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Camping With Fido

June 1, 2017

Are you planning to spend some time in the Great Outdoors this summer? If so, you may very well want to take your dog with you. Fido loves exploring new places! Just be sure to put your pet’s safety first. In this article, a Springdale, ON vet discusses camping with Fido.


Make sure your furry pal has been spayed or neutered, and is current on his vaccinations and parasite control. Fido should also be microchipped and wearing current ID tags.


Camping isn’t necessarily going to be great fun for every dog. If your pet has health or mobility issues, or is a senior, toy breed, nursing mama, or puppy, Fido may be more comfortable staying in a doggy hotel. Ask your vet for more information.


Before taking Fido camping, make sure he knows—and obeys—basic obedience commands. This is important for both petiquette and safety.


Fido will need food, toys, treats, an extra collar and leash, bedding, waste baggies, a towel, and a doggy first aid kit. You’ll also need to bring dishes. Look for collapsible plastic dishes, which are easy to carry. If you’ll be spending time near the water, bring a doggy lifejacket as well. You may also want to pack a pet raincoat.


The wilderness can be a very dangerous place for a curious dog. Don’t let your furry friend run around off-leash, and keep him away from areas that could be potentially dangerous, such as cliff sides and riverbanks. The campsite can also be hazardous. Campfires and hot coals are two big concerns. The trash is another issue, as it can contain things like skewers, bones, can lids, and plastic wrappers, which are all dangerous to Man’s Best Friend.


Don’t let your canine companion drink from unknown water sources. If you can’t bring water along, treat Fido’s water to make sure it’s safe for him. You can boil it, or use purification tablets.


Always pick up after your four-legged buddy. Check local ordinances to see if you can bury your dog’s waste.

Puppy Check

We recommend giving your canine friend a nose-to-tail check every day. You’ll want to look for ticks, as well as for signs of cuts, scratches, or insect bites.

Our Advice on Camping With Fido in 2024

What are the essential preparations for taking a dog camping?

Before taking a dog camping, essential preparations include ensuring the dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and parasite control. The dog should be microchipped and wearing current ID tags. Pack essentials like food, water, bowls, leash, collar, bedding, waste bags, and a doggy first aid kit. If near water, a doggy lifejacket is advisable. Training in basic obedience commands for safety and etiquette is crucial. Also, consider the dog’s health and temperament – not all dogs are suited for camping. Finally, consult your vet to ensure your dog is fit for the adventure and discuss additional precautions.

What basic obedience commands should a dog know before going camping?

Before camping, a dog should know basic obedience commands for safety and control. These include “Sit,” “Stay,” “Come,” “Heel,” and “Leave it.” Mastery of these commands helps manage the dog in various situations, such as encountering wildlife, other campers, or potential hazards. “Sit” and “Stay” ensure the dog remains in place when needed, while “Come” is crucial for recall. “Heel” keeps the dog close during walks, and “Leave it” prevents them from picking up or eating unsafe objects. Consistent obedience reduces risks and enhances the dog and owner’s camping experience.

What items should be packed for a dog when going camping?

When camping with a dog, pack essential items, including Adequate dog food and treats; Collapsible water and food bowls; Leash, collar, and a sturdy harness; Doggy first-aid kit; Waste bags for clean-up; Comfortable bedding and any needed shelter; Dog-safe insect repellent and sunscreen; Doggy lifejacket if near water; A towel or grooming supplies for cleaning; Any medications the dog requires; A favorite toy or chew for entertainment. These items ensure the dog’s basic needs are met and help manage various situations you may encounter while camping.

What are the potential dangers for dogs in wilderness camping areas?

In wilderness camping areas, potential dangers for dogs include Wildlife encounters, like snakes or predatory animals; Risk of getting lost or wandering off; Ingesting toxic plants or harmful substances; Exposure to parasites, ticks, and fleas; Risk of injury from rough terrain, thorns, or sharp objects; Extreme weather conditions, like heat or cold; Drowning risks in bodies of water; Campfire or cooking equipment burns; Accidental ingestion of campsite trash or food remnants. Proper supervision, preventive measures, and awareness of the surroundings are vital to keeping dogs safe in these environments.

Why should dogs avoid drinking from unknown water sources while camping?

Dogs should avoid drinking from unknown water sources while camping due to the risk of contamination. These sources can harbor harmful bacteria, parasites, and algae, potentially leading to waterborne diseases like giardiasis or leptospirosis. Consuming contaminated water can cause gastrointestinal illness, diarrhea, and more severe health issues. To ensure safety, provide your dog with clean, treated, or boiled water. Avoiding unknown water sources helps prevent health complications and ensures a safe camping experience for your canine companion.

Please contact us, your local Springdale, ON animal clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are always here to help!