If you and your pooch have an itch to get out among the great outdoors, camping might be the perfect activity for the both of you. Take a quick look at our top tips for camping with your dog to make sure the trip is as fun and stress free as possible for the both of you.
- Pick a pet-friendly location
There are all sorts of different ways to camp, whether it is at an established campground with facilities, or loose in the bush making do without creature comforts for a few days. In any case, make sure that pets are allowed in the location you set up – if you are allowed to camp in a particular national park for example, ensure they allow pets, as some national parks do not.
- Work on training before you go
It’s important that your dog understands that you are in charge and for you both to return without incident they will need to listen to you. If your dog ignores your commands to sit and stay, it’s probably best not to bring them camping – you don’t want them running off into the bush. Equally, if your dog is a problem barker and won’t quieten down when told, you’ll have to endure the wrath from any other campers within earshot.
- Have a wildlife encounter plan
If you’re camping in Australia, there is a good chance at some point, whether it is at the campsite itself or while exploring the surrounds, you and your pooch will run into some wildlife. Rather than waiting to see what happens in the moment, have an idea of what you’re going to do beforehand.
If you’re walking outside of the campsite, it’s a good idea to have your pet on a leash in case these sorts of situations arise. Doing this will help your dog avoid a nasty snakebite or a run-in with a kangaroo, and equally protect other wildlife from your dog. Most animals will flee so long as you keep your dog close to you and don’t threaten them, but perhaps consider carrying a large stick in your other hand to keep them at a distance in the very rare cases they do attack.
It’s unreasonable to expect your dog to stay on a leash the entire time you’re at the campsite itself though, so if a wildlife encounter occurs here, consider putting your dog inside your tent and sealing it most of the way up until the animal moves away on its own accord.
- Bury your dog’s poop
Just as you would your own at a camping ground without facilities, your dog’s poop should be buried to keep it out of the way of other campers, and wildlife unfamiliar with your pet.
- Consider sleeping arrangements
It’s best and safest if your dog shares your tent with you. This will prevent them walking off into the dark, and they also won’t have to spend the night chained up without shelter. Even the most obedient dogs can be tempted to leave their post, especially if their master is asleep and not there to tell them not to.