Camping with your big dog presents you with an ideal way to introduce your dog to the great outdoors. It also gives your pup the chance to run and play with greater freedom that it might have at home. That said, the outdoors can present some specific challenges to your dog, like bugs and heat. In light of that, it’s best to head into the woods prepared. The following four tips will help you keep you and your dog comfortable out in the wild.
Bring “Doggie” Bags
Whether in the city or the mountains, your dog is going to have to do his business, and to clean that up, you’ll need to bring a supply of doggie bags. Because your dog eats food made from materials not found naturally in the forest, leaving it out could cause disruptions to the ecosystem. Not only that, but most parks and trails have regulations about picking up after your dog that you don’t want to break. To keep your forest visit extra eco-friendly, consider using biodegradable doggie poop bags. While bio-degradable doesn’t mean you can leave them behind, however. As the adage goes, take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.
Stay Out of the Tall Grass
Ticks count as one of the big threats to dogs big or small and are an especially big threat out in the forest. Ticks sit in the tall grass and jump off onto passing people and animals. If your dog goes through the grass, then their fur may be hiding a host of insects that jumped on board, endangering the health of you and your dog. Keep to open paths and avoid the foliage as much as possible, including during bathroom breaks.
Brush Dog Daily
Brushing your dog daily will also help keep bugs and burs out of your dog’s fur. Go slowly, being sure to check near your dog’s fur line as you run the brush through your dog’s fur. The area near your dog’s skin is where you’ll find ticks in particular; they need to bury their heads into the dog’s skin in order to feed. Because of this, even if your dog has short hair, it’s important to brush through their fur every day while out camping to check for insects.
Enclosed Doggie Space
Another way to make your camping trip more comfortable for your dog is to provide it with an enclosed doggie space, like a camper or pen. It allows you to not only keep the dog out of the heat of the day but also to avoid the bugs during unsupervised times. Companies like Austrack Campers make campers that are big enough for both your large dog and your family, too. If you do decide to keep your dog in a tent rather than a camper, make sure you get several sizes larger than needed for the head count, as big dogs need more space than people.
Keeping your dog free of ticks and burs counts as an important consideration for your camping trip. It’s also important to keep your dog cool and to clean up after it. If you can do this, then camping with your big dog will bring you and your dog a lot of pleasure. It’ll also open up the opportunity to keep your dog healthy in a way that isn’t possible in the city.