You’re ready to get away from it all with your dog by your side. What are the top five things you need to keep in mind as you head off on your camping adventure, possibly for the first time? Luckily, we’ve got you covered.
Desensitize your dog to fires and tents
When I was little, we used to “go camping” in our backyard. Firepit, marshmallows, tents, sleeping bags, the whole thing. This prepared me for going camping much further away from our home. Your dog needs to be prepared in the same way. Let your dog explore your RV while it’s at home(unless you’re a full-timer, of course), bring them outside as you sit by the fire pit, and let them acclimate to the smell, and feel, of camping.
Find dog-friendly places to camp
For some reason, not all campgrounds want dogs. Sad, for sure, but a simple hurdle that can be cleared with a little research. Look online, call around, and ask your fellow RVers. The last thing you want is to show up at a campground and not be able to bring your companion along for the ride.
Give your dog a job
It doesn’t matter what kind of dog you have: they need something to do. Your dog may be a couch potato at home, but with new surroundings, it may feel out of place and unsure of itself. Wear that dog out, mentally and physically! Is your dog active? Take it on a hike. Does your dog attempt to entertain itself if it’s not kept busy? Brings their favorite chew toy or play fetch in a nearby body of water! This is a strange new world for your dog, so keep them moving!
Give your dog something that makes them feel at home
Going somewhere new is exciting, but your dog may quickly find that it misses that special something from home. Make sure they have a favorite toy or blanket, and of course, bring an adequate supply of dog food. Bringing something with a familiar taste or smell can help put your pup at ease in a new and unfamiliar place.
Plan for the long-haul
I always pack “extra” everything when I go camping. Double the socks, shirts, and anything else, just in case. Do the same with your dog. Hopefully, you’re never in a situation where you need to unexpectedly survive in the wilderness, but have these emergency items on hand just in case: extra food, a spare lead for the dog, blankets, medicine, and other first-aid equipment both for you and the dog. If your trip happens to run a day or two longer than expected, keeping these things at the ready will put you at ease should you need them!
Camping is fun, and camping with your dog is even more fun! Camping knowing you’ve thought through all the little details of bringing a four-legged friend along for the ride is even better.
Stephen S. ~“Third time using technical services and all were excellent! We’ve used road assistance twice and the service was prompt and efficient!”