Camping Fun with Fido

Camping Tips for You and Your Pooch

By Sally Perkins

No family camping vacation would be quite complete without bringing your pooch along for the ride. There are plenty of pet-friendly campgrounds in Florida - and all over the U.S. - that allow dogs of all shapes and sizes to join their family for an outdoor adventure. Camping with your dog can be a blast, but it's important that you take your responsibilities as a dog guardian seriously. Being out in the wild can be dangerous for dogs, particularly untrained ones. Here are a couple of ways you can make sure your pooch is safe and sound during your campout.

Pack for your pet

Packing for yourself can be tough, but it can be even harder for your furry friend. As a human, it can be hard to think of all the things a dog might need while away from home. The most important thing to remember is to bring extra food and water for both yourself and your pup as well as a food dish and water bowl. If you plan on hiking, you may want to bring a doggie backpack and water bottle so your dog can carry his own snacks.  You should also bring a reflective leash and collar for safety as well as plastic baggies for cleanup.

Comfort is also crucial for dogs sleeping away from home and you should make sure to pack a soft bed and blanket for your four-legged friend. You may also want to bring along some favorite toys to ease anxiety. In case of emergencies, it's good to include a basic pet first aid kit in your pack.

Do regular tick checks

Ticks aren't just dangerous for people. Many of the same tick-borne diseases that affect people also affect our furry friends. Some of the most common diseases found in dogs include Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, Babesiosis, and Bartonella.

While camping outdoors, especially in the woods, it's essential that you do tick check each day for both yourself and your dog. You have to check both the hair and the skin for a small, round, tan-colored insect. When removing a tick, don't just pull, as this may leave the head under the skin and cause an infection. Instead, use a match or lighter to burn the backside of the tick, causing it to retract its head. If you have to pull, make sure you do so gently.

When camping with your dog, it's important to prepare properly. You should make sure to pack all the essentials for both you and your pets, including emergency supplies. It's also critical to keep an eye out for ticks, especially during summer months!

 Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash
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