Tips for Summertime Camping with Dogs
Before You Go
Make sure your destination is dog friendly. Set up your tent and sleeping bag. Let your dog sniff around and get used to her new home. Ditto for a headlamp, which can take dogs some getting used to. If the nights will be chilly, get your dog her own sleeping bag (a child-size bag can work) or a warm blanket. Pack flea, tick and heartworm medications as needed, and bring a copy of your dog’s medical records, vaccinations and ownership papers, just in case.
Anchor your dog’s leash. You can buy a metal spiral to twist into the ground, or clip the leash to some parachute cord tied between two trees, allowing Fido freer reign. Keep him close at hand if poisonous plants or hazardous wildlife are about. Collapsible food and water bowls make great canine travel companions. He might be very hungry or thirsty from tiring days, heat, cold or altitude. Make sure he stays fed and hydrated! Light-up dog collars are a good way to keep track of energetic pups at night.
On the Trail
If your dog is big enough, load up a doggy backpack with food, water, collapsible bowls and anything else she might need—medical supplies and booties to protect her paws, for example.
Towels, treats, toys and poop bags come in handy. Check your dog for ticks, foxtails, burrs and thorns. Brushes and tweezers make removal easier; bring oil for ticks. First-aid kits are useful for both humans and pets, and compact versions specialized for dogs are available too.