Camping with your dog

Camping with your dog

The warm days have finally arrived, and vacation is just around the corner. Not all owners are ready to part with their dogs for a vacation, or want to go with a friend. More and more often these days, the dog is not a burden. They take them with them on trips, to the mountains, to the beach, or on camping trips. It brings people and their pets closer together and gives them the opportunity to spend time in nature together. But for any trip you need to prepare in advance, not only to pack your backpack, but also to prepare your dog. Let’s talk today about what a pet needs on a camping trip.

What dogs are allowed to take in the campaign

The important question of what kind of dogs are allowed to take with you in the camping. There are many nuances that you need to pay attention to in order to provide a comfortable ride and yourself and your pet.

Dogs of small breeds, such as Chihuahuas, Toyas, Spitz dogs are more difficult to overcome long distances, you may need to carry them in the arms or in a carrier. That said, small dogs, especially terriers – Jack Russells, standard Yorkshire Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Foxterers and others, as well as Zwergpinchers and Zwergschnauzers – are active and sturdy and can do quite well on hikes.

Large and giant dogs – mastiffs, dawgs due to their large mass and load on the musculoskeletal system also experience discomfort with prolonged exertion.

Large dogs of light build such as Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Riesschnauzers are less tired and can walk longer distances without fatigue.

Short-legged dogs such as bassets, dachshunds, corgis, and scotch terriers may have difficulty and get tired quickly. These dogs will be more comfortable on short trips or will need rest breaks.

Brachycephals such as bulldogs, pugs, griffons may have a hard time breathing because of the structure of the skull, it may lead to hypoxia and overheating. Nevertheless, they can be taken on simple and not long hikes.

Active dogs of medium and large sizes such as huskies, husky dogs, sheepdogs, bighorn sheepdogs, Pyrenean mountain dogs, retrievers, setters, weimaraners, beagles, pitbull terriers, Staffordshire terriers, Irish terriers, Border collies and others adapt most easily to camping conditions.

Of course, it is worth taking into account the condition of the dog, because any dog that is overweight will be difficult to go, and just proceed from the individual characteristics of a particular dog.

Obedience is also important to consider. The bond between pet and owner should be strong, mutual understanding is needed to avoid situations where the dog gets into trouble or doesn’t run away and have to look for it. Well-trained and socialized companion with a tail will simplify everyday life as a traveler. Knowledge of basic commands: “to me”, “stop”, “no” are necessary in the conditions of trekking. This is a pledge of safety for your friend and others. 

In addition to the fact that the dog must bear long walks well, we must remember that you have to get to the mountains or forest by something, often by car, so the dog must be ready for this. If the place of the hike is far from home, and you get with the dog by car, train, plane.

Of course, you should not take your pet who is too young, too old, or has acute / chronic diseases. Because the strain on the body is increased, and you may encounter a worsening, deteriorating condition. It’s recommended to leave such dogs in animal shelters or rehousing centers, and if necessary – in the hospital of veterinary clinic, where they can immediately provide medical care and the animal is under round-the-clock supervision of specialists. In order not to worry, you can ask the staff to send you a photo of the pet on request. If you do not have a contact person on the trip, you will need to leave the contacts of the person in charge. 

How to prepare for a hike

Preparing your pet for the hike should be a concern in advance:

  • Study the peculiarities of the area. What dangers may await there, what dangerous insects and wild animals live there.
  • Take a look at the veterinary certificate in advance. Make sure his dog has been vaccinated this year and if not, he should be wormed and vaccinated 10-14 days later.
  • If your dog has trouble traveling in a motor vehicle, you should start a course of sedatives beforehand.
  • Do not forget to treat your dog against fleas, ticks, gnats, gadflies.

What to take on a hike

What might your pet need for a hike? In order not to forget anything, start compiling a list of necessities in advance and gradually add to it. Some things that are common in everyday life may just slip your mind.

  • Auto-hammock, seatbelt – when traveling in a car.
  • Hiking foam or plaid, on which the dog will be more comfortable to sleep in a tent. If camping in the winter, you can even get a separate sleeping bag, many dogs sleep comfortably in them. It is not recommended to tie them to a tree at night or leave them unattended at night.
  • Be sure to bring a leash, collar or harness. The leash should be canvas or nylon, not leather, at least 2 meters long. A tape measure is not suitable. The harness or collar must be comfortable, ideally already worn, and not chafing. 
  • Muzzle. Compulsory when transported by public transport. It must be able to breathe freely with its mouth open to avoid overheating.
  • Addressal. Be sure to attach your information to the collar, so that if the dog runs away and gets lost, it could be returned to you. Don’t be presumptuous, your dog may just be afraid of something unexpected, even though he’s very well-mannered.
  • If the dog is a medium or large breed, you can buy a special bag for it, which it will carry itself, there you can put and attach the necessary items. If your dog is small or you just don’t want to burden him, think about how you will carry, in addition to yours, his things.
  • Reflective ammunition and luminous key chains or collars are recommended. You can also wear a bright vest with reflective stripes on your dog so that he can be clearly seen both in the dark and in the daytime, especially if the pet has a color that blends in with nature. This will help both you and others, for example, not to be frightened, mistaken for a wild animal, and not to lose sight of your dog, day or night.
  • Take with you a travel drinker-bottle, a bowl-a silicone folding bowl, or a soft waterproof cloth one. If you won’t find any ponds or streams along the route, you should take water for your pet too. 
  • Get your dog a raincoat and safety shoes. If you’re hiking in winter, you can wear warm overalls and a vest, as it may be quite cold and windy at night in the mountains.
  • Care products – wipes for paws to wipe before entering the tent, for ears and eyes – to clean if necessary. Bags for cleaning up after your dog, where needed, may also come in handy.
  • A life vest if there is to be a trip on the water. 
  • A ball or any other favorite toy, for playing in parking lots. If your pet isn’t tired enough for the day, active games before bedtime are fun for everyone in the group without exception.
camping with your dog

Hiking first aid kit for the dog

First of all, the first aid kit should include medications that the dog takes on a regular basis (for chronic diseases) or there is a possibility of exacerbations.

