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Dogs are the ultimate camping companions. Whether you’re exploring foreign territory or wandering into the dreamiest landscapes, having your best friend by your side to share in the experience creates an everlasting bond.

In this article, I’ll explain why camping is the ultimate dog-friendly vacation. So, if you’re going to spend the rest of your weekend as a nomad, read below to check out why you’ll want to bring Fido – if you haven’t already.

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Photo courtesy of the Flickr Creative Commons. Photo credit: Vincent Murphy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/strangematter/

They’re Going to Love it

With hectic schedules and limited space for running free, your dog will love being out in nature when they’re used to spending most of their hours indoors. Camping provides tons of areas to pad around, new smells to detectm and varying terrain to explore, which is basically a dog’s version of Disneyland.

While big breeds such as Labradors and retrievers are primed for being outdoors, if you’ve got a mid-sized or smaller dog make sure to test their comfort level if you’re thinking of taking them camping. Go on a short hike nearby and see how they handle it, and test their comfort level swimming in a local lake to see how they adapt to outdoor situations.

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Photo courtesy of the Flickr Creative Commons. Photo credit: Dale https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalesbest/

Preparation Isn’t too Tough 

While there is definitely planning that goes into taking your dog camping, the preparation is actually pretty similar to what you need for a solo camping trip. Things like a sleeping bag, water canteen, protective footwear, and insect repellent should all be on your checklist, and they’re also things you should get your dog.

Before I hit the woods with my dog, I pick up the essentials. This includes water, water bowl, food, treats, bedding, toys, health records, leash, harness, bags for waste, and a first aid kit. I have a basset hound that tends to wander, so I always strap him into a reflective vest for safety reasons.

Also be sure to look into the pet rules at the campsites you’re checking out. Some campsites require leashes or harnesses in the campsite area, and then they’re free to roam on the trails. No matter what the rules are, be sure your dog has proper identification in case of separation. 

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons. Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/veganflower/

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons. Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/veganflower/

You’ll Get Solid Quality Time with Fido

Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who work from home or have a pet-friendly workplace, your dog is probably on their own for a good portion of the day. One of the best things about dogs is that even if you do spend time away, they’re always happy to see you and don’t hold a grudge when you come back. Showing them some extra TLC by having a few days dedicated solely to spending time with them doing something they inherently love is the ultimate way to repay them in a sense.

Camping is sounding pretty great right about now, isn’t it? No complicated travel plans, just a packed up car or camper, the great outdoors, and those you’re surrounded by.

I hope to see you and your furry best friend on the trails soon!

Meet Anna, mom to Norman Larry, the basset hound, and world sailor. When Anna and Norman aren’t exploring another adventure or eating peanut butter, they can be seen hanging out at the local dog parks. Say hello @annaleacrowe.

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