5 Tips For Camping With Your Pet
Last year in the United States, more than 18 million people took their pets camping with them. More often than not, our pets enjoy camping as much as we do, if not more.
There are a few basic rules that every family should adhere to when taking a family pet camping. It may go without saying, that some dogs fare much better at camping than dogs do.
That is not to say that cats won’t enjoy camping, to the contrary, your cat may love the wilderness so much, she may never come back, which brings us to tip No. 1.
- Make Sure That Your Pet Doesn’t Get Lost
It’s one thing if your dog is in his neighborhood but taking him camping is a totally different story.
Even if your pet has been to a particular location before. Sure, your dog may have “marked” his “territory” the last time he was there but, since then many more animals have “re-marked” that same territory.
It’s not uncommon to hear stories about pets that have traveled hundreds of miles to get back to a beloved family.
To ensure that your dog is less likely to become lost on your camping trip, train your dog to come when you call him or her or make sure that your dog is on a leash at all times.
- Make Sure Your Vaccines are up to Date
If while camping, your dog happens across another animal, or even a person, the issue of rabies jumps to the top of everyone’s immediate list. Many campgrounds have policies demanding that if you will be sharing your camping space, with a pet, that he or she must be up to date on their rabies shots.
This may also be the likely case, if you are traveling across state lines with your pet. We suggest making a copy of your pets most recent vaccinations should the issue come up. Having a simple copy could save the entire family miles and miles of grief for entire family, if you didn’t come fully prepared with your furry companion.
- Make Sure Your Pet is Easy to Identify if he Gets Lost
Unfortunately, families who’ve taken every precaution still lose their pets during family vacations. Making your pet easy to identify and return can make an unfortunate incident into a short story about something that happened once, when you went camping.
For permanent identification purposes, you may wish to consider micro chipping your pet. While there is a substantial cost associated with having a microchip placed inside of your pet, you chances of having your lost pet returned back to you are greater than 80%.
If micro chipping is not option for you, then at the very least make sure your pet is wearing tags or at the very minimum, a collar with his or her name and your phone number on the collar. This goes for cats, ferrets and other pets.
If possible, include the date of the last rabies vaccination on the tags. Imagine the shock to your wallet if your pet is found and you are contacted, just to find out that your pooch was given another rabies shot, at your expense.
Moreover, over-vaccination is a real problem with dogs, especially smaller dogs. It’s not widely known but a rabies vaccine produces a negative reaction in some dogs that leads to nasty problems for your dog.
- Learn First Aid for Your Dog
Normally if a pet medical emergency happens at your homes, you would simply drive your pet to the nearest vet, or even a 24-hour vet, if your normal vet is closed for the evening. But if you are camping or in an unfamiliar town, getting help for your pet can easily escalate to nightmare status.
Generally, there is always some form of help to you on the road, for your pet, it could just take more time than you might be used to.
So your ability to provide competent first aid for your pet could actually save his life. (Small Animal Medical Differential Diagnosis) is a great guide with easy to understand and follow information on providing aid in a pet emergency or diagnosing a problem.
- Learn as Much as You Can About Your Camp Ground or Park
The United States is a large country with a vast assortment of treacherous wildlife and dangerous plants, unpredictable weather conditions and in some cases, unexpected environmental changes, think fire or landslide, of which we have seen many, in the past year.
If you are unsure about the local flora and fauna for the camp ground that you will be visiting, contact the park service and speak to the local park rangers about plants and areas that may be a danger to your pet.
Keeping your pet clean when water may be scarce or too cold for your dog is a valid concern. Pet bath wipes can be a salvation for families on many levels. Consider that you’ve done everything right on our tips list and are ready to bed down after an eventful day of hiking and family play, only to wonder where that smell is coming from.
Portable dog bath wipes don’t require anyone to run down to the lake for a quick dip with Fido and will do in a pinch and offer a clean baby powder scent, making sleep for the entire family a welcomed possibility.
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