The True Meaning of ‘Pup Tent’

If you are planning a camping trip with your dog, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Although our four-legged friends can be wonderful camping companions, it's up to us to take safety precautions seriously.

For example, urban pooches should be eased into wilderness hiking gradually. Start by taking them on day trips to state and county parks. Unless they are used to the outdoors, city dogs might have tender paws and might need to ease into hiking rough terrain. Going on shorter hikes will help your dog build muscle strength and fitness before you go camping.

If you are planning a camping trip with your dog, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Although our four-legged friends can be wonderful camping companions, it's up to us to take safety precautions seriously.

For example, urban pooches should be eased into wilderness hiking gradually. Start by taking them on day trips to state and county parks. Unless they are used to the outdoors, city dogs might have tender paws and might need to ease into hiking rough terrain. Going on shorter hikes will help your dog build muscle strength and fitness before you go camping.

As much as we enjoy taking our dogs camping, our enthusiasm might not be shared by camp owners and managers. Before you go, you'll want to research which campgrounds are open to dogs, and then take care to obey posted restrictions for leashing your pet and cleaning up after them. Also, check to see if dogs are allowed on the trails, or if there are special trails set aside for dogs. Remember, some campgrounds charge an additional fee for dogs.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning your trip:
  • Schedule a pre-camping visit to your pet's veterinarian for needed shots.
  • Consider getting a Lyme disease vaccine if your vet advises it.
  • Pack your pet's current health records as well as your vet's phone number.
  • Make sure to update your dog's license and identification tags.
  • Consider getting your pet a microchip identification or tattoo that instantly registers your pet into a national database.
  • Pack your pet's medications and copies of prescriptions.
  • Supervise your dog closely around children, other visitors, and other dogs.
  • Keep your dog quiet. Frequent and continued barking disturbs the wildlife and other campers.
  • Allow your dog time to adjust to the new surroundings.
  • Make sure your pet stays hydrated and has plenty of time to rest after exertion.
  • Pack an ample supply of seal-able bags to dispose of waste properly.
  • Monitor weather conditions and how extreme cold or heat might affect your dog.

One not-so-great reminder about the great outdoors: Your dog will have increased exposure to ticks and fleas. Make sure to take the proper tick/flea collars, repellents or systemic flea applications.