I live in a rural area now, I love the outdoors. I spend at least an hour a day playing with dogs, cleaning up their yard, and occasionally digging up a weed or trimming a bush. This summer I had dreams of creating a garden, building a compost pile, and taking the dogs camping, or at least on a long hike on an isolated trail. But who am I kidding, I hate camping.
The idea of staying at a campground, bordering a lake, cooking on a fire, and hanging with our dogs sounds ideal. But when I started looking for campgrounds that could maybe accommodate two humans and four dogs, I got a huge dose of reality.
Facing the Reality of Camping With Our Dogs
A 95% recall isn't enough. Our dogs love to explore and they would want to go everywhere. Yes, we can keep them leashed up, but that'll get old fast. Suddenly I wasn't as proud of our 95% recall with the dogs and the idea of chasing after them wasn't appealing.
Raw food doesn't keep. Yes, we can bring an ice chest or dehydrated raw, but the ice chest isn't full proof and a rapid diet change will be murder on one of our dog's digestive system.
We won't be alone. In my camping fantasy, we have the area to ourselves, in reality, we'll be there with other families with dogs. Our dogs don't do well in a dog park-ish environment.
Spiders, snakes and rodents. Not a fan.
How do you make a fire? Oh yeah, I don't know how to make a fire. I'm sure that there are easy ways to create a campfire; they can outfit me with all we'll need at an outdoor's store. But by the time I got to this step, I wasn't as excited about camping with the dogs.
Camping with Dogs Can Happen
If you love dogs and the outdoors, there's no reason why camping can't work for you.
- Check the area to make sure that the campground allows dogs.
- Check with your vet to make sure your dog is up to date on any necessary vaccinations.
- Bring loads of fresh water (just in case none is available at the campground), several rolls of dog poop bags, and a first aid kit.
- Keep your dog close and be sure to check his coat and skin for ticks or thorns, removing them promptly.
- Bring a kennel to provide your dog with shade or just a quiet place to chill.
Oh, and don't forget, have a blast!
For more tips on raising dogs, visit Keep the Tail Wagging.