Camping with Pets: Preparing for a Great Outdoor Adventure

Camping with pets takes some planning.

One favorite summer activity for many families is camping. From the high Sierras to scenic lakes, we have a wide range of scenic places to pitch a tent and kick back for a little outdoor recreation.

For pet loving families, bringing along the family four-legged is a no-brainer. After all, what’s not to love about a happy Fido enjoying all of the sights, sounds and the smells of nature?

But, camping with pets has a few risks, so planning ahead for the safety and enjoyment of your pet pal is a must.

Before You Pack That Pet Hammock

While it may seem like the biggest concern is how to keep your curious canine occupied when at camp, there are many things to consider before heading out.

First, has your pet been fully vaccinated and protected against common parasites?

If you spend a lot of time in nature, there are some additional vaccinations worth considering, such as the rattlesnake vaccine.

Likewise, there are several parasites that carry serious diseases, such as heartworm, and tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease continue to be on the rise.

To keep your pet fully protected from all of Mother Nature’s pests and wild creatures, take time to inquire with your friends at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital to ensure all vaccinations and preventatives are current.

Also, don’t forget the all-important microchip, which is your best protection when it comes to being reunited with a missing pet.

As far as packing for your pet, here are some essential items:

  • Crate, carrier, or bedding
  • Leash, collar, and ID tags
  • Food, treats, and extra water for your pet
  • Toys and games
  • Tie-out (most campgrounds require your pet to be leashed or on a tie-out at all times)
  • Brush or comb for removing debris from fur
  • Dog booties or shoes, and any other garments if the weather or activities necessitates them
  • Dog life jacket (if planning on swimming)
  • Pet formulated bug spray and sunscreen
  • Pet first-aid kit

Ready, Set, Go! Tips for Camping with Pets

Unless you plan on camping far away from others, it’s a good idea to have a sense of the layout of your potential campground as well as the pet rules. Having an enjoyable camping experience with a fur friend relies on awareness and etiquette.

Unlike the backyard, there are many additional risks to pets in a new, wild area, so plan on always maintaining supervision of your pet by having a buddy system (someone stays with the pet at all times).

Other pet friendly camping tips include:

  • Bring your pet into the tent with you at night or allow him to sleep in the car, with the windows down a bit, if cooler temperatures permit
  • Discourage your pet from barking or getting off of leash as a courtesy to other campers
  • Plan activities or games that are pet inclusive, like swimming or hiking
  • Prevent a wildlife encounter by keeping your pet leashed or close to you while on any trails
  • Keep a clean camp – pick up pet waste and stow away pet food to discourage nighttime raiders, like skunks, black bears, and raccoons
  • Understand your pet’s limitations and be mindful of hot weather, water, and wildlife safety

Camping with pets can be an exceptional way to strengthen your bond and get fresh air and exercise. By practicing some safety awareness and planning ahead, you can help ensure the best possible time for your pet and others while recreating outdoors.