If ever two things were made for each other it is dogs and camping.
As a camping aficionado you have a lot in common with your canine friend. A love of the great outdoors, a passion for exploring wooded trails, and going on long hikes until you are ready to drop.
It doesn’t matter if you are going on a camping trip as a family or solo, a dog makes an ideal companion.
In a family group your dog will provide a focus for the kids and encourage them to hike all day long with their four-legged buddy.
If you are going solo, a dog will not only provide companionship but will also be a handy security guard, especially at night when you are sleeping.
If you haven’t yet taken your dog camping with you, or are just looking for some advice on getting the most from your holiday, here are our top five essential tips for camping with your dog.
Not the kind you eat with chips. Though Fido would definitely thank you for one of those.
I mean a stake of the metal corkscrew variety you can screw into the ground near your tent and attach your dog’s lead to, allowing him the freedom to wander around without any chance of getting lost.
You should also consider taking a few windbreaks which you could use to create a ‘fenced off’ area outside your tent to give your dog his own space.
Make sure you pack your dog's bed
You may like sleeping rough (woof?) but your dog won’t. He will want the security and familiarity of his own bed or crate, and don’t forget to take his favourite toy either.
If your tent isn’t large enough to accommodate pooch and bed together you can actually buy a dog tent to sit alongside your own.
Don't forget the essential supplies
Of course I mean essential supplies for your dog.
You will need enough doggie food to last the duration of your holiday. Don’t forget the feed bowl and you will need a plentiful supply of pooh bags as well. Make sure you clean up after your dog both within the camp site and on your hikes.
Other supplies you should pack include a spare collar and lead, treats, and you may find an empty two litre plastic pop bottle useful for taking water with you on your walks.
ID is important
If you are in the UK your dog must be microchipped by law. But, whether you are in the UK or not, you should ensure your dog has a microchip with all your contact details.
If the worst should happen and you become separated from your dog a microchip makes it much more likely you will be reunited.
Apart from the microchip, you should ensure your up-to-date contact details including name, address and phone number is on the tag of the dogs collar.
ID is so important as even the most well behaved dog can get excited or spooked and run off. Make sure you can be contacted if you and your canine chum become separated.
Do your homework
Make sure you know the rules and regulations of the campsite you are visiting. Most dog friendly sites insist on dogs being kept on a lead at all times. You must respect this. Don’t be tempted to let your dog off the lead when you are on the site.
Outside the camp be very aware of your surroundings if letting your dog off the lead. Don’t allow him to worry farm animals.
Other homework you should do is to find out whether there are any restrictions on where you can take your dog.
For example, some beaches only allow dogs at certain times of the year and some paths or farmland around the campsite may be off limits.
Go camping with your dog soon
If you have never been camping with your dog you should do so as soon as possible.
Remember our tips and pack up the tent and dog bed and hit the road. You will both have the time of your life.
What’s your favourite tip when camping with your dog, share in the comments below.