We have spent many happy nights in a tent under the stars. Unsure how Lacey and Clayton (complete indoor pups) would take to spending day and night in the woods we decided on a one night trip to see how things would go.
To start off on the right paw we made sure to practice camping petiquette. Most campgrounds are pet-friendly but it only takes a few bad owners to cause this to change. Here are tips to remember so we can all continue to enjoy camping with our best buds in the future.
Leashes Required – Nearly every campground requires pets to be leashed at all times. Even if your dog is perfectly behaved off-leash, this is not the time or place. Other campers and pets may be afraid of dogs, and to see a dog without a visible restraint is inconsiderate and unfair. A longer leash attached to a tree or zip-line at the campsite may be OK but walking on trails and around the sites a lead no longer then six feet is appreciated. Respect your neighbors and leash up!
Give ‘Em Space – Camping is an opportunity to relax. As much as your pup may want to play with everyone in sight, people and other dogs may not want to interact. Always ask before approaching and be understanding if they say no.
Quiet Please – Along with relaxing, camping can be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the tranquility of nature. Not much will disturb the peace faster than a howl or series of barks after the creature of the moment to scatter across your campsite. Having treats handy will help distract your pup.
A Training Moment – Old dogs can definitely learn new tricks and any new environment or experience provides a wonderful opportunity to expand your dog’s training. Your campsite is a new spot to practice come, sit and leave it. Don’t forget working together builds his confidence and strengthens your relationship.
Pick Up that Poop – Left behind dog waste is a major consideration when parks, beaches and campgrounds decide to allow dogs. You may think that your dog’s poop doesn’t have an impact, but multiply that waste by hundreds or thousands of dogs, over time things pile up!
Follow the Rules – This may seem obvious, but it’s important to be aware and then follow the rules of the campground where you’re staying. Restrictions can vary, covering everything from leash length to areas where pets are not allowed. Some campgrounds do not allow pets to be left unattended so it’s important to ask for the campground’s pet policy before making your reservation.
Camping is a Family Affair – As much as possible, take your pups with you when you leave the campsite! A campground can be a scary place and a dog can become loud or destructive when they’re uncomfortable being left alone. Check with the campground for any places pets are not allowed and plan accordingly.
Keeping these petiquette rules in mind next time you and your pups head out for adventure and you’ll both be happy campers.