There's no need to leave your dogs behind the next time you go camping. With a little preparation, your best friends can join you when you head to your favorite campground or park.
Step 1: Be sure your dogs are allowed to camp with you Contact the campgrounds or park you will be visiting, and be sure your dogs are allowed in the camping areas and on the trails.
TIP: Make sure your dogs are in shape to keep up with you while you're camping. If you want to hike, make sure your dogs can handle the distance and difficulty of the trails.
Step 2: Check dogs' vaccinations and ID tags Check to be sure your dogs' vaccinations are up-to-date. Make temporary ID tags for your dogs and include a phone number where you can be reached while you're camping, and the phone number for the campground or park where you'll be staying.
Step 3: Bring supplies Bring supplies your dogs will need. Pack food and water, dishes, a towel, a first aid kit, bags to clean up after your dogs, and extra leashes in case your first ones gets broken.
TIP: Buy doggy backpacks if your dogs are over 20 pounds and over a year old. Then they can help carry some of their supplies.
Step 4: Decide if you want the dogs to sleep in the tent with you Decide whether or not you want your dogs to sleep in the tent with you. If you don't, buy lightweight, collapsible crates.
Step 5: Keep an eye on your dogs when hiking Keep a close eye on your dogs if you go hiking and use a leash to keep your dogs close to you. Inspect their fur and paws carefully for any cuts, ticks, or burrs when you return to the campsite.
TIP: Apply sunscreen to your dogs' nose and ears when you'll be in the sun for a long time. If you have dogs with short hair or light skin, you may need to apply sunscreen across their back as well.
Step 6: Respect other campers Respect other campers who might be staying near you. Keep your dogs from barking, and clean up after them. Never leave your dogs unsupervised outside.
Step 7: Involve your dogs in all your activities Involve your dogs in all of your activities while you're camping. Take them for walks, grill them some treats, and play fetch around your campsite. Have a great time, and your dogs will be excitedly waiting for your next big camping trip.
FACT: In 1872, Yellowstone was officially established as America's first national park. Today, the park stretches across parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, covering over 2.2 million acres of land.