Photo of a golden retriever outside a tent

What to know before taking your dog camping?

What better way to enjoy quality time with your dog than camping? However, that bonding time in the wilderness calls for some precautions. Here’s what to know before taking your dog on a camping trip.


Visit a veterinarian first

Being in the woods means your dog is exposed to ticks, fleas and other insects that may carry diseases. Before setting out, visit a veterinarian to ensure it’s fully vaccinated and treated for tick and flea control. Many campgrounds require proof of pet vaccination. Getting your dog spayed or neutered will also help you avoid unwanted surprises. Having your dog microchipped will help you find it if it gets lost.


Plan and prepare

A safe and happy camping trip with your dog begins with a plan. Spend time with your dog in your trailer, RV or tent, so it gets used to the surroundings. Call ahead and check with campgrounds about their pet policies and rules. Plan to make frequent stops on the way, so your dog can go to the bathroom and stretch its legs. Find contact information for the animal hospital nearest your campsite.


Dog supplies camping checklist

Your canine camping packing list should contain the following:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Dog treats
  • Vet records and medical information
  • Prescription medication, if applicable
  • A leash
  • A stake or tether
  • Extra towels
  • Dog first-aid kit
  • Outdoor-safe toys
  • A current photo
  • An attachable ID tag
  • Biodegradable dog waste bags

Your dog’s bed, an outdoor harness and brush are also good things to take with you.


Canine camping etiquette and safety

Following these five guidelines will help you have a safe and memorable adventure.

  1. Avoid overheating. Ensure your dog is in a well-ventilated area with access to water. Tents, trailers and RVs can be stifling, putting your pet at risk. Never leave your dog unattended on your campsite or in your car.
  2. Use a leash. Keep your dog on a leash while on your campsite or walking through the campground. Obey all leash rules and regulations.
  3. Manage food. Open pet food attracts wildlife such as bears or coyotes. Keep your dog’s uneaten food in a sealed container.
  4. Control barking. Barking dogs are disruptive to all campers and wildlife.
  5. Clean up after your dog. Always clean up after your dog using biodegradable poop bags and dispose of bags in appropriate containers.


Spay and neuter clinic in Scarborough

At Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital, we’ll get your dog ready for camping with flea and tick control, vaccinations, microchipping and spay and neuter services. Contact us today at our clinic in Scarborough to make an appointment.