Going camping is a popular family activity, and an increasing number of pet owners are including their dog in the fun.
For those who plan to take their pet along while venturing into the great outdoors this summer, we offer the following canine camping safety tips.
- Pay a visit to the vet before you go. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are all up to-date, and take a copy of the records with you in case of an emergency.
- Be prepared for bugs. All sorts of insects, including fleas and ticks, run rampant in wooded areas where campsites are often located. Give your dog all necessary flea- and tick-prevention treatments before your trip.
- Update ID information. Identification is extremely important in case your dog gets lost. In addition to checking the ID tag on your dog's collar to make sure the information is current, check with your dog’s microchip recovery service provider to ensure your contact information is up to date. To enroll your pet in a 24-hour recovery service, visit www.akcreunite.org.
- Plan for both day and nighttime. Take a flashlight with you for night walks, and a water bottle that clips onto a belt so your dog can stay hydrated when you both are out during the day.
- Clean-up supplies. Don’t forget to bring along bags to pick up after your dog’s potty breaks.
- Equip yourself for emergencies. Pack a pet first-aid kit to take with you. Essentials include tweezers to remove ticks should your dog encounter any, styptic powder to stop bleeding, antibiotic ointment for wounds, and bandages. For supplies to cover a wider range of emergencies, see the list below:
What to Pack in a Pet First-Aid Kit
Items in your pet's first-aid kit can include:
- Waterproof storage container for kit
- Antiseptic/anti-bacterial cleansing wipes
- Alcohol prep pads
- Antibotic ointment
- Eye wash
- Saline wound cleanser
- Sterile gauze
- Bandage tape
- Bandage scissors
- Vetwrap or similar flexible, self-sticking bandage wrap
- A sock (foot wrapper)
- Popsicle sticks/wooden paint stirrers (to use for splinting)
- Pet thermometer and lubricant gel
- Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting if needed)
- Diarrhea remedy (check with your vet for recommendation)
- Latex surgical gloves
- Pedialyte powder (electrolytes that can be added to water on hot days)
- Emergency “space blanket” (for freezing weather or to cover an animal who is in shock)
- Small flashlight
- Bottled water
- Spare collar and lead
- Soft muzzle
- Feminine sanitary napkins (can wrap around dog leg and won’t stick to wound)
- Benadryl or other medication for in case your dog has a sudden allergic reaction (consult your vet)
- Paper towels
- Plastic bags
- Up-to-date copy of dog's medical records in waterproof bag
- Any special medication your dog is on