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A Guide To Camping With Pets

Pet Care Tips 7 min read
A Guide To Camping With Pets

If you’ve never gone camping with a pet before, it is very exciting but can also be a little bit nerve-racking. There are many things you need to pack and bring along with you that you may not think of until you get there. To help put your mind at ease and help keep you organized, we have created this guide to camping with pets for first-timers.

Planning Your Trip

Make sure your pet is a happy camper

It goes without saying that if you are planning on taking your furkiddo on a camping trip with you, you should make sure that your furkiddo has the temperament to handle it. If your furry friend can be a diva even in the comfort of their own home, they may not be suited to camping in an unfamiliar environment. If you’re unsure about how your pet will handle it, you can try some experiments to get an idea of how they will handle it. Try camping in the backyard, a quick getaway trip at a pet-friendly hotel, spend the day at the park, or even go for a long car ride. If your pet does not handle these activities well, it might be worthwhile for them to stay at home with a petsitter or stay with someone you trust while you go away on your trip.

Dog standing on the edge of a river in the mountains. A guide to camping with pets

Research local veterinarians

It can save your pet’s life to know in advance where the nearest veterinarian’s clinic is from where you are staying. If you are camping somewhere limited or with no cell reception, it helps to save the phone number and directions to the clinic on your phone in case of an emergency.

Choose pet-friendly accommodations and activities

Not all campgrounds are pet-friendly, so make sure you check to see what the site’s pet policies are before booking. If you are going backcountry camping, it can be a good idea to check if there have been any recent predatory wildlife sightings in the area. That way, there is a lower risk of running into bears or other predators that may spook or harm your pet.

If you are planning on doing activities like rock climbing or rafting, you will need to consider what your pet will be doing during that time. It is not safe to leave pets unattended in a tent or car while you are enjoying activities away from your campsite. Pets may be able to escape the tent, especially if they are anxious when left on their own in an unfamiliar environment. Pets left alone in tents, are also at risk of being attacked by predators like bears (especially if you leave them with some food), or being stolen. While a car may be a more secure place to keep your pet while away from your site, it can be equally dangerous, especially during the summer heat. A safe alternative is to have members of your camp stay behind from activities with the pets or to choose activities that your furkiddo can enjoy by your side.


Identification and registration

Prior to your trip is a good time to make sure that your pet’s registration is valid as it needs to be renewed annually. Your pet should have an ID tag on them for easy identification should they get separated from you. As the saying goes, the more the merrier which also applies to pet identification. In case your pet’s collar or ID tag comes off of them, your pet should have an ID tattoo or chip.

Vaccines and parasite prevention

Before venturing out into the wilderness, you can help prevent many illnesses that your furkiddo could be exposed to. There may be other animals and insects your pet will come into contact with during camping. We advise checking with your vet that all your furkiddo’s vaccinations are up to date. For internal parasite prevention, we recommend Inulin-PK as it is a natural dewormer and internal parasite prevention. We recommend using Inulin-PK twice daily for three months and then taking a break for three months, then repeating for long-term protection. For best results, we recommend starting Inulin-PK at least a week before your trip.

What to Pack for Your Pet

A cat sitting in the trunk of a car with camping gear

First-aid kit. This is an essential item that all pet parents should have with them when traveling with a furkiddo. As the Scouts say, always be prepared! To see what we recommend to include in your first-aid kit, click here. To read our blog that explains handy pet first-aid procedures, click here. Some of our customers have told us that they keep NHV Alge-Ex and Ouch Away Spray in their camping first-aid kit if their pet is prone to seasonal or environmental allergies. Ouch Away Spray is really helpful for skin irritations and allergic reactions, but can also be used for cuts, scrapes, and wounds.

Insect deterrent. Human insect deterrents contain chemicals that are harmful to pets and should not be sprayed on or near your pet. You should also take caution to not allow your pet to lick your skin after applying insect deterrents to yourself. To protect your furry friend from insects like fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks, we recommend NHV Target Spray. Target Spray is an all-natural, vet-formulated insect deterrent for pets.

