Camping Stories Camping Tips

Camping With Linus

Camping with your dog
When camping with your dog, make sure he has a spot of his own
Camping with dogs can provide hours of fun for both you, and your canine companion. With a little research, and taking the time to ensure your dog's needs are met in a potentially new environment, camping can be a great experience for you both.

Linus is a rescue.  He’s a Border Collie/Lab mix that was rescued from a shelter shortly before he was going to be euthanized.  We adopted him from the rescue in 2014.  This dog absolutely loves life, and being part of our family.

I’m not sure if this applies to all dogs, but I’m pretty sure it applies to MOST dogs.  They like to be involved in what their human companions are doing.  They aren’t fussy about what it is, as long as they are included.  That being said, many dogs also love to be outside, because there are all sorts of things to stimulate them.  New sights, sounds, and most of all smells, can keep them occupied for endless amounts of time.  Our dog Linus is no exception.  He just wants to go with us wherever we go.  And if that involves outdoor activities, all the better.  So the first time we took him camping, it was dog heaven!

Linus is a rescue.  He’s a Border Collie/Lab mix that was rescued from a shelter shortly before he was going to be euthanized.  We adopted him from the rescue in 2014.  This dog absolutely loves life, and being part of our family.  The first time we took him camping, we weren’t sure what to expect.  We were at a campground where he had to stay on leash.  So when we set up camp, we put a rug down near a tree that we could attach his lead to, put his food and water nearby, and set up the rest of our campsite.

One thing that we were concerned about, was that our dog really follows a certain routine.  All the dogs we have had do this to varying degrees, but Linus REALLY sticks to a routine.  He hadn’t been with us long, so I wasn’t sure how quickly he would adapt to a different setting and routine around the campsite.  But as long as he had a spot, and he was involved in what we were doing, he was fine.  

Here are some more useful tips to keep in mind when camping with your dog.

Here are some more useful tips to keep in mind when camping with your dog.  

  • Be vigilant with their water dish.  Staying outside all day, just from the added excitement of camping, they will drink more.  If it’s warm, even more so.  
  • Walk often!  Linus won’t go to the bathroom at our campsite.  At home, he goes to the tall grass at the edge of the lawn, because he doesn’t like to poop where he runs and plays, and we are lucky that this carries over to our campsite.  But walking them away from your site and encouraging them to use those trips to go to the bathroom will keep your site clean.  Bring something along to pick up after them just in case though.  Know the rules about where to walk your dog and what to do with any waste before you go.
    Camping Activities With Your Dog
    Camping with your dog can include many fun activities like hiking, and looking for squirrels
  • Pick a camping area that has activities that you and your dog can enjoy together.  Hiking trails are the best!  There are so many things to see and do on hikes, and it’s something your dog will love doing with you.  Linus’ favorite activity was checking which trees had recently been climbed by a squirrel or chipmunk.  He would smell the base of each tree we passed (luckily I wasn’t in a hurry to get back to camp, there were a lot of trees).  The trees with recent visitors would require stopping and looking up into the top of the tree for a few minutes, to make sure they weren’t currently there.  
  • Lots of outdoor time means ticks and fleas.  Take precautions to prevent problems from fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and heartworm.  See your vet on this topic, well in advance of your trip.  Bring along something to remove ticks if your dog does get bitten.  Here’s an article on this site on removing ticks that is applicable for dogs and their humans.  
  • It never hurts to check ahead of time, and know where the closest veterinary clinic is to your campground.  I always bring a first aid kit camping in case anything happens to me or my family, and your pet is no different.  Here is a link to some basic first aid tips for your pet.   
  • And most importantly, know the rules.  Before your trip, make sure you know if dogs are allowed, and if they are restricted to specific areas where you are camping.  The worst thing that can happen is to get there, and find that dogs are not allowed, or to go off walking and learn that there are areas you are not supposed to take your dog.

Here are more great tips for camping with dogs from dog trainer Cesar Millan.  So take care of your dog.  Make sure you pay attention to them, and their health.  And enjoy the chance to share an activity.  With the proper research and care, camping with your dog can be a great experience with you both.

Tell us what you and your dog love to do together when camping in the comments section!

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