Generally you only hear about campers when they are quote/unquote “not happy.” Well, if anything, dogs are not not happy. And when dogs go camping, they are ecstatic.

It could be the wilderness. It could be the adventure. It could be all the new smells. But most likely, it’s because they’re thrilled to get out and spend some time with you.

So, we thought we’d offer a few tips for anyone looking to take their best friend for an overnight trip into the great outdoors.

  1. Ward off the fleas and ticks. Your dog is a worthy companion. Uninvited pests tend to put a damper on an evening under the stars. So, make sure you’re up to date on vaccinations and medications. You might even want to stop in to see the vet before you hit the trail.
  2. Pet first aid is a thing. You can pick up a first aid kit up at your favorite pet supply store, or your can assemble your own. Make sure your kit has disposable gloves, bandages, gauze, wrap, tape, scissors, dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, tweezers, antiseptic wipes and, of course, treats (it’s much easier to administer care to a semi-distracted pup). Oh and don’t forget vet wrap or self-adhesive bandages, which are great for wrapping wounds because it sticks to itself but not their fur. Hopefully, you won’t need any of it.
  3. Leash, tether and stake. You never know what you’ll run into while camping. Even the most well-trained dogs can get distracted, so having these simple items can allow you and your camp-panion (see what we did there?) to relax and enjoy nature.
  4. Collapsible bowls are nice. Anything portable that can hold food and water is obviously important. If it takes up less space, even better.
  5. Poop bags! You don’t need to clean up all of nature’s messes, but you should pick up after your dog, especially if you’re going to a designated camping area where others will be visiting after you.
  6. A nice spot to sleep. Your dog will gladly snuggle alongside you, but you might want to offer a designated area in the tent.

And don’t forget the toys. There’s plenty to do in nature, but if your dog gets bored or just needs something familiar to help settle, a friendly-smelling chew toy can come in handy.

Most importantly, have fun. And take pictures. We’d love to see ‘em!