Camping and hiking with dogs is a wonderful outdoor experience for dog owners. Today, Instagram is flooding with pictures of people camping or hiking with their pets. It would be a nice change for your dog to be outdoors with you. If you’re planning to take your pet for the first hiking and camping experience, you must know about these tips:
#1. Regulations in the trails and campgrounds
Not all hiking routes and camping grounds are open for pets. Even those which are open to allow animals will have numerous regulations and restrictions. All these rules exist to ensure the safety of your pet. The most common rule in any trail route would be to stick to the marked boundary or line. This restriction is usually provided when there are numerous wild animals around the area. A dog can catch the scent of the animals and can pick up a fight, which can be catastrophic.
#2. Bottle up water
You may be hiking along the sides of a stream or near farmland. This does not mean that you can forgo on your water ration. Always bring as much water as possible. Stream water may look clean but the microorganism in the water can cause many medical problems. The last thing you want during camping is getting sick or camping with a sick dog. If you are planning on a long trail hiking and camping, you can buy purifiers. If you want to do it in an old-fashioned way, pack a stove to boil the stream water.
Dogs tend to run around and explore the region, especially when it comes to a new area lush with nature. Make sure to keep your dog on leash to keep it safe from getting hurt. The trail is new and your dog may not be aware of where a deep pit is or where sharp nettles grow. You cannot allow your dog to get hurt, especially when you are camping in the middle of nowhere. Not every camper or hiker would be thrilled to have a dog around. Many of them would be terrified of dogs. Thus, to avoid uncomfortable situations, leashes are the best.
#4. Wax on paws
No matter what kind of terrain you are planning to explore, it is always best to protect their paws with wax. This will help them keep their paws off dirt, slippery areas and others. Some prefer booties (similar to mittens) but most of the dogs who love to hop around or leap would find booties to be very uncomfortable.
#5. Choose a large tent
Remember that your dog will be camping with you and you would need extra space in the tent. A little sleeping pad will not be enough, especially when it is cold at night. Keeping your dog warm is very essential. Many Indian dogs with short hair find it more difficult to cope with cold climate and thus, you should be able to welcome them into your tent. Tents are also handy when there is an unexpected rainfall.
#6. Always pack a comb or brush
Your dog will always catch something in its fur when it is outdoors. It could be anything from sticks and dirt to small insects. These could hurt or irritate your dog and thus, always pack a comb in your pack. If your dog seems to feel uncomfortable, brush it up. Also, pack a couple of toys to keep it busy.
#7. Medicines or first aid kit
Pack a small medicine kit with bandages, iodine, tick remover, tongue suppressor and so on. It is also best to know where the nearest vet is. You would never know when you would be in need of medical help. Thus, be prepared.
#8. Start small
Do not start the first-ever camping and hiking trip with four days of camping and several hours of hiking every day. Start small and check how your dog adapts to just 30 minutes of hiking and overnight camping, not far from home. Understand what could go wrong and how your dog reacts to every element. Once you are comfortable with that experience, you can try something longer.
#9. Headlights or collar lights
If you are camping overnight, you cannot be sure about how your dog would react to the dark. If your dog likes to wander around or if it is afraid of the dark, you can buy collar lights. Collar lights would pacify your dog and also avoids a lot of accidents.
Last but not least, do not forget to have fun. Do not worry about the situation throughout your camping time. You cannot be prepared for every single scenario. Just take it lightly and enjoy the vacation. After all, the day was meant to have fun with your favorite friend.