So, you’re planning a family camping trip, and naturally you don’t want to leave any family members behind. With a little preparation, your dog (and in some cases, even your cat) can join in the fun. Just remember that a pet’s needs are slightly different from your own, and plan accordingly.
Check the rules. Just to be sure, check to see if pets are allowed at your chosen campground or park. In most cases they are, but there might be additional rules you need to follow.
Make sure your pet is wearing identification. He should be wearing a collar and tag, that displays your cell phone number. Even better, get your pet microchipped. In the event that she escapes her collar, whomever finds her will be able to track you down.
Remember water. Obviously you’re bringing your pet’s food, but some campers forget about water. Bring a bowl, and don’t let your pet drink from ponds and creeks (you never know what parasitic organisms might be lurking).
Take an emergency kit. Simple items like Benadryl, disinfectant, and an eye wash can come in handy. And of course, don’t forget any regular medications that your pet needs.
Beware the wildlife. Curious pets, especially dogs, want to sniff or even charge at every animal that they encounter. Plus, they can smell things that you can’t, and take off in a flash! The last thing you want is to drive home with a skunk-sprayed Fido in the car with you. Or worse, your pet could be injured or killed. Learn the signs of a bear presence, the sound of a rattling snake tail, and so on, so that you can avoid dangerous wildlife.
Don’t forget your leash. On that note, remember your pet’s leash so that they can’t charge off into the woods, chasing squirrels or other tempting critters.
Bring a toy or two. Bring along a Frisbee, ball, or chew toy to keep your pet occupied during down times in the campground.
Research nearby animal hospitals. Have a vet’s name and number handy before you go camping, so that you can obtain help quickly in an emergency.
Update your pet’s vaccinations. If you haven’t seen us lately, schedule an appointment before your camping trip. Let’s make sure your pet is up to date on their rabies shots or any other necessary vaccinations before you head off on your wilderness adventure.