Camping with dogs can be so much fun. The hiking trails, swimming at the lake, the midnight cuddles by the campfire but with fun outdoors danger always lurks near and you can’t ever play it to safe. I went on two camping trips with my pups. Shortly after our first camping trip I learned how to properly get ready for my next camping trip. After my years of being a Veterinary Assistant I decided to properly put together a First Aid Kit that will benefit my fur-babies in case of an emergency. I also found what items to bring for my pups for our next camping trips. I included items that will benefit both my senior baby, Opie and my crazy Boxer, Yara.
OUR FIRST CAMPING TRIP WITH DOGS
During our first camping trip at Land Between The Lakes (read about it here), we had brought the bare minimum and shortly came to find that that wasn’t enough for our dogs. I realized that I hadn’t packed enough water. Well I did if they didn’t continue to spill it all. Even after putting it at the farthest safest reach my dog Yara still pawed at it till she tipped the bowl and spilled the water everywhere. The food started to get ants in it and eventually got spilled on the ground as well. I forgot to bring poop bags to pick up their feces so that was interesting. Instead, I used the boxes from the juices and other trash to pick it up. I eventually felt bad for my old man Opie as his legs continue to fall asleep and shake due to his arthritis. I quickly learned that even though we were having a fun time, they probably weren’t enjoying themselves or this camping trip too much.
OUR SECOND CAMPING TRIP WITH DOGS
For our second camping trip I came better prepared (read more about our camping trip here). We had a tarp just for them as well as blankets and even Opie’s bed so his legs will get a rest from the hard ground. [By the way, if you have a dog that has joint issues I highly recommend using a joint supplement for canines. I used to use Rejuvenate from Banfield Pet Hospital but now I am looking into a new brand. Will update when I find something I really like.] I would lay the tarp down and put their blanket and bed on it and they were happy as can be.
FOOD AND WATER FOR YOUR DOGS
Also I brought a few toys and monitored their food and water more carefully. I also brought a lot more water than I did at the previous trip. One thing I do is that I keep my milk jugs and I wash them out and fill them up with filtered water from home. I have about 5 or 6 in the laundry room. Beats buying new water jugs every camping trip and also eliminates waste going into our landfills. If you don’t use your jugs you can always recycle them. For their food I gave them food in the morning and gave them about an hour to eat while we ate our breakfast and then put it up to make sure it didn’t get bad or filled with ants or any other bugs. I used a coffee container to store their dog food in. I also packed more food then I needed. You know, just in case Yara wants to spill it everywhere like she does with her water.
LEASHES, FIRST AID KIT, MEDICATIONS, AND OTHER THINGS THAT I PACKED
I had two leashes as well, one tie around that I placed on the trees nearby so they won’t run off and another one to walk them with. You can also buy the in ground ones which may work for smaller dogs. My dogs dig them out and run off so a tree is the safest option for us. I also brought a First Aid Kit. Yara, my boxer, has a history of getting hives over any little thing. I figured putting together a First Aid Kit with everything that I will need will be very useful. Knowing my dog has allergies to many things I made sure to include Benadryl in my kit. There’s other over the counter medications that you can bring as well. Please discuss these over the counter medications with your veterinarian for proper dosages. I recommend making a list of all of these mediations with their dosages and your veterinarian’s information and laminating it to have handy in your pet’s First Aid Kit. At the end of this post you will find a packing and first aid list that has helped me out tremendously. I will update this list as I continue to find more things that will help make your camping trips easier and headache free.
I also found some amazing dog travel bags by Overland Dog Gear to store all of your pet’s camping items in. They have 3 available: one for small dogs and one for medium and large dogs. I was putting all of my stuff in a box and found these bags to be very convenient. You can put all of your items in there including food, leashes, collars, and extra items. Also don’t forget to pick them up some toys to play with. I highly recommend a tug rope to play tug of war with them. It’s my boxers favorite.
