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Tips for Taking Your Pets Camping

The better you prepare for your camping trips the more enjoyable they’ll be, and the same is true for bringing along your pets. Here are a few things to think about up front to make sure that Fido and Fluffy also have fun on your next camping trip:

1. Practice Makes Perfect. If your pet isn’t used to taking long trips in your car or RV, take them on a few shorter drives, then successively longer ones, to help them get acclimated. Also, when planning out your travel times, keep in mind that you’ll probably be making more pit stops than you normally would.

Cat Sleeping

2. Safety First. If your pet rides in a kennel, make sure that it’s property secured so it doesn’t slide around and that it’s large enough for your pet to stand up, lie down and turn around in. Pets that don’t use a kennel should be secured to a seat belt in the back seat with a special harness designed for that purpose. Never let your dog hang its head out the window (no matter how much he loves to do it) because he or she could get injured by flying debris. Also, never leave your pets in a parked car, even with the windows cracked open, because in warm weather, the car can quickly turn into an oven and cause your pet to develop heatstroke.

Dog in Bed3.  Be Prepared. Think about everything your pet will need on your trip, including a food bowl, leash, waste bags, litter and litter box, medications and first aid supplies. Be sure to bring along a sufficient supply of the food that they’re used to eating along with plenty of water from home. Otherwise, sudden changes in diet and drinking water could cause digestive problems. Bringing along a favorite toy, bed or blanket can also help ease your pet’s transition to their new camping home.

4. Tags Matter. Make sure your pet’s tags are securely fastened to their collar and that they include your cell phone number so you can be contacted if your pet gets lost. Also, since cell service can be spotty in some camping areas, it’s a good idea to add a temporary tag with the name of the campground where you’ll be staying.

Dog Outside

5. Check with Your Vet. If your pet tends to have anxiety when riding in a vehicle, you may want to check with your vet to see if there are any medications that may help. Also, whenever you travel, it’s a good idea to bring along your pet’s medical records, including vaccination information, to make sure you’re prepared in the event of an emergency.

Find pet-friendly campgrounds

To find a campground that will gladly welcome your pet(s), go to our “Find a Park” feature, enter your desired destination, and click “Pet Friendly” in the “Lifestyles” tab.

Dogs Outside