There are a number of pet-friendly campgrounds in National Parks and Reserves, Provincial Parks, Regional Parks, and private parks across Canada. If you’re ready to take to the trails or relax under the stars with your pup this season, here are our top 5 tips for a camping with your pet.

PLAN AHEAD

Not all campgrounds allow pets, so be sure to research your final destination to confirm that it is dog-friendly. A little online research will help you identify pet-friendly campgrounds, parks, and trails. Rules and requirements are often listed for pet owners, as well as information about availability, any additional fees, leash-laws, and permits. We also recommend calling ahead just to confirm the details.

PACKING AND PREPARATION

Weather and nature can be unpredictable. When you are packing and preparing for your trip, consider different weather possibilities and emergencies you may face. We recommend packing a pet-friendly first-aid kit. Cuts, scrapes, torn nails and allergic reactions can all occur while camping or during a hike. You can build your own kit or add to a store-bought kit to make sure you have everything customized to your pet’s needs and lifestyle. It is also important to make sure your contact information is up-to-date for your dog’s microchip. We also recommend having a list of local veterinarians on hand, in case you have an emergency with your pup.

GEAR-UP

Think about your planned activities, and also about your dog’s needs and preferences. Then create your camping checklist! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • non-breakable food and water dishes
  • a supply of food and/or treats to last the duration of the trip
  • any medications – including flea and tick preventative
  • a reflective leash / collar / harness
  • bedding (for inside the tent and out) or crate
  • coat or sweater (depending on season)
  • pet-friendly bug repellant
  • first aid kit (see our DIY canine first aid kit)
  • Dog backpack & boots for hiking (optional)

BRUSH UP ON CAMPSITE PET ETIQUETTE

Before you embark on your adventure, consider your dog’s readiness. Being respectful and courteous to your fellow campers is a must. Dogs should know basic commands and it is especially important that they reliably come back to you on command. This will keep them off your neighboring campers’ site, and keep everyone happy! For safety reasons, it’s best to keep your pet near you at all times, and never leave them on the site unsupervised. If your pup is tied up to lounge outside with you or the family, make sure they are placed away from hazards such as food, waste, BBQ’s or campfires. Most importantly, be sure you pick up and dispose of any dog waste promptly and properly. By following good pet etiquette, you’ll help ensure campgrounds remain pet-friendly for years to come.

HAVE FUN

Camping is a great way to bond with your pup, while relaxing and having fun. Snuggle up, cook some tasty treats over the campfire, and enjoy the outdoors. With these simple tips, you and your dog will be happy campers in no time!