A dog on an inflatable dog bed and another dog curled up in a blanket on a camping chair. A guide to camping with pets.

Comforts of home. Having a cozy place to curl up that smells like home can be a big comfort to a furkiddo who is exploring the great outdoors for the first time. Not to mention, you both will probably sleep better having your own cozy space to rest after a long day of adventuring. Temperatures often drop significantly at night while camping, so it is always a good idea to pack a blanket to bundle your pet up for bedtime and hours spent enjoying the stars around the campfire.

Toys and entertainment. Just like at home, your furkiddo can get bored while camping. Make sure to bring along some fun toys, puzzles, and activities to keep your furkiddo entertained while on your trip. Choose ones that you don’t mind getting dirty or lost.

Food, treats, and supplements. Pack enough of your pet’s food, water, and medications plus a little extra just in case. If you feed your pet raw or fresh food, make sure to have it securely packaged and properly cooled. Remember, all of our NHV supplements do not contain any preservatives and need to be stored in the fridge (or a cooler) after opening. NHV sprays and ointments like Target Spray do not have to be refrigerated. Make sure to pack your pet’s food and water dishes as well! It can be handy to bring multiple dishes to change out if washing the dishes every day is not as accessible. Dishes can get especially dirty while camping due to dirt and debris. We recommend using either silicone or pet-safe metal dishes, to learn more about how to make sure that your pet’s dishes are safe, click here.

Hygiene supplies. Whether your furkiddo likes to keep themselves clean and groomed or loves a good roll in the mud, it is inevitable that your pet will get a bit dirty while camping. Having a package of pet wipes is handy for cleaning them off from bigger messes or giving their paws a wipe before climbing into the tent or camper for the night. It’s also a good idea to pack a towel in case you get caught in the rain or your furry friend goes for a supervised dip in the lake. NHV CoCo Furcare can also come in handy when sharing tight sleeping quarters with your pet, as it helps cover up the infamous wet dog smell.

Some of the items that @kittymojito packed for bringing Lynx on a canoeing adventure. A guide to camping with pets

In case of rain, a raincoat can help prevent you from having to share a tent with a wet and cold pet.

Pet apparel. Speaking of going for a dip in the lake, if you plan on taking your pet on a boat or going for a swim, it is a good idea to have a life jacket for them. In case of rain, a raincoat can help prevent you from having to share a tent with a wet and cold pet. Even though temperatures during the day may be nice, it can get chilly in the evenings and mornings while camping. Bringing along a sweater for chilly evenings or dewy mornings is a good idea, just in case.

Waste disposal. Even though there are many animals who freely do their business in the wilderness, it is a good idea to have items like poop bags (we recommend compostable ones for camping), pee pads, or a litter box. Many campgrounds have restrictions for picking up your pet’s waste. Be a responsible pet parent and make sure to pick up your pet in high-traffic areas like hiking trails and beaches. Many cats will refuse to do their business anywhere except for in their litter box, so make sure you bring it along for your kitty! Pee pads are a good idea if your dog is still in the process of potty training or may not be able to hold their bladder during the night. Keep in mind that backcountry campsites do not have trash bins and you may need to take your pet’s waste with you when you leave or bury it in the ground (if it is not in a bag or a compostable bag).

Harness and leash. This is an obvious one but you definitely don’t want to forget these at home! If your pet has a tendency to wander off, getting a ‘tie out’ is a good idea. That way your furkiddo can roam around the campsite without worry about them going off on a solo journey.

Backpacker hugging cat in front of tent. A guide to camping with pets

The most important thing when you’re camping is to remember to have fun and making memories together that you will cherish! If you need any more advice about preparing for your camping trip, we are here to help! Feel free to contact our pet experts whenever you need us.

First Aid Kit For Pets

NHV Pet Experts

NHV Pet Experts

We have a dedicated group of pet expert professionals, including veterinarians, vet techs, and other pet professionals to guide you through any questions. We’re committed to your pet’s wellness and can offer additional tips, resources, nutritional advice, and more.

Published: July 24, 2020

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