You can’t very well leave your best mate at home while you head off on a family adventure, but there are some key things to consider before you take your beloved pooch camping.
In this episode of the Snowys Camping Show, Ben and Lauren give you the (poop) scoop on all you need to know – where you can take them, how to keep your dog safe and comfortable, and the best ways for transporting them in your car, plus more! So, check it out below for all the details.
Listen to the full episode here:
Or you can watch the video version here:
- 00:00 – Intro
- 03:20 – Where you can take your dog camping
- 04:52 – Why you can’t take dogs to national parks
- 05:53 – Camping with friends who can look after your dog
- 06:58 – Baits and poison
- 07:59 – On leash areas
- 09:40 – Don’t leave your dog unattended
- 11:41 – First aid considerations
- 13:38 – Water for your pet
- 14:43 – Checking for ticks
- 15:47 – Food for your dog
- 17:44 – Leaving no trace
- 19:14 – Sleeping options
- 23:06 – Travelling in your vehicle
Links to things mentioned in this episode:
- Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink
- Sea to Summit pop up bowls
- Camping dog beds
- Darche Hutch Annex
- Forestries SA website
Where can’t you take them?
Unfortunately, you can’t take your canine into conservation parks or national parks, but for good reasons. The scent they leave behind disrupts wildlife and keeps them away from their own habitat. Plus, there’s the risk that they might injure or frighten native animals, and often baiting systems are in place to control feral species. These can be fatal if ingested by your dog. Some national parks allow you to take your pup for walks only, but they must stay on the trails and be on leads at all times.
Where can you take them?
Game reserves are generally a good go-to place to look for a dog-friendly campsite, as well as some caravan parks, and state forests. Wikicamps is a great resource to research an appropriate site, as you can filter out locations that aren’t pet-friendly.
Include your dog on your adventure
It’s important to consider how much you’re able to include your dog in all aspects of your adventure. It’s not fair to your pup or to other people if you leave them at camp all day while you go off exploring. Have some thought to your pet’s behaviour when they’re left alone and consider leaving them with a sitter at home if you’re not able to include them.
Leaving your dog with other people
If you’re camping with friends, you may be able to leave your pooch with others that you trust for a few hours at a time while you do a short hike or day trip. This again is dependent on your pet’s temperament and your travel companions.
First aid considerations
There are a few considerations for keeping your pet safe when you take them camping with you. Make sure they can be identified with a collar should they get lost. Don’t let them eat or drink anything they find at the campsite and have plenty of water at the ready so they can stay hydrated.
Find out if there are ticks in the area where you’re headed and make sure you know how to treat them. You will need to check your pet morning and night to be sure he/she has not got any. Keep up to date with basic first aid for animals and stock up your kit with the appropriate essentials. Before you leave, it’s a good idea to check in advance where the nearest vet is from your campsite, just in case you need help.
Leaving no trace
Just like when you’re back at home in the burbs, you should always clean up after your pet, and dispose of their waste responsibly when you’re in the bush.
Keeping your dog comfortable
Keeping your pooch comfy as they sleep is an important consideration too. The best sleeping option will likely depend on if they’re an inside or outside dog, as well as whether it’s hot or cold where you’re camping.
If they’re an indoor dog, then there’s the option of having them in your tent or swag with you. You could set up an old foam roll, blanket or yoga mat to provide extra comfort and protection from the ground. Or you could bring their bed from home if it’s easy enough to pack. There are also portable camping beds available specifically designed for dogs that you can set up wherever works for you and them.
If you’re swagging it and don’t fancy snuggling up with your pooch, there’s also the option of a separate shelter, like the Darche Hutch. This can be attached at the end of your swag or used on its own as a freestanding mini abode. This is perfect for your pooch at night, or for chilling out undercover during the day.
Keeping every member of the family a happy camper is super important. Image: Coleman.
Travelling with your dog in your vehicle
It’s important to check with your local authorities about what the safe and legal option is for keeping your dog secure on the road.
You will need to be able to carry your pooch safely over long distances inside your car if you’re going on a trip. If you’re travelling with them in the rear seat, you can use a barrier with a harness and seat belt attachment to keep them restrained and secure.
Dogs can travel in the open cargo area of a wagon vehicle behind a cargo barrier or in a travelling crate. They will also need enough space to lie down, stand up, and sit up easily and comfortably with plenty of airflow.
Food and water
Keep your pet’s food stored away so that it doesn’t attract local wildlife. If it is consumed by native animals, it could cause health or behavioural problems. It’s a good idea to keep a lightweight pop-up bowl or fold up sink handy in the car to fill up with water or food during stopovers, and for keeping your pup fed and hydrated at the campsite.
Keeping your dog safe and being a responsible pet owner is so important when you’re camping. The availability of pet-friendly campsites depends on how you and your pet respect both other people and the environment.
Thanks for listening, tune in again for next week’s episode!
Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of the Snowys Camping Show Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pocket Casts, Podcast Addict, or Stitcher so you never miss an upload.
If you have any questions for Ben and Lauren, make sure you head over to our Facebook group and let us know as we’d love to hear from you.
Catch you out there!
About the writer...
When it comes to camping, hiking, travel and adventure – the Snowys team have all the expert advice, guides, and tips on everything outdoors.