camping with your dogCamping is one of the most exciting things you can do with your dog. Not only do you get a refreshing break from city life with your family, but you also share this experience with your best buddy. But if you have never taken a camping trip with your pooch before, then you’re probably a little apprehensive and have plenty of questions in your mind.

How do you introduce your hound to an entirely new environment?

How do you ensure your pet doesn’t run off when it sees kangaroos and other animals?

Is it better to stay in a tent or purchase a camper trailer instead?

If you’re wondering about any of these things, then here are our top 6 tips for pet-owners like you.

    1. An obedient dog is a safe dog

    Basic obedience is vital to you and your dog’s well-being, especially in places like campgrounds and national forests. Enrol your pet in obedience school where they can learn lessons, such as “stay,” “sit,” “come,” and “leave it.” 

    Our pets are naturally curious and the commands they are going to learn are going to be helpful especially when you’re planning to go hiking. You will inevitably come across venomous reptiles and poisonous fauna in the area, so you have to ensure that your dog knows that that snake rearing its head or those shiny leaves are not worth it and should leave them alone.

      2. Update your dog’s shots and have a first-aid kit with you always

      Before introducing your puppy or adult dog to the joys of camping, make sure that they have received their complete course of vaccinations and boosters. 

      While rabies is non-existent in Australia, mandatory vaccines can protect your pooch from other diseases they can pick up in campsites, national parks, and forests.

      Pro tip: talk to your veterinarian about stocking up on medication to combat fleas and ticks.

      It’s also a wise idea to have a first-aid kit stashed in your SUV or your camper trailer in case of injuries.

      dog at campsite

      3. Socialisation is crucial to a peaceful campground

      Most campsites are already teeming with campers no matter the day of the week. Other campers also like to bring their dogs as their camping companions.

      To ensure that your camping experience is hassle-free and to minimise disruptions, ensure that your beagle or golden retriever is used to interacting with others, whether human or animal.

      Prevent reactivity and aggression by enrolling them in socialisation classes or letting them play and make friends in dog parks before you hit the road. 

      That way you prevent your dog from barking his poor head off whenever a new camper arrives or when another dog tries to say hello.

      4. Ensure they are comfortable by practising at home first

      Your samoyed or your Labrador is used to roaming your property every day whenever during the day or at night. But being on a leash constantly or staying inside a camper trailer at night is an entirely new situation for them. 

      Some pooches, unused to a cooped-up place, can pace, whine, or bark all night long inside tents and camper trailers. Some are even known to destroy tents just to get out. 

      Make sure that it doesn’t happen and you don’t run into trouble with your campsite neighbours by practising your setup in your own house first. 

      Place your tent or park your camper trailer on your property a few weeks before your trip to see how your pomeranian or Australian shepherd reacts to it. Let them snooze inside the RV or tent everyday so they can get accustomed to staying in these shelters during your first outing.

      5. Watch out for certain wildlife

      Many creatures in the Australian bush pose a risk to your pet. A few of the creatures you should watch out for include:

      Kangaroos. They may be cute but these marsupials are fierce. One strong kick can knock your collie or husky unconscious in an instant. In addition, they have razor-sharp claws which can severely injure you or your pet.

      Snakes. The coastal taipan, southern death adder, tiger snake, and eastern small-eyed snake are easily some of the most venomous snakes in our area. Be alert and look out for these snakes whenever you’re out and about with your pet.

      Dingoes. Dingoes and other wild dogs can attack your pet. Prevent dingoes and other canines from entering your campsite by keeping the area clean always. Don’t leave food lying around the campground, and put rubbish in a bag inside your vehicle to prevent wildlife from getting into them.

      Tip: Keep your dog leashed when camping or hiking to prevent them from running after wildlife or fighting with them.

      6. Bring sufficient bottled water.

      Never allow your puppy or adult dog to lap up water in streams, ponds, and lakes. This is to prevent them from contracting diarrhoea and taking home parasitic souvenirs. Bring jugs of bottled water not just for your family, but also for your German shepherd or poodle too