Exponential Fun When Camping Pet Safety Is Priority Number One!

A woman and her dog sit before a campfire

Many of us love taking our dogs with us wherever we go, be it near or far; but there are definite incentives to leaving them at home (or with someone you trust), too. Traveling can be stressful for some pets, but it’s the rare four-legged friend who doesn’t love to camp!

Camping with pets offers unique experiences for animals (and their humans) accustomed to modern living. It’s fun, invigorating and endlessly appealing to many – but only when camping pet safety takes precedence.

Trip Enhancement!

It’s just a matter of fact that pets make life more fun, and camping together is no exception to the rule. Undoubtedly, watching a pet frolic through a meadow, swim in a lake, and hike to new altitudes is a true gift for adventure-seeking pet owners. It’s important to remember, though, that camping takes on a different set of rules when pets are along for the ride.

Stay Within the Lines

Dogs are typically welcome to stay in improved campgrounds on public land, national parks, and state and local campgrounds. Always read the rules and regulations before you set up camp (or make a reservation) and be prepared with camping pet safety precautions in mind.

No matter the location, it is highly recommended that pets stay on leash the entire time (preferably no longer than a 6-foot, sturdy one). This reduces the likelihood of disturbing fellow campers in high-use campgrounds, getting hurt or lost, or disturbing wildlife/sensitive ecological areas.  

Careful Planning for Camping Pet Safety

To truly support the idea of camping pet safety, campers, backpackers, and pet owners should always know which agency manages the land. There may be different regulations or ordinances between them and must be carefully followed. Doing so not only impacts you or your fellow adventurers, but if you go on land not intended for pets, you could wind up in a disastrous situation.

Thinking About Plans

While out in the great outdoors, what are your plans? Hopeful mountain bikers, stand up paddle boarders, kayakers, or anglers all have different agendas and it can be hard to know where the pet fits in. 

The bottom line is that no matter what you decide to do, your pet should accompany you. Leaving your pets behind at the campground (or, worse, inside the car or camper) is an absolute no-no.

Camping Pet Safety Tips

We want you and your pet to enjoy every possible minute camping together. To that end, we encourage you to follow our list of camping pet safety tips that include:

  • Pack a pet first aid kit
  • Pack extra food and water and collapsible dishes (and only get them out at meal times,  in the meantime, store them appropriately to protect the camp from roaming wildlife)
  • Don’t forget important prescription medications
  • Follow leave-no-trace ethics and always pick up after your pet
  • Sleep together
  • Research the closest emergency veterinary hospital before you leave home and know how to get there
  • Update your pet’s microchip if your contact information has changed, and check that their collar, leash, and ID tag are in good shape

Lastly, it’s really important that your pet receive preventive health exam from our staff. It’s a good idea to ensure that your pet’s parasite prevention is current and all necessary vaccinations are up to date. Leptospirosis can be found in watery areas populated by various wild animals, and has the potential to infect your pet while camping.

Get Out There & Good Luck!

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about camping pet safety. Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital is always here for you!