Bringing a pet with you on a camping trip is like bringing your best friend along. You know you’re going to have a blast together, but there are still safe practices and precautions to take in order to protect all two-legged and four-legged attendees. From preparing and bringing enough supplies to sticking together, it’s important that you take the steps to keep yourself and your pets safe while camping.
Picking your location to set up camp and remaining cautious of your surrounding is basic camping 101. That doesn’t change when you bring a pet. They may alert you that you’re in danger sooner than you’d regularly notice, but you still have to watch what you’re doing and keep track of what’s going on around you. Nobody wants to experience an animal attack or to have it happen and your pet gets hurt.
UTILIZE A LEASH
We know this can be difficult, especially when you’re outdoors away from busy streets, but keeping your pets on a leash can be the difference in keeping them safe and spending hours trying to find them. A leash not only protects them from running off without you but it ensures they don’t get hurt facing off with other animals or even from something as unfortunate as sliding off a cliff’s edge.
Whether you’re hiking, hanging out by the lake, or relaxing at your campsite, make sure you have plenty of water. You never know when you’re going to need a little hydration boost, and animals often feel that thirst a little more frequently than humans. Bring a little extra water with you as you explore nature and hang out in the wild just in case you and your pet are away from your supplies longer than expected. Do not allow your pets to drink from streams, lakes or standing water as these waters may contain pathogens that could lead to illness.
That’s right, the buddy system applies to your pets too! While you embrace all of the stunning views and laid back schedules that come with being out in nature, don’t leave your pets unattended. If you go on a hike or decide to explore the woods around you, bring them with you.
STICK TO THE PATH
Staying on the trail is hard sometimes, especially when there’s so much out there to see. Unfortunately, it’s the safest way to protect you and your excited pet. Try to stick to the paths that’ve been marked. You never know what you’ll run into and not having a path to get away quickly can put you and your furry friend in harm’s way.
In regard to potential animal attacks, keeping food a safe distance from your tent is a good practice. Wild animals are actively seeking food at all times, they’re hungry just like humans, and storing food in your tent or right next to it can become a safety hazard. By bringing unwarranted animals around you and your four-legged friend, you can both wind up hurt.
There are endless ways to be cautious and take steps towards preventing dangerous situations from arising while camping, but the unexpected can always happen. Make sure you’re prepared and have a well thought out plan to keep all campers safe, including your pets. Before going out on your great trip, take them by your local vet and make sure they’re up to date on their needed shots. While you’re there, you can also discuss how to better take care of your little friend and how to deal with things like tics.
Should something happen that you aren’t prepared for, always make sure somebody knows you had plans to camp. Whether that be a park ranger or a friend, let somebody know and bring a radio to call for help in areas you may not have service.