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This summer I plan on a few camping trips with my kids. It will the first time we have had a pet going with us. ANy tips/advice from those that have BTDT?
 

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Does anyone here take their dogs camping with them? How do you make it go smoothly?
 

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I have done it a couple times...First time it was me, my son and his friend(they were about 7) and 4 dogs in a tent. Everything was good until the raccoons came out and the one dog figured out how to break out of the tent:( 2:30 in the morning, pitch black and all 4 dogs took off. They all came back after about 1/2 hour, but that was scary. Moral of story, get small locks to put on tent zipper, so it can't be opened. Second time, I rented a cabin and took two dogs. It was a good experience. Just make sure you don't forget anything for the dogs, make sure they have flea/tick medicine, a secure tie out, food, water and you should be okay.
 

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We took our last dog camping with us every summer and plan to take Gally with us sometime this summer.

A good tie out stake is a must so you can secure them anywhere even if there isn't a tree around. Unless they are securely in the tent it's best to keep them leashed at all times. Mostly keeps them from taking off to chase wildlife while you're trying to cook dinner or to bother your neighbours. I hate it when the neighbours dogs come wandering into campsite to try to beg some food.

We put the tie out near our eating area. Close enough that they can sit under the picnic table but with enough room that they can go pee in the bush rather then where we're eating. Don't leave them unattended of course.
 

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I usually go on a handful of camping trips with some combination of my dogs over the summer. I think there are a couple of other threads about this if you search, but here are some of my basics...

1. Bring a kennel. I like the collapsable canvas travel kennels (Canine Camper is one brand, there are others). They are very handy to have around the campsite in my experience. I am usually camping by myself with the dog(s), so if I have to scurry off to take a quick shower or something else where I'm going to be gone longer than I want them on the tie out unattended, it's nice to be able to pop them in there. Some dogs don't really "get" sleeping in the tent at first, too, so it's nice to have it available for overnights if they are pacing or pawing at the tent. Also, because we are doing a lot of hiking and such, it's also nice to have a little "den" for them to retreat and snooze in. Pip especially likes to do this, I just leave the door open and he goes in himself (btw dogs are allowed off leash at this campground as long as they aren't bugging anyone):



2. First aid kid. Basic wound care/bandaging materials you can get at any drug store or through your vet. I also keep stuff like an antihistamine, Dramamine, a small supply of a pain reliever (ask your vet, DO NOT use human over the counter meds), eye wash, tweezers, a muzzle... I just try to brainstorm any scenario I can think of and add what I would need to deal with it into the kit. Obviously if your pet is on any long term medication, be sure you bring it.

3. Bring a pad or bed that can be outdoors. For dogs who don't like to sleep in the travel kennel, they still appreciate a "place" that is theirs.

4. Acclimate your dog to a tie-out before you actually go. Some campgrounds allow well-mannered dogs to be off leash, but most require them to be leashed around your campsite. Don't wait until you are there to pull it out for the first time. Make sure they can't get to your fire pit, it seems like they would know better, but...

5. Bring food from home. LOTS of bowls, including collapsable bowls for hiking and such. I always need to seem to need a bowl... for outside, water in the tent, water on hikes. Always have plenty of fresh water available. Bring something for them to do while you have down time around the campsite, although mine usually seem to just sleep... bully sticks or such, for example, but only if they are used to getting them. You don't want to introduce a brand new kind of chewie while you're camping and have to deal with vomiting or diarrhea.

6. You can never have enough towels.


That's all I can think of for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks everyone!

Stupid question about tie outs. Older pup is very good on one, we use it at home often since we do not have a fence. Younger pup is just learning. Those of you with more than 1 dog, do you just use 1 tie out in the ground with a different length of the chain/rope per dog? Or does each one get it's own spike thing in the ground? Did that question even make sense?

Also kennelling. We don't use crates here at home, and both pups sleep together generally. I do have 1 large folding metal crate, is it okay to put both in together at night (there is ample room for 2 to fit and have room to move about etc), or if we have to leave the site for a little bit (like for showers)? Or should I be tracking down 2 smaller ones to have them each in their own?
 

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I use separate tie outs and separate kennels.

Separate tie outs are a necessity, I think. They get tangled enough with each having their own spike, I can't imagine putting two of my dogs on one. :p

The kennels are a personal preference. I personally don't like putting two dogs in one kennel ever, really.
 

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Curious to how your camping trip went with the puppy?
We are taking our first camp trip with our new puppy soon, he will be around 10 weeks old. How did the tie down and kennel work? We have a pop up camper and are planning on having him sleep inside without his kennel, not sure he is ready for that freedom may need to purchase the soft side kennel. Thanks for any shared information.
 

