Spacious Skies Campgrounds
June 15, 2023
Camping with pets can be an exciting and fulfilling experience, allowing you to include your furry family members in your outdoor adventures and memory making. However, jumping into the trip without thinking through your pet’s campground needs can lead to frustration or headaches, rather than fun. With some preparation and effort, you can set your pet and yourself up for a smooth and enjoyable trip together. Below, you’ll find some helpful tips and things to consider prior to your trip and once you have arrived at the campground.
First, before camping with your pet, it’s important to make sure your furry companion is welcome at your intended destination. Research and select campgrounds that are pet-friendly. Look for places that have designated pet areas, walking trails, and facilities for pets. Some campgrounds even offer additional amenities like dog parks. Pets are welcome at all campgrounds in the Spacious Skies collection, and nearly all have dog parks for our “Cosmic Canine” campers to enjoy.
Knowing your pet will be around other dogs and people, ensure that your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and has a clean bill of health. Apply flea and tick prevention measures or treatments in advance of your departure, so they have protection from these common outdoor pests. Make sure to carry copies of their vaccination records, as some campgrounds may require proof of vaccinations. Checking campground policies and restrictions beforehand will save you from any surprises.
When packing, be sure to include all necessary items for your pet, including food, treats, medications, bowls for food and water, bedding, leashes, toys, waste disposal bags, and any other specific items your pet may need. It’s important to bring enough water to keep your pet hydrated, especially if your camping destination doesn’t have a reliable water source. As you gather the rest of your camping gear, give your pet an opportunity to explore and get comfortable with your equipment as well, such as sleeping bags or tents, prior to your trip.
Other essential items for your pet include proper identification tags with accurate contact information. Plan to keep your pet on a leash at all times at your campsite, especially in areas where they could encounter wildlife or get lost. Pack a sturdy leash or harness to use on the trip that your pet can’t easily break free from. Consider microchipping as an added layer of security and back-up should your pet get away from you in an unfamiliar location.
Additionally, pack a pet first aid kit so it is readily available in case of any injuries or emergencies. Just as you are prepared for unforeseen incidents for the rest of your family, you should have supplies on hand to care for your pet if they encounter something in the outdoors that causes them injury or to be unwell. Most items can serve human and pet alike, like gauze pads and rolls, antibacterial wipes, sterile saline solution, hydrogen peroxide, and disposable gloves. Pets can also specifically benefit from tweezers, to remove splinters, ticks, or other foreign objects from their paws or skin. It may be a good idea to include styptic powder or gel as well, which helps stop bleeding in the case of a minor nail or claw injury. Hopefully, these items won’t be needed, but it is always best to be prepared when away from your home and vet.
During the drive to the campground and once you’re on-site, be mindful of your pet’s tolerance for these new settings and surroundings. Ensure your pet is secure and comfortable during the journey. Use a crate, pet seat belt, or a pet barrier to keep them safe while traveling in a vehicle. Avoid leaving them unattended in a parked car, as temperatures can rise quickly. Just like humans, pets need breaks and rest. Allow your pet to take breaks, hydrate, relieve themselves, and have quiet time. Monitor their behavior for signs of fatigue, stress, or discomfort and make adjustments accordingly.
Once you’re at your campsite, plan to set up a comfortable and secure shelter for your pet, whether it’s a pet-friendly tent, crate, or a designated area in your RV or cabin. Providing a cozy and familiar bed or bedding will help them feel at ease. Keep them protected from extreme weather conditions by providing shade or insulation as needed.
While camping with your pet, remember to practice responsible outdoor etiquette. This includes cleaning up after your pet, picking up after them with waste disposal bags and disposing of those appropriately. It’s also important to respect the wildlife and natural habitats of the campground. Keep an eye out for potential encounters with wildlife and prevent your pet from chasing or approaching them. Be mindful of other campers and ensure your pet doesn’t disturb them with excessive barking or aggressive behavior.
Once settled, you may be ready to relax by a campfire or by the pool or lake, but keep in mind your pet will need exercise to stay calm and content in this new setting. Stick to your pet’s regular feeding, exercise, and bathroom routines as closely as possible to provide them with a sense of familiarity. If you plan on leaving them in your RV or cabin for a period of time while you explore the campground or surrounding area, be sure to engage your pet in activities such as hiking, using the walking trails, or playing interactive games to keep them physically and mentally stimulated before you depart. Be aware of their energy levels and ensure they get enough exercise to prevent restlessness or boredom.
Camping is a beloved activity that allows you to reconnect with nature, escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, and rejuvenate your mind and body. Including your furry friend only enhances those benefits. Camping with pets can be an incredibly rewarding experience, fostering a stronger bond between you and your four-legged companion. By considering the aforementioned factors and adequately preparing, you can make camping with your pet a more enjoyable and hassle-free experience. Remember, each pet is unique, so adapt these suggestions based on your pet’s specific needs and preferences.