So you're ready to get away for the weekend and take the family camping. Of course, taking your dog with you is a must—Fido is part of the family. Before you hit the road, there are a few things that you should be aware of when camping with your dog.
More: 4 Tips for Hiking With Your Dog
Here are five tips to keep in mind when camping with your dog:
24 Hour Vet
Before you head outdoors, get online and find out where the closest 24 hour vet is to your campsite. You never expect a medical emergency, but if your dog gets bit by a rattlesnake or anything else tragic—you want to know where to go and fast. You'll save your dog's life by being prepared.
Also, take a first aid kit with you for minor accidents.
Ticks, Ticks, Ticks
Are there ticks in the area where you are going and is your dog protected? Probably. Let's be honest, there are all sorts of bugs in the great outdoors, so the likely hood of a tick landing on your dog is pretty high. Make sure you've got Fido on medication.
Some flea medicines, like Comfortis, do not cover ticks so make sure Fido has coverage. Speak with your vet to make sure your flea medication protects Fido from ticks. Also, know how to get a tick off in case your dog does get one. There are little devices that you can buy from your pet store. Or, ask your vet to show you how to remove a tick; there are many ways to remove one.
Whatever you do, don't try to burn it off, that isn't a good idea for your furry friend.
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Don't forget to bring an extra leash, collar, dog meds, food and treats. If your dog has short hair, you may consider a thermal jacket or something to keep him warm. Also, bring a bed, towel or pillow for your dog to sleep on.
Do Your Trail Research
Are dogs allowed on the trails where you are going? Many state parks don't allow dogs on the trails. Make sure you check all of the rules before you depart. There is nothing worse than showing up and not being able to go anywhere because "No dogs allowed" signs are posted.
Preparing Your Dog
You may want to put the tent up before you go and do a "practice run." You don't want to plan on hiking six miles if Fido is only used to walking around the block. Build up to the trip; it will be a much better experience for everyone.
Camping with your dog is a lot of fun in the right setting. Research the area and ask other dog owners if they have camped in the area where you intend to go.
More: Dog-Friendly Campgrounds
Book your next camping trip online.