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My 5 year old lab started camping with me at 6 months, and she's a pro now. If she sees me moving around camping gear it's party time.

Anyway, her crate came with me. Dog in crate in tent (the tent was big enough), and a tie out for other times, leash...etc. If I left the campsite for any reason, she was in the crate in the tent, with the cover unzipped etc for ventilation. And of course water in the crate.

A word to the wise...bring tomato juice. Lots of tomato juice. Unless you live in an area that magically doesn't have skunks. (Or whatever you would personally use to de-skunk a dog).
 

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we just got back from camping with our 6 month old pup. She actually did amazing! She didn't run off, stayed in the general area with us, and only got into some cow pies and deer poop (her favorites) Oh, she also got a fish head from the fish we caught somehow, thought we packed them all up in the garbage. We took her regular kennel and just broke it down, then set it up at the site. This was invaluable, so much less worrying. She slept in it and we used it when making food and eating, since she isn't well trained yet to leave things alone. She got absolutely filthy and found a burr bush, so that was fun, but she loved it. We bought a tie out to use, but never had to because she stayed. We were in a dispersed camping area. If we were in a campsite with people everywhere, I think it would have been a nightmare, keeping her from barking or wanting to play with other people. So if possible, see if there is somewhere off the beaten path. She also seemed to respect the camp, and went elsewhere outside camp to do her business, that was nice!I took 2 liter bottles of water, for the drive up there and during camp, food in a plastic container. If it was bear or raccoon or other critter country, be careful where you put that! We made sure to never let her in the tent or trailer, and she did great staying out so we didn'thave any problems there. We were so excited that things went well, so I hope the rest of you will go for it and have fun camping with your pups! The only downside I would say is that when we got back she had regressed a little with the leash and mouthing hands for some reason. Too much freedom, I guess. But it was worth it. I felt happy knowing she would alert us to anything major, and in the crate she was good about not barking at every little thing(another thing I was worried about).hope to make many more trips with her now!
 

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oh, I saw you also asked about kids, I would have to say the kids and dog had a great time playing together. The kids absolutely cracked up when Daisy would stick her head in the tent!The last day they started a game of "kick the can" and Daisy was right in there with them. she also stole the can a few times :) Although she wasn't behaving very well for our niece and nephew who didn't really know how to act around her. For example, they kept telling her "down" if she jumped, and we use the word "off" so that was frustrating. But not much we could do training the kids in that short of a time,even though i kept reminding them. So if you go with others, maybe a quick lesson at the beginning. A few of the kids did get food snatched out of their hands, but we are still working on that with training. Our girl is big enough to do that, a smaller puppy couldn't. Overall, I think it is a lot of fun, with a lot of work. The packing list for the dog seemed longer than the people list! I compared it to travelling with a baby!
 

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Curious to how your camping trip went with the puppy?
We are taking our first camp trip with our new puppy soon, he will be around 10 weeks old. How did the tie down and kennel work? We have a pop up camper and are planning on having him sleep inside without his kennel, not sure he is ready for that freedom may need to purchase the soft side kennel. Thanks for any shared information.
Be careful with this. If it's an area with a lot of dogs, you do run the risk of parvo exposure in a 10 week old, only partially vaccinated, pup.
 

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CptJack, Yes this was a concern too, but the place we are staying is very secluded. I bought the soft side kennel and he has been enjoying it today, hopefully all will go well. :)
 

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Curious to how your camping trip went with the puppy?
We are taking our first camp trip with our new puppy soon, he will be around 10 weeks old. How did the tie down and kennel work? We have a pop up camper and are planning on having him sleep inside without his kennel, not sure he is ready for that freedom may need to purchase the soft side kennel. Thanks for any shared information.

We haven't actually gone yet. 3 of my kids are away for a spell, once the oldest is back next week I am planning a camping trip for me, my oldest, my youngest and the 2 dogs. We are having our first experience be in a campgroun only 30 minutes from home so if it is not going well we can pack up and head home asap.
 

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So our camping trip with Cash was a success, couldn't have asked for a better time with a puppy! He is in love with the water now, he really enjoyed the boat rides, sleep in his soft side kennel in the camper perfectly. I was worried when we got home his potty habits would change, since he had the freedom of going any where on the camp site. But he still goes straight to the door and even rang his bells since we have been back home! We will be going again soon! Here are the things I took for him.

Soft Side Kennel
Tie Down 25ft (only used once)
Food, Water and Treats
Toy Bucket (discovered he likes sticks more then toys)
Leash
Life Jacket

Pictures of our fun weekend.








 
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