I admit, no reinventing the wheel with this one but it's a post I have wanted to make for awhile: my go-to best practices for camping with dogs. And since the internet allows any ole anyone to share their two cents, I've finally gone ahead and pulled together an obnoxiously cliche five favorite strategies from the many little hacks and top tips that I've tweaked over the last nine years that have made for a more fun, less bark-y experience that I think will be applicable to others.
I wrote this list with a couple ground rules in mind: you've already decided that your pup will likely enjoy camping and, while it'll be a learning experience, they probably won't be so reactive that it's a 24-hour training session, overexcited that they're anticipating every passerby to welcome them to camp, nor any other personality feature that could use some addressing beforehand. Neither is this list meant to address etiquette/rules or safety (e.g. proof of vaccination) - it's focus is on strategies to enhance enjoyment. Finally, while I believe all of these have at least some application to a number of types of camping, we're car campers staying at developed (but not "resort") sites.
I consider a few factors when picking a campground such as time of year, proximity to activities we enjoy and crowding (we're not fans). My girlies love hiking and swimming so we stay near extensive trail systems. We frequent WMNF campgrounds; in New Hampshire, they tend to be consistently distant from Ty's worst triggers of gunfire and fireworks. If we stay at a private campground, I'll give them a ring before booking, which also helps give me a sense of just how dog friendly they are.
Arya's first trip, we rented an Adirondack shelter, knowing
a 360* view would be overload. Worked like a charm!
|Ahhh I'm so excited I'm nervous!
|Princess and the pea
|At home, they usually take their chews outside so
hides make a naturally good camp snack!