There’s one thing about owning pets, they are your responsibility once you get them and it is not always easy to decide how to handle it when you are taking a trip. Any trip! The great thing about taking a pet on a camping trip is that there usually aren’t any extra pets fees included. However, there could be some aggravation involved. Like kids, we love our pets, but that means additional work for for us so that Fido and Fluffy to enjoy their stay in the great outdoors also!
Most people that have fish or birds as pets are more likely to get someone to care for them while they are gone on a trip, but cat and dog owners can have the urge to take them along if they can, especially camping.
Pets And Campgrounds
If you intend to stay at any campground, then you will need to know all of their rules about pets if they allow them. You will probably be asked to provide proof that your pets have been vaccinated for rabies and possibly other shots. Almost all campgrounds are going to have a leash rule. This means you won’t be able to allow your animal to run loose.
If you are staying in a tent and leave your camping spot for any reason, say to go shopping or take in some kind of local entertainment, then you will have to leave your pet tethered at your campsite or take it with you. These are things you must think about before you leave home. Of course, if you have a camper trailer or an RV, then that should not be a problem.
Even if pets are allowed in the campground, that doesn’t mean they will have access to the entire area. For example: Campgrounds with pools or beaches may not allow the pets in those areas. They are probably not allowed in any public facilities like clubhouses or bathrooms. If you bring your pet to a campground, be prepared to care for it properly.
Wilderness Camping with Pets
If you are planning a camping trip somewhere in a remote area where there aren’t any rules, then you will still have to be careful with your animal to keep it safe. You might have more freedom to allow your pet to run loose, but that might not be such a good idea.
In wilderness areas there can be a greater threat of wild animals and snakes that will harm your pet. Most pets have a good instinct about finding their way back home, however many pets get lost when they are taken on trips of all kinds and are never found again. Unless your pet is extremely obedient, keeping it tethered in your campsite or on a leash when you walk is the best idea for their own safety.
A pet being vaccinated and protected against diseases is not only required for most campgrounds, it is vitally important when you take them into wilderness areas. The chances of running across a rabid skunk or raccoon increases in the wild. Mosquitoes can be terrible in some places and one bite from the wrong mosquito can cause heart worms in dogs and cats alike.
Dogs can be great hiking buddies, but don’t let your pet drink from streams, lakes, or rivers if you can help it. Make sure they have fresh, clean water to drink just like you do for yourself. You never know what’s in water in wilderness areas so it’s better to be safe.
At night you should let your pet sleep inside with you whether you’re in a tent, camper, or RV. This is more so if you have a small pet. Even big dogs that are accustomed to sleeping outdoors might be afraid in a strange place and be safer from snakes and other animals that roam in the night, even the Smokies have bears that could attack a pet. They do make special small tents just for dogs. It might be hard to keep your cat from clawing the walls of a tent, but dogs can cause damage too.
Take every precaution you can if you take your pet into the wilderness with you. You don’t want to come back home with one less family member than you left with!