Camping with pets sounds fun and it is! It’s not all fun, though. Today, we’re going to give you some valuable tips for happy and stress-free camping and hiking experience with your dogs and cats.
Tips for Camping with Dogs
Dogs are creatures of habits and they like their familiar dog food and doggy bed. Don’t forget any medication and their favorite toy! Here’s a detailed video:
2. Collars are important.
Well, the information on the collars is very important. Leashes drop and harnesses slip off so especially if dogs not microchipped, collars are important so your pet can return to you. Collars should contain at least your dog’s name and a phone number or two. A personal message won’t hurt. If your dog has a disability, add that too.
Pro tip: Include your campground number on the collar too. You can stick a piece of tape on your doggy information with your camp number. This way, people will know where to bring your dog back if Fido gets lost.
3. Having a tight recall command is unbelievably important.
We can’t stress this enough. For example, if they slip off the leash, you can easily call them back before they get too far. A recall command is useful, not only when camping but in everyday life too. Having a foolproof one is not just a basic skill you have to teach your dog. It can potentially save their life.
A ‘leave it’ command will also prove to be extremely useful. There are many curiosities at camp or on trails that can harm your dogs, such as fungi, poison ivy, and wildlife.
4. Be aware of critters in the area.
Be they fleas and ticks, rodents or bears, be sure to be aware of the critters you may encounter while in camp or while hiking and prepare accordingly. Have a flea and tick treatment or repellent, vaccinate against diseases, if necessary. We also bring bear bells on hikes–whether or not they work is debatable but we haven’t ever encountered a bear yet.
Tips for Camping with Cats
Dogs aren’t the only pets you can take camping, some cats love to camp too! The operative word being some. Not all cats will take to the outdoors well so make sure that you know your cat and they are well-trained before taking them on this big adventure. Remember, we’re talking about cats here. They ain’t doing what they ain’t doing.
1. Save yourself the misery and go practice camping with the kitty-cats first.
Unlike dogs, you can’t just spring a camping trip on your cat. Preparation and familiarity are key. Set up camp in your backyard first. Or if you have an RV or travel trailer, park your rig near your house while you stay for the night. Then try a night or two in the outdoors and if your cat enjoys it, congCATulations!
If you plan on going for hikes, train your feline. It’s better if they can learn to walk on a leash. Go for a stroll around the neighborhood every day, increasing ‘mileage’ gradually. Then, go for a chill half-day hike, then a day hike.
2. Avoid dogs and crowded trails and campsites.
Cats don’t like strangers and would shy away from people. With training, they will learn not to freeze or run away but it’s still best to avoid situations where they can be easily overwhelmed.
Crowded trails and campsites will most likely have dogs too! While there are exceptions for pets that have lived together and are used to each other, dogs and cats are mortal enemies. Dogs on the trail are most likely trained and more often than not, they won’t care about your cat. But some dogs have higher prey drives and would be curious or give chase. I err on the side of caution and keep my cats inside the trailer or pick them up on trails when there are dogs nearby.
3. A cat backpack will help a ton.
If you plan on hiking or taking a stroll (because you’re outside in nature and all) investing in a backpack for your cat is essential. We mean, the backpacks where you can place your cat and they have a little window to look at. Unlike dogs, cats don’t take too well to the leash. And even if you have the most well-behaved cat (yep, it happens), they still get tired easily. Bonus: Your cat will look like a cute little astronaut.
4. A cat tent is a novel idea but worth a try!
Before going camping, make sure that your cat likes the cat tent and actually use it. Ours attacked the first tent we made and it sadly did not survive the massacre.
5. A caravan or travel trailer would be best.
Imagine having a “zoomer” cat inside the confines of a tent with you for a whole night. That’s not the smartest formula for a pleasant night of sleep, especially if there are more than 1 humans in the tent. They–the cats, not the human–may have to stay in a cage or the car for the night. 🙁
We’re not saying that you gotta buy an RV just for this. But if you’re thinking about it, yes, do it! There are many pet-friendly caravans and travel trailers out there! If you have a recreational vehicle, you and Kitty will have more space and it will just like home. This will be by far, the most comfortable camping environment for them.
What are your ultimate tips and hacks when camping with pets? Share them with us in the comments below!