Camping and hiking with a dog can be a lot of fun but there are important things we often don’t think about:
WARN WILD ANIMALS
Put a bear bell on your dog while hiking to warn bears and other animals away and to help you keep track of your dog.
WORMS, TICKS, MITES, FLEAS,…
Out in the wild, your dog will likely get more exposure to parasites. Use a natural pest-control, such as diatomaceous earth before, during, and after your trip. It protects against worms, fleas, ticks, mites, and other parasites. There are food grade ones that you can mix with your dog’s food. You can even eat some yourself! It is also recommended to use it externally. Inspect for ticks and other harmful pests, even if you are using a flea and tick deterrent. Remove any ticks safely and easily with this tick removal method from the CDC.
CHECK IF PET-FRIENDLY HIKE
Make sure hiking trails and campsites are dog-friendly before you go. Make sure you know what is required of you and your dog, and follow these closely.
Allow your dog at least a few hours to get used to their new surroundings. Take them for a walk around the campsite and let them smell and check out things. Be patient to avoid anxiety.
Make sure your dog doesn’t get too close to the fire. You don’t want your dog’s fur to go poufff..
SUNBURNS & HEATSTROKES
Dogs need sun protection, too. Some dog species are more sensitive than others, read about it. Depending on your dog specie, where you go hiking and temperature, make sure your dog is well protected. Choose a campsite with shade or bring along a sun shade to protect your dog from the sun. You don’t want your dog to get too hot. Pets can suffer from heatstroke and sunburns, just like us.
EATING & DRINKING
Pack more than enough food for your dog. You never know what could happen while camping. Measure – don’t just estimate. Pack some toys and yummy chews for your dog. They may be a necessary distraction from things you don’t want your dog getting into.
Keep food sealed to keep it bug-free and dry.
Watch what your dog eats in the wild. Berries, mushrooms, and other things that may look tasty could be toxic.
Try not to let your dog drink from standing bodies of water, or running rivers, streams, and lakes. All of these can harbour harmful bacteria. Offer your dog water frequently so she doesn’t go looking for it.
Leaving your dog outside could mean they are vulnerable to wild animals in the area. Sleep with your pet in your tent or look for a dog tent to keep them safe while camping. Your pet will be warm and dry in the tent, too.
PET CAMPING/HIKING GEAR
- Backpacking pouch: Get your dog a pet backpack and let them carry treats, food, and small supplies.
- Brush: Pack your dog’s brush to remove burrs and other materials that get stuck.
- First aid kit: your dog can also get injured
- Reflective dog collar or jacket: for easy spotting at night might be useful
- Pet ID tag
- Extra leash
- Bear bell for dogs
- Bug spray safe for dogs
The rest is just common sense…
- Don’t overdo it, dogs can get tired too.
- Keep your dog hydrated
- Was your dog properly vaccinated?
Have any tips to add? Feel free to add them in your comments!