Saturday, 23 June 2012

Camping With Dogs: What's Needed?

Enjoying the great outdoors isn't just something for humans. There's probably nothing Lazlo would like more than to spend a few days romping around outside and smelling everything that nature has to offer. Camping can be a wonderfully fun event for dogs and offers a unique bonding experience that you're sure to cherish into the future. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering taking Lazlo on a camping trip, so read on to make sure you're adequately prepared before you hit the road with a tent and a cooler.
The first thing you'll need to do is make sure that your campsite allows dogs. Because of some irresponsible dog owners in the past who didn't feel the need to clean up after their pet or keep them on a leash, some parks have chosen to ban dogs from entry. If your site does allow dogs, don't do the irresponsible things that others have done. Nothing is worse than stepping on a big old pile of dog poo, so always make sure to clean up after Lazlo, even if you think no one will walk in that area-people walk off paths all the time. Bring bags and a small shovel if necessary. Some campsites that have a lot of dogs come through might have doggy poo disposal stations for your convenience. Check the website or call the site if you're unsure.
Also, remember to bring a leash and keep Lazlo on it and close to you, because allowing him to roam free runs the risk of him scaring other campers who aren't expecting it. Even if Lazlo is the friendliest dog in the world, someone with a fear of dogs won't appreciate being surprised in the woods by an excited dog. Additionally, you don't want Lazlo to have dangerous interactions with other wildlife. Roaming free, Lazlo runs the risk of getting sprayed by a skunk or being allowed to bite down on a poisonous frog, and that's the last thing you want to happen. So keep him close and maintain a watchful eye. Being responsible will prevent misfortunes.
Preparing for the Trip
Lazlo should be up to date on all vet visits and shots and should be properly obedience trained. Rivaling the irritation of stepping in dog poo is the nuisance of a dog barking all night when you're trying to get a good night's sleep. Lazlo should be well behaved and receptive to your commands, because there might be other people around and you should be a considerate camper. Everyone else will appreciate it. Because there might be other dogs around that aren't necessarily as up to date with vet visits, you'll want to make sure that Lazlo is inoculated and not at risk of acquiring things from other dogs. Just in case, note the location of the closest veterinarian to your campsite in the event of an accident occurring. If something does happen, you'll be glad to have that information on hand for prompt treatment.
You'll need to bring Lazlo's food and some dishes for the food and water. If you're camping in the summertime when it's hot, make sure to provide him with lots and lots of water. If you're in direct sunlight, whether it's winter or summer, find or make a shady spot for him to lie. He could get very overexcited with all the new stimuli, so give him a good place to rest once he tires himself out.
Overall, camping can be a great experience for you and Lazlo as long as you're prepared and responsible. You want to have the best experience you can while still respecting the comfort and convenience of other campers. Happy camping!
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