Camping With Your Dog

     We at Camp Riverslanding know that a family adventure absolutely includes our four legged friends! If you’re looking to bring your dog along with you, we encourage you to read on to learn some tips for a crew of happy (barky) campers.
     Before you pack it all up and head out, take some time to work with your dog and refresh some important commands. A reliable recall command is especially important, as well as a “leave it” command. You should be absolutely certain that your dog will come when you call, and won’t pick up anything they shouldn’t on a hiking trail. It’s also a good idea to make a visit to the vet before leaving town, especially if you have an older animal, to make sure your pet is up to the adventure. Double check that your dog is up to date on flea and tick treatment/wears a flea collar.
     Start slowly – if your dog (or puppy) is getting geared up for their first camping/hiking trip, start small. Do some research beforehand on what an appropriate length hike would be safe for your pup.
Take the essentials – your dog relies on water to cool down, so pack a collapsible or light weight water bowl and a water bottle just for them.
     Keep in mind that dogs shouldn’t carry any extra weight until they’re fully grown (this is another good reason to visit the vet before your trip.) If your dog is going to carry extra weight, make sure that their equipment is comfortable for them to wear and carry around and won’t cause blisters or other injuries.
     Invest a few dollars in a light for your dog’s collar, to keep him visible to you and other campers at night. Look for a flashing red one that is waterproof and sturdy enough to keep up with a rough and tumble dog!
    To an extent, dog first aid is similar to human first aid as far as bleeding or preventing infection. Again, your vet is the best resource for information, but look into bringing a dog specific first aid kit just in case of emergency.
     Be Prepared – Depending on what time of year you’re planning to camp, be aware that the temperature outside affects your dog just like you. Overheating or freezing are serious dangers for dogs, especially house dogs that have adapted to moderate, managed temperatures indoors. In hot weather, keep your dog well hydrated, and in cold weather bring along a dog coat and booties to protect their paws from ice and salt.
     Be patient – Just like every other aspect of being a dog parent, giving our dog camping experience takes time and patience. If your dog knows that they can trust you, you can train them to do anything.Your furry friend will be an outdoor pro in no time!