Think you’ve seen it all in the world of outdoor recreation? Think again. According to recent surveys, more and more people are taking their dog’s camping with them. It’s easy to see why, dogs enjoy being outside getting exercise, sniffing the great outdoors, and hanging out with you.
But there are some common mistakes people make when camping with their dogs, including not having a physical plan for their outing. Although it might be tempting to just let the dog wander around the campsite, they need to be prepared with some basic guidelines in case something happens.
“Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean that there aren’t dangers“, said Tania Millen. “Deer ticks are everywhere, so you want to make sure your dog is protected and doesn’t pick one up.”
It’s also important to keep an eye on the environment, take a map and compass in case you get lost, and always have a couple of light sources with you when in the great outdoors. Millen also suggests bringing some water purification tablets in case you get stranded.
The first rule of dog camping is to have fun! If it’s not enjoyable for your pooch, he may be more likely to destroy the gear or run off on his own. That being said, here are some common mistakes that Millen has seen while out and about with her customers and their dogs.
Common mistakes people make when going camping with their dogs
1. Leaving puppies at home
Millen says that many people don’t realize that it’s important to bring along a young dog on his first camping trip–even if he’s not old enough to join you in the tent. That way, as he gets older you can gauge how he is going to handle being in the woods.
2. Not bringing a crate
The old-fashioned wire crates have been replaced with travel crates that are collapsible and fit into backpacks, but it’s still important to bring one along for your dog when hiking through the forest or going on a long drive home from camp. Dogs should never be left out in the tent alone.
3. Letting dogs run around:
“You have to keep a close eye on your dog when you take him camping,” said Millen. She says that many people believe they can just let their dog wander, but this is a quick way to lose control of the situation and potentially lose your pet for good.
4. Feeding your dog differently:
Don’t forget to bring along the food and bowls when you go camping with your dog. It may be tempting to let him hunt for his own meals, but this is a good way to lose control of the situation and potentially lose your pet for good.”
5. Forgetting about potty breaks:
Just like when they were puppies, dogs need to stop and relieve themselves regularly. When you’re camping with your dog, make sure that they can take care of business on their own without you having to carry them the whole way there.
6. Forgetting about gear:
There are many different items you should bring along on your camping trip with your dog, but one of the most important ones is a leash. You should also bring along a first-aid kit, some pet treats, and bedding for your pooch to sleep on during the night.
7. Forgetting about other people:
Millen says that it’s important to keep in mind that not all people love dogs, so you want to make sure that your pet is under control and won’t bother anyone.
8. Not taking a map:
It’s easy to get lost when you’re camping with just yourself and not paying attention to where you’re going, especially if it gets dark early outside or there are a lot of big rocks sitting around on the forest floor.
There are many other camping mistakes out there for you to avoid, but these are some of the biggest ones that people do when they forget to bring their dogs with them, which is why it’s important to keep your pooch in mind before heading off into the woods.