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Filed under: Taking Along the Family Pet, Uncategorized

Go, Dog, Go

February 7, 2010 by · 5 Comments 

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We’re a family of animal lovers.  With two dogs, one cat, a guinea pig and a salamander, we’ve got our own mini zoo around here.

So how do we balance our many pets with our love of camping?  It’s not always easy, but here’s what we do.

The smaller animals most definitely stay at home.  We usually hire a neighborhood kid to come in and take care of them while we’re gone.  As for the dogs?  That’s a different story, as they usually come along for the ride.

Travelling with dogs is entirely possible, but does take a little coordination and planning.  The first thing to consider is where you’re headed.  It’s important to check on your destination’s policy on pets.  For more information on campground pet policies, check out Woodall’s campgrounds before planning your next trip.

We’ve found that some national parks don’t allow dogs on their trails or at their attractions.  So if you decide to bring your dog, you need to make sure you can safely keep them in your car or at your site.

Our boys after a fun day camping

Luckily, destinations that allow pets are far more common than the ones that don’t.  So if you want to bring your furry friend on your next camping trip, just follow some simple steps.  By doing so, you’ll find camping can be a pleasurable experience for humans and canines alike.

Things like size, age and personality are all factors to consider. You may want to ask yourself some other questions too.  How do they react to change?  Are they nervous or relaxed? Can they stay by themselves without endless barking or howling?  If your dog is a homebody or does not do well in strange situations, you may want to consider hiring dog sitter to keep him or her company at home.

Our dogs happen to be pretty easy going.  But they’re big.  Sometimes it’s a balancing act to make sure there is enough room in the car to accommodate two Labs as well as all of our stuff.

When packing, make sure to include some portable bowls and plenty of water.  A few plastic bags are also helpful in case your dog needs to take a potty break along the way.

And since most campgrounds have leash laws, it’s important to include a long lead.  Even if your dog is usually well behaved, remember that campsites have many temptations not seen at home.  Open food sources, wildlife and other dogs are just a few of the things you can come across.

We’ve also found that, when camping, a well-exercised pooch is a happy pooch.  This will thwart boredom and promotes relaxation when they need to stay behind.  Taking them running, hiking or playing in the water are all great ways to keep them happy.

Last but not least, dogs are creatures of habit.  The more familiar the surrounds, the happier they will be.  By bringing some familiar toys, a favorite dog bed and some treats from home will all help them feel more comfortable and safe.

In the end, remember that with a little planning, traveling with your dog can be a great experience.  After all, your pet is a member of your family.  Why not include them in your next family camping experience?

Want more information?  Check out Woodall’s Camping and RVing with Dogs.

Comments

5 Responses to “Go, Dog, Go”
  1. Debbie Block says:

    Oh! Cute boys! My Elsa was a chocolate Lab – such good dogs and easy going. Have fun!

  2. Hey there! Love your post. I have a friend who camps with cats. Seriously. And the cats hang around without being on leashes or anything. When I was a kid though, we took our dog camping across the country. He ran away when we were 1000 miles from home. But somehow he made it back on his own. Wierd, huh?

  3. Gibby says:

    These are some good tips. We travel with our dog to our lake house, merely because he loves to swim so much! An afternoon of swimming leads to one tired black lab, just the way I like him. :)

  4. Sharon Mirzai says:

    We traveled to AK from FL with our yellow lab….all great tips. A tired dog is a good dog, and keeping them on their schedule makes life easy too. Yes, labs are great travelers and great ambassadors. We have met so many nice people because we are out with her.

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