Camping With Your Raw Fed Dog
By Amber Keiper
Every summer, I plan a camping trip as a way to escape from the stress and worry of daily life. Sometimes I go with friends, but mostly I go with the family. Even my dog Chewy and his “uncle” Louie will come along for our outdoor adventure.
If you’ve never thought about taking your own dog camping, you might want to consider bringing your pet along for the ride. After all, our dogs LOVE camping just as much as we do. Being outdoors is their natural habitat. Dogs love to explore the new sights, sounds, and smells that are found in the wild. Most importantly, our dogs relish the chance to spend real quality time with us, away from the distractions of work, school, and technology.
For those of us who love to spoil our raw-fed doggies, we will undoubtedly have a much different list of camping essentials for our pets. Here’s a list of what I usually take with me when traveling with my BARF brats…
What to Take When Camping With Your BARF Dog:
• Electric Travel Cooler – Keep your pet’s food cold with an electric travel cooler that comes with a cigarette lighter car adapter. If you’re “roughing it” and don’t have access to power, try a dehydrated raw diet for your pet instead.
• Pop-up Pet Tent –There are camping tents made specifically for camping with dogs. These tents offer your pet some privacy and security. The one I liked can also be used in the car to kennel your pet while on the road, which is much safer than allowing your dog to run free in the car while you’re driving.
• Tie-Out Leash Stake – Many dog friendly camping sites allow pets but require them to be kept on a leash in common areas. A well-made, tangle-free tie-out stake can provide your dog some space to roam while still confirming to the leash law of the campgrounds.
• Doggie Waste Bags – A courteous dog mom and dad always make sure to clean up after their pup when out on trails and in common areas…and after that couple in the UK broke their arms trying to avoid stepping in a pile of doo-doo while out on a trail, it only reinforces the need for pet parents to clean up after their pets.
• Flea & Tick Powder – Ticks are a common nuisance for both human and canine campers, but that doesn’t mean you have to go with a harsh chemical bug repellants or toxic flea and tick medications.
A safer, natural alternative to flea and tick medications is a non-toxic topical flea and tick powder. We love Diatomaceous Earth because not only can you use it as a bug repellant for the whole family pet, you can also sprinkle it on your sleeping bag and even around the perimeter of your campsite.
• First Aid Kit – Though we hope to never have to use it, a well-stocked first aid kit that has everything you need for both you and your dog is a must-have for savvy pet parents! BARF World’s K-911 Pet First Aid Kit is just that – a holistic first aid kit for both dog and human – so you don’t have to lug around two separate kits for the family.
Two of the items in my K-911 kit that came in handy during our last camping trip to Santa Cruz. The first was the colloidal silver First Aid Gel, which I used after Jesse’ brother cut his finger while preparing lunch. The other was the Rescue Remedy (RR) spray. My little Chewy is usually pretty brave but on the first night, he was a bit skittish when it came time to turn in for the night. I sprayed some RR on my finger and rubbed it on his gums. After a few minutes, he finally settled down next to me and went to bed.
• Current Medical Records & IDs – Make sure to have current medical records for everyone in your party…dog included. Also make sure your pet’s ID tags are current in case they get lost. Finally, a current rabies vaccination (or titer test) is encouraged in case your pet comes upon a wild raccoon or possum (better safe than sorry).
Now that your gear is packed, you and your pet are ready for your outdoor adventure…but wait! What kind of camping experience are you and your pooch looking for? Here are the three most common camping styles and some quick dog tips to making your trip a more comfortable, stress-free experience for all.
➢ Tent Camping
While our dogs usually relish all opportunities to sleep alongside us, when it comes to the small, confined sleeping quarters of a pop-up tent, some dogs can be a bit hesitant to come inside.
Do a practice run of “camping out” in your home by setting up your tent in a familiar area – inside the house or in the backyard. Leave the tent flap open and put your pet’s favorite blanket, toys and some treats inside. Hang out inside with your pooch and your pet will be comfortable in their surroundings in no time.
➢ Recreational Vehicle (RV) Camping
RV camping with your pets is probably the easiest type of camping to do because it’s sort an extension of your home. You can bring along their favorite bed and toys and the whole family can hang out inside the RV together. Plus most RV campgrounds allow pets…just make sure to double check before you head on out.
➢ Canoe Camping
Traveling via canoe or kayak is a ton of fun for both you and your dog, especially if they enjoy swimming. Dogs can jump in and out of the water and see the sights as you row along the river or lake.
Acclimating your pet to the watercraft will take some prep work beforehand. Try using treats and getting in with them while on dry land to get them accustomed to it. . Dogs don’t like to slip and slide when inside the boat, so make sure that the floor of your kayak or canoe has a slip-resistant cover. Make sure to also have a doggie lifejacket to keep them safe and that your pet is a good enough swimmer in case of accidental capsize
Hopefully these tips will help convince you to try bringing your dog along with you next time you go camping. Trust me, camping with your dog is a completely different experience…and a ton of fun for all!|
Amber Keiper is the Marketing Assistant and Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc.. She and her husband have two former rescue animals that are now healthy and proud “BARF brats” – a terrier mix named Chewbacca (“Chewy”) and a tabby mix named Chiquita (“Chiqui”). For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.