.

Dogs can have Benadryl if they are stung by a bee or have any allergic reaction to things in the woods. Please, consult your veterinarian for the proper dosage for your dog because it is weight dependent.

Keeping your dog clean is usually as simple as keeping a blanket that he can lay on while at the campsite. Bring loads of pet wipes. Short-haired dogs are easier to keep clean because pet wipes are as good as bathing them in most cases.

If you have a long-haired dog, consider bringing a ‘waterless shampoo’ that you can add to his fur with a good rub. Most of these shampoos are foaming and you work it into their coat with a brush. It leaves them smelling great and looking nice in a few minutes.

Plan for the Worst Scenario

When traveling with your dog, keep his vaccination records in the car with you in case it ever becomes an issue. Some states have laws that require those records to be with you if you are transporting an animal across state lines.

Keep information about your dog in the car, in case of an emergency. If you are in an accident and your dog escapes the vehicle, emergency responders will know to look for your dog and whether or not he is vaccinated if you have that information with you in the car, in a visible location.

Have an extra collar, extra leash, and more food for your dog than you think you’ll need. It never fails that a leash breaks or a squirrel helps himself to your dog’s food. Just plan effectively and then bring extra. You’ll be glad that you did and your dog will be overjoyed to be a part of the family vacation every year from now on.