The list of essentials includes:

  • Antiseptics. Chlorhexidine, peroxide, Ranosan powder or ointment, hemostatic powder or hemostatic sponge.
  • Bandages, gauze wipes and cotton pads, self-fixing bandage, band-aid.
  • Thermometer.
  • Tick twister.
  • Antipyretics and painkillers. Only special drugs for dogs: Loxicom, Previcox, Rimadyl.
  • Antihistamines – Suprastin, Tavegil.
  • Scissors and tweezers.
  • Syringes.
  • Saline solution Sodium chloride 0.9%.
  • Smecta or Enterosgel.

Dog nutrition

If your dog is on an industrial diet, it’s easy. Bring a supply of dry food, preferably labeled for active dogs, or wet food in cans. These foods don’t require special temperature storage.

If your pet is on a home-cooked diet, it’s more complicated. Cooking and, moreover, keeping meat products fresh in hiking conditions is problematic. In this case, the same canned food for dogs can help. They are more suitable in composition and structure to the home food. Or you can dry meat and vegetables for the dog at home and cook over a fire.

camping with your dog

Dangers of camping

Pay attention to the fact that the dog may also face dangers: fast rivers, cliffs, rocky precipices. Be prepared to have to carry the dog on your back in some places or try to avoid dangerous routes. Keep an eye on your dog and make sure he is protected in dangerous areas.

Ticks, insects, snakes, and other wildlife are also hazards.

  • If you notice a tick on your dog, you must carefully remove it with an extruder. Treat the bite site with antiseptic. Monitor the dog’s condition. In case of lethargy, fever, refusal of food, urination with blood, it is necessary to end the campaign and urgently contact the clinic.
  • The dog may have been bitten by a snake, either venomous or nonvenomous. The dog may have inadvertently stepped on the snake’s tail or started chasing it out of a hunting interest. Dogs usually get bitten in the nose, lips, tongue or front paws area. The muzzle swells, behavior changes, restlessness, movement disorders, and vomiting occur when a venomous snake bites. If the snake was not venomous, such as the snake or copperhead, or in the south the extremely aggressive Caspian snake, treat the wounds with peroxide. If your dog has been bitten by a venomous snake – in the midlands it’s usually a common viper, you may meet a Caucasian viper, viper and copperhead – wash the bite site with hydrogen peroxide, but in no case alcohol or ether, which can help absorb the venom. Limit the dog’s movement, apply ice to the bite area, give the dog an antihistamine – Suprastin or Tavegil, and plenty of fluids. Tourniquets are highly discouraged – their application causes disruption of blood flow, but almost always dramatically worsens the condition of the victim, and can also lead to necrosis. Contacting a veterinarian is required.
  • If the dog has been stung by a bee, or other stinging insect – do not panic. Examine the wound, remove the venom pouch if any (bees and bumblebees leave a jagged sting with a venom pouch in the skin, wasps and hornets do not, they have a smooth sting and can sting several times). Treat the sting with peroxide and give your dog an antihistamine. The most common bites are to the dog’s face, nose, mouth and paws. The injured area swells and the dog may go into shock: difficulty breathing, blue tongue, foam from the mouth, vomiting, loss of consciousness – depends on the tolerance of the venom. If you notice symptoms that indicate shock – you need to go to the vet.
  • Wild animals. A dog can run after any wild animal, chasing out of hunting excitement – regardless of breed. An animal – can both run away and fight back if it is large and confident – such as a bear or wild boar. Even a deer or elk can kick the dog very considerably with their sharp hooves if it gets too close. If interest in a wild animal is noticed, the dog should be recalled and leashed. Don’t let him play with hedgehogs, they’re usually full of parasites due to their needles and can carry rabies. When chasing birds, foxes, deer or others, a dog can get hurt while running after them, or fall off rocks without looking where he’s running.
  • The dog can be carried on a leash and supported in dangerous sections of the trail – fording or, if the dog is not big, carried in hands if the stream carries it away. on rocks – it’s safer to climb up on its own. Dogs are instinctively afraid of heights and walk carefully. When a leashed human or dog falls, there is a very high probability of falling and more serious injury to both of them. Going down is scarier and more difficult for them. It may require your participation to help them get down. A dog, when he sees people coming down where he is scared, will often panic, whimper or howl – he is afraid you will leave him. The dog can behave unpredictably – jump down or start looking for other ways and get stuck even worse. That’s why you don’t have to leave the dog last. Let one person stay with him and guide him, while the other person takes him downstairs. Rock fall: dangerous for both the dog and the owner, as the dog from above can bring rocks down on people. Everyone should walk together in such places. If the dog doesn’t obey the side command, you should take him on a leash. If the hike is difficult, with steep sections, it is necessary to prepare the dog a few months in advance, to develop balance and equilibrium, to exercise on equipment, and to make short forays into nature.

Your dog needs to be in good physical shape to successfully make it all the way. Increase his walk time, vary the terrain on which you walk, and play more active games. The ideal is a preparatory one-day trip out of town. This will help to assess the strength of the two of you, and the subsequent hike to have fun and benefit.