camping with a petFor outdoor lovers, there’s no better feeling than to kick back and take in all the beauty the natural world has to offer. For those with pets, that’s all the more reason to keep camping on the list of awesome summer activities. While your friends at Clairmont Animal Hospital certainly agree with this, there are some precautions to consider before camping with a pet.

To make your outdoor adventures the most epic of all time, be sure to plan ahead for the safety and comfort of your furry outdoor buddy.

Get in Gear

You probably take a lot of time to consider all the things you’ll need to have a good camping experience. The same consideration should be given to your pet. Some basic needs for such an excursion include:

  • Food and water (do not let your pet drink out of puddles or lakes, as these contain parasites)
  • Bowls (collapsible or non-breakable)
  • Crate or carrier
  • Leash and collar with current ID tag
  • Bed
  • Extra towels
  • Tie-out no longer than 6 feet (check with the campground on pet rules)
  • Waste bags or litter box and litter (if you’re camping in an RV with a kitty)
  • Brush or comb (for removing debris or mats)
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Toys
  • Life jacket (if you and your pet will be on a boat or swimming)

Keeping your pet happy involves consistency with his or her basic daily routine, so plan on sticking to your pet’s regular diet and exercise schedule.

Problem Pests

As any astute outdoor person knows, the woods are full of bitey, itchy pests just waiting for a warm-blooded host. If your pet is not up-to-date on vaccines and parasite preventives, please schedule an appointment before exposing your pet to possible illness.

Ticks carry numerous diseases, including Lyme and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Mosquitoes (which are everywhere!) can also carry heartworm disease. Illnesses that are often transmitted through contaminated water and soil, like leptospirosis and giardia, continue to be on the rise. Ensuring your pet is protected with the correct vaccines and preventive protocols is crucial when enjoying the great outdoors.

Other Considerations When Camping With a Pet

Although your pet may be all about the camp-out, he or she may not be so inclined to love the journey there. Car travel is stressful on many pets, so you would do well to address this possible source of anxiety in advance.

Practice taking mini trips with your fur pal before putting him or her through the stress of a long journey. Make sure your pet has the right travel safety gear, such as a crate that can be strapped in or a seat belt harness. Also plan for breaks along the way for water and to allow your pet to potty and stretch. Of course, never leave your pet in a car or unattended at a rest stop.

While at your camp site, remember to respect the comfort of everyone by following campground rules pertaining to pets. In most cases, your pet must remain on a leash or tie-out. On the trail, keep your pet close to your side to avoid wildlife encounters; plan on bringing your pet in the tent to sleep with you at night.

Camping with pets is incredibly enjoyable. Practice some of our safety tips to make this adventure the best one yet.