Try to teach (and master) as many commands as you can before your trip. Lastly, it is good to train your dog to stay in the car until you call them. If they stay put while you take care of unpacking/setting up, it will make your life easier.
What Supplies to Bring
- Water: You’ll want to bring a water bowl and water bottle for your dog. Be sure to give them water whenever you take a break yourself.
- Backpack: Since you’ll now have supplies for you and your dog, it may be a good idea to get your dog their own backpack. Dogs are able to safely carry up to 25% of their body weight. It may take a minute for them to get used to the feeling, but it should become second nature after time.
- Lights: If you are walking at night, you’ll need a light on your dog so you and others can see them. A light on their collar is the best way to go.
- Tether: You will probably at some point need to keep your dog in one place while you do something else. A tether keeps your dog from running off. Just wrapped it around a tree or rock and you’re set.
- First Aid Kit: Obviously accidents happen. Bring a first aid kit with the basics just in case your dog has any small injuries.
- Flea and Tick Protection: Make sure your dog has their flea and tick protection treatments before heading out into the woods.
If you’re hiking or camping in the summer months, water is the most important thing to have. You will want to make sure your dog has a water source where ever you are or are traveling. Not only do they need to drink the water, but they also need it to cool off. The signs of overheating are coughing, laying down in the shade, excessive panting, and lethargy. If you notice these signs, give your dog a break and give them water.
If you’re going camping in the winter months, be aware that your dog can also get cold even though they have their fur coat. Booties or vaseline work well at keeping any snow or other debris out. Also consider a warm coat if your dog has a thin fur coat. The signs of freezing are limping, shivering, and walking hunched over. If you notice your dog acting like this, get them warm immediately.
Bringing your dog on your camping trip can be extremely rewarding and an awesome journey. Just remember to properly train and prepare your dog beforehand, and you should have an amazing trip. Good luck!