By: Jennifer Dawson
Those of us who love the outdoors likely also have a pooch or two that love the outdoors as well, but often taking your dog with you on a trip – especially one that includes, hiking, camping, and boating– can seem daunting. It’s no surprise that 39% of campers report never traveling with pets, but including your dog in your outdoor adventures can be a fun, stress-free way to enrich the life of your beloved pet.
If you have an active dog who enjoys being outdoors, hiking is likely one of his or her favorite activities. It is important to recognize whether or not your dog will be able to navigate the trail you’ve chosen. Treat your dog as you would yourself— always bring water, make sure you have snacks on hand.
Before you go, make sure you check out the leash laws in your state, and only allow your dog off-leash if it is legal. Wildlife smells, and other humans and dogs on the trails are all distractions your dog will need to be able to resist in order to go off-leash. If going off-leash is not an option, dogs who tend to pull or get excited may be best suited to a harness.
If your dog won’t mind the noises of the engine or the rocking motion of the boat, he or she may be a perfect addition to a family boat outing. Perhaps bring them onboard slowly and let them explore it while still docked or on the trailer, and make the trip a positive experience by including toys and other accessories to keep them occupied and happy.
Make sure you are well-equipped with plenty of water for your pet, a place where they can get out of the sun and into the shade, and a high-quality life jacket (even if you think your dog is Michael Phelps!). It is also important that both you and your dog are strong enough swimmers to get them safely back onboard should they encounter a strong current.
Camping with your dog can be a great experience for both you and your pup provided that you are prepared. Always make sure that you book a pet-friendly campsite. Many campsites do not allow pets! Be sure to call ahead or check online before you book your site. Once you find a campsite that will welcome you and your furry friend, things like a soft, durable bed, bowls for food and water, and a long tie-out cable are all must-haves when bringing your dog camping. Car camping is probably your best bet when traveling with your pet to ensure that you have all your supplies for yourself as well as your dog.
Including your furry friends on your outdoor adventures can be an exciting and rewarding experience for both you and your dog. All you have to do is keep in mind some simple safety precautions and bring the right supplies. As long as you follow this simple guide, you and your dog can make memories for years to come.