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Experience the Joy of Camping with a Dog

Camping! There is nothing like camping with a dog. The great outdoors, hiking, fishing, everyone’s version of perfect camping may be different; the one thing that stays the same is the desire for relaxation. Below are some tips and tricks to have a relaxing camping trip both owner and dog will enjoy. In the very early stages of preparation check campground rules for bringing pets. That will make or break the plans before they even get off the ground.

Lab roast hot dogs

Packing

Packing up the dog’s things for a camping trip takes little effort, however, there are some vital items that need to be put on the list. In addition to the dog’s food in a re-sealable container, additional bottles of water should also be packed. Even if the site is on the water or has running water, it is good rule of thumb to have fresh water on hand in case something happens.

The most well trained dog can get distracted and wander off, causing an owner needless worry. A twenty foot tie out cord will cost an owner about ten dollars and save a bundle in frustration. The cord may be wrapped around a tree or staked into the ground. This will give a dog free roam of the campsite while ensuring the dog stays within the campsite.

Exercise

Camping is a great way for dogs to be mentally and physically stimulated, which makes them happy, more apt to listen to their owners and tires them out by the end of the day. While out walking and hiking, allow the dog to sniff; let them take in all the new and exotic smells. Navigating a different terrain, like a hiking trail with different levels and places to step, will keep a dog on his toes, so to speak.

Meals

Whether the owner is a hot dogs and marshmallows over an open flame person or a vegan/organic/paleo connoisseur, most dogs will attempt to sway their humans into sharing their meal. It is a special occasion, out in the woods, a day of exploring behind them.  The sad face appears as if to say “Please share a marshmallow?” Ever watch a dog eat a marshmallow? It could be the highlight of the trip.

Sleeping

Some dogs are so tired they may flop anywhere in the tent and start snoring. Other dogs are spooked by certain things like, the dark. This is when an owner needs to decide, steely resolve or is there enough room in the sleeping bag for a human and a dog? Were fresh batteries put in the lantern to last all night?

Some owners prefer to have the dog sleep outside, which isn’t safe. The dog may be sprayed by a skunk, attacked by a bear, or antagonized by a raccoon. The list of dangers for what can happen to a dog alone, outside, at night is long. There are a few sporting good stores that sell “pup” tents, tents specifically designed for dogs, a much safer alternative than leaving a dog out in the elements.

Camping with dogs is a fun and rewarding experience that creates fond and sometimes hilarious memories. It is also an excellent bonding exercise. With a little planning, patience and a positive attitude, camping may be what brings a dog and owner closer.

 

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Written by Renee Moen
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