Dog camping can be a great way to bond with your pet and spend time in state parks, national parks and other wide-open spaces. Whether you’re planning a relaxed weekend with a short hike or two or prefer serious backpacking excursions, this guide will get you ready to hit the trails with your doodle with all the dos and don’ts you need to know for happy camping with a Goldendoodle.
Schedule a Vet Visit
Arrange for your pup to get a dose of flea and tick prevention medication, and make sure your furry friend has been fully vaccinated. If your dog hasn’t already been microchipped, take this step before your camping trip. If your dog gets lost at camp and someone finds it, a vet can scan the microchip to identify you as its owner.
Get the Right Gear and Supplies
While it’s important to pack light, bringing the appropriate supplies will make camping with a goldendoodle a lot easier. This is a short list of the basic stuff you’ll need for a fun weekend.
Leash, Harness and Life Jacket
If you’re used to playing with your dog in the backyard and taking short walks around the neighborhood, you might need a sturdier leash for camping purposes. A harness can increase the control you have on the trail with your puppy. If you plan to go boating or swim in a lake, your pup should have a life jacket to stay safe.
If your trip will include a lot of time on the trail, get your pooch a backpack you can stock with toys, food and treats. Measure your dog’s rib cage at the largest point to select the correct size.
Dog Bed and Sleeping Supplies
Depending on the time of year, a sleeping bag could be a good idea to help your doodle stay warm and cozy. A dog bed works well for tent camping, but you could also transport your puppy’s crate in your car if you plan to reserve a cabin.
Even if you already have a tent, camping with a Goldendoodle might require you to upsize. If you’re not sure how big a tent you need, choose a two-person model if it’s just you and your puppy or a three-person variety if you have a partner or friend with you as well. Families should go for large tents with lots of room to stretch out and sleep comfortably.
Bring a thick blanket or sheet to spread out on the floor of the tent. This simple step can keep your dog’s nails from ripping the material while making it warmer and more comfortable for everyone.
Food and Water
Don’t forget to grab a travel food and water bowl to bring to the site for your goldendoodle. In addition to your own food, bring enough dog food for the length of your trip plus a few extra meals. Don’t forget to stock up on treats!
Take a Trial Run
Get your pet used to your dog camping equipment before you take your first trip. Teach your dog to sleep in the tent before you’re out in the wild. If your pooch doesn’t feel comfortable, you might have to work your way up to a long camping trip.
Start by spending the day at parks and campgrounds in your area and enjoying the occasional night in your backyard tent until your Goldendoodle feels comfortable enough to become a real camper. Once you decide to book a campsite, start slow. You might want to book a single night before diving into a long camping trip with your doodle.
Read the Rules for Camping with a Goldendoodle
While some public and private campgrounds allow dogs, many national parks and state parks aren’t dog-friendly. Checking with the campsite in advance to learn whether you can bring your mini goldendoodle will help your camping trip with your puppy go much more smoothly.
Get the facts before you visit so you don’t end up stranded with pets at a place that doesn’t allow puppies. For example, you might not be able to bring your dog as a camper if your pet doesn’t meet the weight limit. Some sites have breed restrictions or limits on the number of puppies you can bring to your campsite.
Stay in Sight of Your Dog
Even though camping with a Goldendoodle is generally safe and most goldendoodles enjoy this type of excursion, it’s important to keep a close watch on your dog at all times. Remain near your puppy and use the leash, whether at the site or exploring other nearby areas of the park. While you don’t want to think about your dog getting lost in a strange area, having a recent photo of your puppy on hand to show other campers can help you track down your doodle if it does make a run for it.
With the right training and preparation, your goldendoodle will be your favorite partner for a weekend at camp. These smart, easily trainable dogs love to explore a new environment. They’re also good with other dogs, which is helpful when you’re at a campsite with a lot of pets.
Goldendoodles can hike a long distance after the puppy stage with a little bit of practice, so start walking early to get your pet used to the leash. Don’t forget to pack enough water for the day when you venture from your site to explore other areas with your furry friend. These smart tips for camping with a goldendoodle (or any other dog) will help you protect your pet and have a safe, fun time at some of the most beautiful campgrounds in the United States.