Everyone loves puppies and because of this, there’s a good chance that you are going to want to take your puppy along with you just about everywhere you go. While you can’t exactly take the puppy down to the store or to work with you, there are some activities that seem perfectly puppy-friendly, such as camping.
You might not realize it but it actually takes quite a bit of preparation to make sure that your puppy is ready to go camping. It is always best to take your puppy on smaller camping trips first before you go on a big one and you should always make sure that your puppy is ready to go camping with you.
There are a few things that you will need to check off before you can even think about taking your puppy camping, though.
Making Sure that Your Puppy Is Ready for the Big Trip
The most important thing to note is that you should not be taking your puppy outside in the first place, let alone camping, until the puppy has completed its vaccines. Puppies are not born with a fully developed immune system and it takes approximately four months for it to develop. After your puppy’s 16-week vaccines, then you can begin to consider taking your little dog out into the big world.
There are going to be many, many sights and sounds that are going to distract your puppy. Chances are that if it is still chasing everything that moves, including its tail, a campground might be too overwhelming for your puppy — and not the type of overwhelming that is fun for your dog. Your puppy should be mature enough that it should have some sense of discretion when it comes to what to chase and what not to chase.
Speaking of maturity, if your puppy is still chewing holes on shoes, clothes, and all of the things that you don’t want it chewing on, there’s an extremely good chance that your puppy will chew holes into your expensive camping equipment. This should be a sign that your puppy is not quite ready or well-behaved enough to be able to handle a camping trip.
Speaking of being well-behaved and considering the fact that there are going to be many, many wonders that your dog will want to explore, you should make sure that your puppy knows and obediently follows basic commands such as “stop” and “stay.” This should be another requirement for your puppy before you deem it ready to come along with you on a camping trip.
And finally, you should know your dog’s personality better than anyone. If your dog is more relaxed and gets overwhelmed by too many sights and new sounds, then it might not be a good idea to take it camping quite yet. On the other hand, if your dog loves walks, adventure, and the outdoors, it might make for the time of your puppy’s life to take it out camping.
Choosing the Best Campsite for Your Puppy
To make sure that you are making this experience as beneficial as possible for your puppy, you are going to want to make sure that you choose a good campsite for your puppy. There are a few things that you will need to be aware of but not that many, leaving you a fair amount of freedom to choose an excellent site for your dog’s stay.
You will want to try and choose a campsite far away from other campers. With as many new sights, sounds, and smells that your puppy will experience, being near other people is just going to make the whole experience a bit too overwhelming for your puppy. It can make matters all the more difficult if other campers smell of animals or, worse, have other animals with them.
Especially during the hottest months of the year, you will want to make sure that you are choosing an area that has plenty of shade for your puppy to rest in throughout the day when you are not hiking and exploring the land. This shade is especially vital for breeds that run hot and breeds that have particularly long or thick fur.
And, understandably, you are probably going to get tired of constantly holding a leash for your puppy. You should look for an area with a fair amount of trees where you can securely tie the leash down, giving your puppy limited freedom to explore without putting too much strain on your wrist. Always make sure that you securely tie the leash, though, if you plan to do this.
Make Sure That You Are Prepared to Care for Your Puppy
Ultimately, you can think of your puppy as a silly toddler. You are going to need to care for it and since it cannot properly verbalize its needs, you are going to need to look out for it. There are plenty of ways that you can end up doing this.
For one, you are going to want to make sure that you are feeding the dog about twice as much as you otherwise would. Just as you need to eat more and keep your energy levels up high when you are camping and hiking specifically, your puppy is going to need the same so you should feed it more often.
Likewise, you should give the puppy water as much as you can as the puppy will likely be hot and exhausted. If there are streams or ponds of water nearby, you will want to make sure that they are safe for your puppy to drink before you let it try and drink from them. This is an important part of making sure that your puppy will remain healthy.
While you are camping out, you will want to try to stick to your dog’s schedule as much as you can. If the dog gets a meal as the sun goes down, make sure to give the dog a meal when the sun goes down. If the dog gets a walk after that meal, make sure to take your dog for a walk after that meal. Dogs, much the same as humans, are creatures of habit and keeping these habits is going to be important to your dog.
Because puppies are seemingly full of energy, you are going to want to make sure that you are either cautious with giving it long and strenuous playtimes or you should know what the signs of exhaustion are in a dog. Especially if your puppy is going to grow into a large breed, you do not want to put it at risk for major pain by overexerting it from a young age.
At dark, make sure that you keep a close eye on what your puppy is doing and where it is. There are plenty of animals that roam the forests at night that your puppy absolutely does not need to be interacting with. Make sure that your puppy isn’t trying to stir extra trouble up with animals that it shouldn’t be messing with.
And last, but most certainly not least, make sure that you know how to care for your puppy’s first aid. There are plenty of things that can hurt your puppy’s paw pads so consider making it wear puppy boots. Do thorough tick inspections after every outing and, most importantly, monitor your puppy for any signs of pain or discomfort.
After following these methods, you can rest assured knowing that you will be able to have an enjoyable camping trip alongside your puppy. For many people, this is the best bonding moment of their pets’ and their own lives.