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June 28, 2013

PetSafe® Expert

PetSafe® Guest

The Guide to Camping with Your Dogs

By Robin Rhea, PetSafe Senior Brand Manager camping with dogs

Finn and Buckley recently joined Robin and her husband on their camping weekend.

Camping with your dog, to me, is reminiscent of how our dogs became our companions in the first place. While venturing near the warm camp fires of cavemen, dogs found that their chances of survival were increased by a partnership with man. At the same time, cavemen recognized dog’s ancestor, the wolf, for their working value and appreciated their loyalty and companionship.

In a campsite that is a far cry from pre-historic times; two French bulldogs (that are a far “bark” from their working-wolf ancestors) are snuggled and snoring beside the fire as I write this blog.  Camping is unpredictable and adding dogs to the mix only adds to the potential to have a tent full of un-happy campers.

We certainly don’t have all the answer but we’ve discovered a few tips that we feel would have made our fore-cave-fathers proud.

“Bark” packing 

Consider the major weather conditions and major activities that you want to do with your dogs. Consider the items your dogs will need in these circumstances.

Then, pack all dog-related items in a separate “doggie” bag so that everything is super accessible when you need it.  Pick a dog or pet themed bag so you can always locate it. This makes it seem like bringing your dogs is no big deal, which means everyone is having more fun.

We packed our dogs food by meal in bags so I didn’t need to prepare anything. We also brought soft-sided collapsible bowls for food and water. These are lightweight and a nice-to-have even for day traveling with your dogs.

Stay + Play while you’re away

If you have a power source while camping, having a wireless fence is the best thing you can do to make your trip more enjoyable for everyone.

I was excited to try this out for myself in this type of environment and the fence was so perfect.  In less than 5 minutes, I had the fence and flags set up around our campsite. I spent another 10 minutes acclimating my dogs to their boundary, about 30 feet around the campsite.

The dogs are able to enjoy the campsite, and I didn’t have to worry about them chasing after squires or rabbits (which Buckley was all about). I charged and fit the collars to the dogs the day before we left, so I was ready to go when we arrived.

A tent of one’s own camping with your dogs

When you're camping, your dogs may need a tent of their own. This Doggy Dorm is perfect!

Consider that your dogs may get tired or need some quiet time to themselves. I love this handy collapsible Doggie Dorm, which I brought along in case I need to smaller contained space for my dogs. Its convenience and light.

We’ve put Buckley and Finn in their “dorm” during meals (theirs and ours) on this trip to keep the peace in our camp. The best laid plans will get rained-out on a camping trip. It’s a good idea to have a plan and a backup plan when it comes to your camping with your dogs. And if you’ve never camped with your dog, try taking a short trip that is not far from home on your first outing.

If you and your dog share a little bit of an adventurous spirit, get out in nature. You might find yourself, just like us and not unlike pre-historic pet-lovers, sitting by the camp fire with your dogs and everyone “dog-tired” from a great day together.

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