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Questions to Consider Before Camping with a Canine

July 12, 2017

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We all want to take our precious pooch wherever we go, especially when heading out on a great adventure. But before you grab the leash and water dish, ask yourself these five questions to determine whether your dog is a suitable wilderness companion.

What are the Regulations of the Camp Site or Park?
Here’s an obvious one: some camp spots frown upon furry visitors. There can be a number of good reasons for this. Dogs have the capacity to disturb delicate environments with their snuffling, hunting and excrement. What’s more, many places aren’t safe for dogs. The local wildlife might include species that would find Fido to be a tasty snack. Even if you are allowed to bring your dog, she might not be allowed in certain areas, like environmentally sensitive trails. Always respect the guidelines of the place you’ll be visiting.

Is Your Pooch Medically Clear for the Adventure?
Some animals are fragile, others have compromised immunities, others just haven’t yet completed all the necessary shots to let them explore too far afield. Whatever the case, some dogs aren’t currently in a place where they can play the role of adventure buddy. Be aware of your dog’s needs. Never compromise her health for any reason. Safe is better than sorry.

Is Your Dog a Polite Camper?
In new environments, some canines flip. It’s sensory overload with all the new smells and sights. Anxiety, excitement and fear can all inspire your dog to behave in a rowdy manner. Most likely, people will want to pet her and play, so make sure she’s good with new people of all types, including rambunctious kids.

Bear in mind the types of activities you’re planning. Are they dog-friendly? Hikes on trails where dogs are welcome? Swims in lakes or rivers that dogs are allowed and safe? A dog behaves differently when mom and dad are around. If you’ll be leaving her at camp while you go out on excursions all day, her barking and boredom might get her into trouble. If you don’t think your favorite dog is trained and mature enough to handle it, leave her at home.

Does Your Four-Legged Friend Really Want to Go?
The great outdoors isn’t everyone’s thing. Your dog is no less of a dog for preferring to hang in the back yard. Be attuned to her needs and avoid stressing your pet.

Will a Canine Cramp Your Style?
Your pet is as precious to you as your child, and sharing new experiences creates great bonds. But sometimes we want to get away from home to escape all our daily pressures—including our cherished pets. Will letting your dog ride along restrict your activities, or stress you out? It’s okay to make her sit it out this time. Make it up to her when you get back with plenty of extra time at the dog park.

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