We view our pets as family members and it’s natural to wish to bring them on a family vacation. Please take some time to plan ahead and determine whether camping with your pet is going to be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
Before Camping with a Pet
Consider leaving your pet at home if there are large predators such as bears, wolves or fishers that view domestic animals as food. Pet food is also considered an attractant for wild animals and must be safely stored either in the trunk of your car or hung in a tree if backcountry camping. You will not be able to leave your pet unattended.
Different campgrounds have different rules. Not all campgrounds accept pets and those that do generally restrict pets to certain campsite areas or beaches within the park. For example, while taking your dog on a walk, it must be on a short leash and under control at all times. Your pet is not permitted to make excessive noise, to chase wildlife or damage live vegetation. When your animal defecates, its waste needs to be properly disposed of – consider an environmentally-friendly bag.
Preparations for Camping with a Pet
Have a crate that your pet feels comfortable travelling in (see summer travelling blog article). You’ll want to bring some of the comforts of home such as its blanket and regular food.
Consider packing a first aid kit (see first aid blog article).
Consider picking a campsite with shade for your pet. Remember that your pet is wearing a thick fur coat and may be prone to overheating. If your dog likes swimming, bring some extra towels and ear cleanser to dry its ears once it comes out of the water.
Make sure your pet’s vaccines are up to date and bring a copy of them. Depending on the region, consider tick prevention and Lyme vaccination for your dog. We recommend monthly flea, intestinal parasite and heartworm prevention from May through December. Research the address and number of a local veterinary clinics and a kennel in the event that your pet needs medical attention or you are unable to supervise your pet. Make sure your pet has identification that includes a cell phone number in case it becomes separated from you.
Mitchell Veterinary Services hopes your camping experience this summer is a fun one!