You found a place for you and friends to camp but can your furry, four-legged friend come too? Not every campground is dog friendly and not every dog is prepared for camping.
There are a few important factors to take into account to ensure your dog's safety and your sanity at the campsite. Ask yourself these five questions to decide if Fido can join in on the fun.
Question 1: What's the Weather Like?
Extreme temperatures are just as bad for your pup as they are for you. Keep the following tips in mind when checking the weather for your next camping trip.
During warm summer months:
- It's not ideal to camp with your dog in extreme heat, which can be uncomfortable and dangerous—remember that dogs can get heat stroke too.
- Check for a nearby water source where your dog can go to take a dip.
- Note whether the campsite has shade or not. If not, bring a canopy tent or tarp.
- Always check the forecast for impending storms, which can be more troublesome than usual with a dog to keep dry too.
During cooler months:
- Bring a jacket or blanket to keep your dog warm.
- Know the signs of hypothermia in dogs. Find a werm place if your pup is shivering, lethargic or less alert than usual.
For year-round camping:
Invest in booties. They help protect your dog's feet from hot asphalt and ice and snow.
Question 2: Are the Campsites and Trails Dog Friendly?
Some campgrounds allow dogs at the site, but not on nearby trails. This is common at national parks and monuments, so always make sure dogs are allowed both at the site and on the trails you plan to hike. On websites like ReserveAmerica.com, you can set your search filter for pet-friendly campsites.
Try Devil's Lake State Park, in Baraboo, Wisconsin, which allows dogs at the campground and on most trails. The views from the bluffs are well worth the climb.