Like any adventure with your dog, preparation is key especially when it comes to camping. Your dog also needs to be well socialised and obedient as you will be around other people and animals, if you are considering a camping holidays (no one wants to be kept up all night with a dog barking!)
It’s important to check that not only is the campsite dog friendly but also the area you are planning to visit. For example, some beaches and pathways have seasonal restrictions, so you’ll want to make sure there’s plenty to do in the surrounding areas before booking your trip.
If it is your first time camping with your dog and you have the space, it is worth pitching your tent in advance at home. This then means your dog can become comfortable and familiar with the space before you leave. Add the bed you plan for them to sleep in while on your trip to help it feel like a safe place for them to relax.
Make sure your dog’s collar has an up to date ID tag on with all the correct contact information. It’s also a good idea to take a spare collar and lead just in case.
Bring enough food for the whole trip. Most campsites should be able to provide you with fresh running water but it’s always a good idea to bring some of your own bottles as well. Pack useful collapsible bowls for your dog’s food and water which don't take up to much space and can be easily carried.
Remember additional towels and water to clean your dog after any muddy adventure (no one wants to share a tent with a smelly and wet dog!) When it comes to sleeping, it may sound cruel but unless your dog is sleeping in a completely sealed tent then a tether is vital. At night, while your fast asleep your dog may slip under an outer, tempted by strange sounds and smells.
It should go without saying but always make sure you clean up after your dog, especially in a space you’re sharing with other people – Poo bags are a necessity!
It’s a good idea to take a First Aid Kit especially for your dog – This can include the local vet’s number, tick remover, bandages, scissors, tweezers and antiseptic (we are big fans of the Lila Loves it kit). Your dog will also need to be fully up to date with their vaccinations.
A brush can also be a good idea - After a long walk in the countryside a brush is an essential item, especially if your dog has long hair. You want to try and avoid the hair matting as grass seeds and any other nasty can find it easy to hide. Also make sure you check your dog’s paws and ears after walks in long grass.
However just like people, camping isn’t for every dog. If your dog is frightened of loud noises, nervous around groups of people or skittish when it comes to people talking in the dark, perhaps camping isn’t for them.