Fun with Fido: share the joy of camping by bringing your dog

July 22, 2014

The next time you go camping why keep all the fun to yourself? Bring Fido along! Many campsites now make it possible to plan an outdoor holiday with your dog.

Fun with Fido: share the joy of camping by bringing your dog

Not all campsites accept pets for various reasons. The best place to start looking for pet-friendly campsites is on the Internet. Speciality websites list campgrounds that welcome dogs. Relevant information can be found on wildlife sites like Parks Canada, which is an excellent resource.

What are the rules to follow?

You can bring your dog camping with you, but certain conditions apply, including careful supervision when your pooch is outside.

  • Your dog must be kept on a leash at all times, even if he’s elderly or has difficulty moving and getting around. Be sure to check if there are leash length requirements.
  • Some places restrict certain breeds such as Pit bulls, Dobermans and Rottweilers.
  • Curbing your dog is a must because, of course, you should always pick up after your pooch.
  • Your pet must not disturb your neighbours or other animals. If your dog barks constantly, forget it—out of respect for other peoples’ peace and quiet. Otherwise, you may be expelled from the campsite.
  • As a general rule, your dog should sleep in a tent with you.

Make your pet’s first stay easier

You may be doing Fido a favour by bringing him with you, but you should still be careful to prepare your dog for the experience:

  • Start by traveling with your pet when he’s still young.
  • Socialize your dog to not be afraid of new people. He should be quiet and never aggressive.
  • Bring items that remind him of home, e.g., bed, toys, food, water dishes and treats to reward him for when he’s good.
  • Go slowly, starting with a weekend, and then extend your stay. You might find a two-week vacation is quite long if your dog is being more of a nuisance than rambunctious children.

Little extras for your pal

Make your four-footed friend's visit (and yours) as fun as possible by planning ahead.

  • Tents made exclusively for dogs are available in specialty stores or online; so you won’t necessarily have to share one.
  • If you plan to hike, let your dog help by outfitting him with a canine saddlebag. They rest on his back with a pocket on each side and can be useful to carry snacks or a first aid kit.
  • For cycling, you can find leash harnesses that attach directly to the bike. There are different kinds of leashes and different lengths. You can enjoy bike paths all the while providing excellent exercise for your pet.
  • Portable water dishes. These collapsible fabric containers are sold in, among other places, all pet stores. They allow you to share your water bottle with your dog so he can drink, too.
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