Many families enjoy the great outdoors, whether it’s for a day, a weekend, or a week long vacation. Many of these families bring along their dogs, who also happen to love spending time outdoors, exploring a new area, and making friends with nature. But do you know the proper precautions to take to keep them safe on a camping journey? The American Kennel Club has provided some helpful tips that couldn’t have come at a better time, as the weather is just about right to spend time outdoors overnight!
Visit Your Vet
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that your dog is healthy before taking him on a camping trip. If he is showing any signs of having a cold or an injury, it would be best to change the timing of your plans. Start by visiting your dog’s veterinarian for a check-up. At this appointment, the vet can double check that all of the dog’s vaccinations are up to date, including rabies…especially rabies!
Take a Copy of Records
There would be nothing worse than while enjoying your time camping for your dog to need to make an emergency trip to a vet who is not familiar with him. Make sure you have a COPY of your dogs records with you just in case you need to provide them to a new vet. Another good reason to have his records with you is if you happen upon another camping dog, you can put the owners at ease by showing proof of up-to-date vaccinations.
Give Flea and Tick Prevention – 3 Days Prior to Trip
It is very important to the health of your dog to make sure you take every precaution to prevent diseases caused by the bites of bugs. Trust me, there will be bugs on your camping trip! Dogs can pick up fleas anywhere, and ticks are especially common in wooded areas. Apply the proper flea and tick prevention medication about three days before leaving for your trip because that’s how long they should wait before getting wet. You never know where there might be a lake they’ll jump into, or if it’s going to rain on your first night camping.
Collar and Up-To-Date Contact Info
Always make sure your dog has a collar with the proper identification just in case he gets away from you. If someone else were to find your lost dog, there won’t be a question about how that person can get ahold of you. To enroll your pet in a 24-hour recovery service, visit www.akccar.org.
Pack a Pet First-Aid Kit
If all else fails and your dog ends up needing medical attention, there are few things you can have with you that will prevent an emergency visit to a vet. In the first aid kit, you should pack the following items: tweezers to remove ticks should your dog encounter any, styptic powder to stop bleeding, hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds, and bandages.
Plan for Walks, Day and Night
Since you are camping, you’ll probably be taking quite a few walks, whether it’s to collect wood for a fire, check out your surroundings, or find things to take pictures of. You’ll want to make sure you pack plenty of water (that both you and your dog can drink), as well as a flashlight in case the nighttime creeps up on you. Another rule of thumb when taking your dog for walks anywhere is to have baggies with you to clean up after him. There’s nothing worse then stepping in dog poop while out for a leisurely stroll on a camping trip!