Summer is perfect for camping, road trips, and vacations, and who better to travel with than your best friend! Travelling and camping with dogs can be incredibly fun, but it does require a little more planning. Read on for some tips to make your summer vacay a little easier!
If you’re travelling by car, chances are that your pup will be riding in the back seat. To make the trip a little easier on your seats, you can purchase a car seat cover specifically for dogs. These covers generally attach to the front and back seat headrests via straps that you can buckle up and form a hammock, preventing the dog from falling forwards into the foot area or front seat should you need to brake quickly. Another safety essential for your travels is a dog seat belt harness. Seat belt harnesses help absorb impact force and prevent ejection in case of an accident. Just in case your dog still manages to escape during an accident, always keep their collar with their ID tags on while travelling. Another tip to keep your furry friend happy is to bring along more toys and chews than you think you’ll need to keep them distracted and content.
Camping with dogs can be a great bonding experience for both you and your pet. Always check the camping area’s policy, as many places have regulations for camping with dogs. In sensitive nesting or migration areas, even gentle dogs can accidentally step on eggs, scare wildlife, or generally disturb the ecosystem. If you’re hiking in, you should make sure that your dog is physically capable, or prepare yourself to put smaller dogs in a carrier for parts of the journey. Collapsible silicone bowls are a light-weight way to provide your pooch with a clean way to eat and drink without weighing you down too much, but always make sure that you wash them immediately after they finish their food to remove the smell of food.
To keep your dog and yourself safe, always practice proper bear-safe food storage and behavior and keep your pet leashed at all times.
A good way to store your dog’s food and avoid the scent attracting predators is to keep it in a vacuum sealed container. If you do stumble upon a bear, take care to control your pup. Interactions and between humans and bears can often be aggravated if you have an out of control dog with you. You should not leave your dog alone at the camp site while you explore, especially if you’re in the wilderness where your leashed dog may appear to be easy prey to predators in the area.
If you find yourself staying in a hotel with your dog during your trip, they might be uncomfortable with the new scenery. Be prepared to surrender some of the bed to your pup, since they may want to cuddle up to you for comfort at night. If your dog is crate trained, you might want to bring along their crate so that they have their own familiar space to relax in. If your dog is a heavy shedder, you can bring along a cheap hand-held squeegee (we know, it sounds weird but it works) to remove hair from hotel carpets and upholstery. Remember to keep a bowl of water within reach for your pet along with some toys and chews to discourage any nervous chewing on hotel room decor!
Find a Vet
Wherever your destination, always make sure that you know where the closest emergency vet is. Ideally, you won’t need to make a trip, but it’s good to be prepared just in case. If you’re travelling somewhere remote without a 24 hour vet available, it’s a good idea to brush up on your pet first aid skills. Knowing what to do in an emergency situation is invaluable and can mean the difference of life or death in some scenarios. Keep in mind that all first aid should be followed immediately by a visit to the vet’s office to provide extended care. Put together a little first aid kit for pet emergencies and minor scrapes, and don’t let your dog eat any unknown plants. You can find checklists, and even pre-made pet first aid kits online.
Travelling and camping with your dog can be a very enjoyable experience, as long as you’re well prepared! Follow these tips, do your research, and have fun travelling with your best friend.