Tips For Getting A Dog Used To Camping

Camping with a dog can be a wonderful experience. But if your dog has never been camping before, then things can go wrong. Though dogs should be in their natural element in the great outdoors – not all dogs are automatically excellent campers.

Many of us have had negative experiences on campsites with noisy dogs, or owners who do not keep their pets under control. It should go without saying that you should be able to control your dog – if you cannot – steer clear of a camping holiday where you might disturb or disrupt other people's escapes. Always pick up after your pet, and make sure you have all the basics you need to take care of your dog while you are away.

But in addition to taking care of the basics, dog owners trying camping with their dog for the first time should think about how to make the experience pleasant, easy and enjoyable for their canine companion. Here are some tips for getting a dog used to camping:

Have A Dry Run

If you are not sure how your dog will react to a camping experience, you could consider having a dry run before you go. Introduce your dog to your campervan, motorhome or caravan, or pitch your tent in the garden so your dog is more familiar with the sleeping environment. Even if you do not sleep inside before you go, if your dog is familiar with the sights and smells of the campsite it will be more likely to feel comfortable and secure while you are away. If you get a new puppy, and like regular camping trips, try to take your dog on its first camping holiday as soon as possible.

Take Your Dog's Bed and Familiar Items With You

You can also help a dog feel more at home on a campsite by making sure that you take the dog's bed, or other familiar items with you, so the dog realises that the tent, campervan, motorhome or caravan is 'home' for the duration of your stay. A settled dog who understands his or her place is more likely to adapt well to the changes experienced on a camping adventure.

Keep To A Campsite Routine

Dogs are often adaptable, fitting in with whatever their owners want to do. But they are also creatures of habit, and many like to stick to a particular routine. If you deviate too much from the routine a dog has become used to, they can get uncertain and feel less secure. A campsite routine will obviously not necessarily be the same as the routine you have at home, but when it comes to food, and sleep, it is a good idea to establish a routine for your dog during the time on a campsite. Try to feed your dog at the same times each day of your stay, and help them to understand when it is time to bed down for the night.

Tire Out Your Dog

A tired dog will usually be a happy dog. A camping trip is perfect for your canine companion because it gives plenty of opportunity to get out there for walks and exercise in the great outdoors. Making sure your dog is good and tired by the end of each day while camping is a great way to ensure that you all get a good night's sleep.