FIRST AID KITS FOR DOGS THAT I RECOMMEND
I also found these 2 pet friendly First Aid Kits which has the majority of the items that you need to have just in case of an emergency. One of them is from Adventure Dogs which is my favorite cause it also includes a $16 field manual which covers important information on being outdoors and emergency situations. You can also add more items to your kit down the road as you use it by purchasing Adventure Dog’s Heeler Series or even use it for walks and hikes. This kit includes a small first aid manual for pets which can come very handy during the rush of an emergency situation. The second First Aid Kit that I highly recommend is the AKC’s Pet’store First Aid kit which comes in a zippered hard case pouch consisting of 46 pieces. It doesn’t bring a manual though which was the only down part about it but you can always purchase a small pocket guide like this one here to place in your kit. I chose the 3 pack one so this way you can have one in the First Aid Kit, one in your backpack, and one in the car. Purchasing these kits are very convenient as it makes your shopping a little easier and it has plenty of more room to add any other things that you may want to include or may need such as over the counter medications, prescription medications, and ointments just to name a few. (Please don’t use Adams or Hartz as they have a history of toxicity in pets that have used their products. I have personally seen these cases first hand while working as a Veterinary Assistant and I would personally never use them on my pets.)
ALWAYS HAVE A FIRST AID KIT SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR DOG
It is very important to always have a first aid kit with you specifically for your pup. It is best to speak with your veterinarian to get a better idea of what you need for your dog while on the trail. In my first aid kit I usually keep some over the counter medications and some emergency items for injuries. I’ll break these down into two sections to make it easier.
OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATIONS FOR DOGS
Before I start going over the over the counter medications that I carry for MY DOGS I want you to know that it is best to talk with your Veterinarian to see which medications are best for YOUR DOG and what are the best dosages for each one of them.
Here’s a few over the counter medications that I use with my pups. I like to keep Benadryl in hand at all times. It helps alleviate any allergic reactions that my pup Yara may have with plants or bugs. I also like to have aspirin in hand as well but rarely ever use it. In my kit I also keep some prescribed medications in hand such as Opie’s Trazadone for his anxiety with thunder and other loud noises. In addition, I also keep Hydroxyzine for Yara for her allergies. I do prefer to use Benadryl on a quick emergency moment though. Another medication that I like to have with me at all times is a prescription ear cleaning solution. I like to use an oticetic solution to avoid dirt built up in my dog’s ears especially knowing that my boxer, Yara, is proned to ear infections and ear hematomas.
MUST HAVES IN YOUR DOG’S FIRST AID KIT
I also like to have chlorohexidine in hand as well as hydrogen peroxide, alcohol (wipes and bottle), gauze (pads for cleaning and rolls for wound care dressing), and vet wrap. These items are good to clean a wound, sanitize, and apply a pressure bandage. I also recommend consulting with your Veterinarian about CPR and other emergency procedures. Some vets are pretty nice about explaining these things for you if they know you are going on a trip. You can also purchase this CPR poster to review. I wouldn’t go by any dosages online as the majority of these medications go by weight and they can be slightly off. Play it safe and discuss them with a professional. After all it is your baby right??
TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR MEDICATIONS ORGANIZED
If you have more than one fur-baby I would make a laminated list with their names on the top, the over the counter medication and the dosage for that one pet, along with their weight, breed, allergies if any, prescription medications that they may be on, veterinary information and veterinarian’s name, and vaccine history. I would keep this handy in your First Aid Kit at all times. I would also include a poison control number and information. Ps: Hydrogen peroxide can induce vomiting if your pet has consumed a poisonous substance or something that may be causing discomfort. Discuss dosages for induced vomiting for your pet with your veterinarian first before doing trying this procedure. You can find a free printable below to fill out at home and laminate along with a printable packing list and first aid kit items. There’s a few informational links listed below for your convenience.
I can’t stress enough that food, water, and being prepared is key to a happy camping trip with your pup. Plan according to the weather, location, and your pet. If you are prepared then you are going to be stressed free and for sure a happy camper along with your pup. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. Thank you and happy camping!