A new experience for us this year was bringing our new puppy camping. His first trip with us was when he was about 6 months old. It is so much fun to have him along with us, but just as we bring some essential creature comforts from home for ourselves, we have made a ‘Snoopy’ list of items that we make sure to bring for him.
Here is what we recommend bringing for your furry family member:
- Do your research – most campsites are dog friendly, but not all! Nothing would be more disappointing than making the travel all the way to your destination with your dog, only to have to take him home.
- Most campsites have set rules for dogs to be on a leash and cleaning up after your dog is also important. Bring the leash(es), harness, and doggy poop bags. I recommend bringing a spare leash in case something happens to your main one.
- Food and water dishes, including one small enough to pack for when you go hiking with your dog. There are some great collapsible bowls that are lightweight and easy to pack.
- A few towels for wiping dirty feet, drying off after a swim in the lake, or even covering the car seat for the ride home.
- Two dog beds/blankets – one for outside and one for inside. You never know when one will become soaked by rain or covered in mud, so you’ll appreciate having a cleaner one in the tent/trailer with you, while the outdoor one can dry out.
- A dog crate is great idea for the times that you need to know that he is safe and not escaping to explore the campgrounds on his own. It provides shelter from the rain and a secure place to sleep.
- Entertainment – Remember, this is a relaxing time for him as well, but he’ll need something to keep him occupied. Bring a favorite treat to chew on, a toy to keep him company at night, and something that smells like home.
- Just like you are prepared for the elements, remember that your dog can get sunburned, or injured too. Bring along some dog sunscreen, doggy first-aid kit, make sure his flea/tick medicine is up to date, and have a tick remover comb and brush handy. Fleas and ticks are more prevalent in the woods.
- Although your dog might be very reliable and well behaved, it always best to make sure all his tags are up to date with your current contact numbers, his name, and some people even add a tag with the campsite name and location. Creating a dog tag is quick and easy – make a stop to your local Walmart or pet store to have one engraved.
- Consider the weather for your dog – if it’s cold at night, he may need an extra blanket, or for the fashionable dog, a light sweater or rain jacket. Also, for hot weather, remember a campsite with shade or near water for cooling off your dog will be important for his comfort.
- Finally – a camera! Okay, so your dog might not notice if this is not packed, but you will want to capture all the fun moments to be had outdoors with your dog!