What to Pack for Your Dog: The Essentials and the Rest
Let’s start with your dog’s essential items:
- Food bowl
- Water bowl
- Enough food to last the trip
- Leash and collar
- Stake or tether
- Extra towels
- First-aid kit
- Outdoor-safe toys
- Waste bags
- A current photo
- ID tags
- Vet records and medical info
- Outdoor harness
- Swim-safe leash
- Doggy daypack
- Bed or mat
- A coat/jacket (for short-haired breeds in cool weather)
- Booties or paw protectors
Top Tips for Camping With Your Dog
1. Nearest Vets
Write down and keep the contact information and office hours of the three veterinary offices closest to your destination. It is also wise to write down the information for the nearest 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital.
2. Obedience Training
Make sure your dog is proficient at following basic commands. If you choose to let your dog off his leash out in the wilderness, make sure his recall is rock solid. Otherwise, he could be a danger to other dogs, people, and wildlife. Even if your dog is friendly, that doesn’t mean everything he encounters off-leash is going to be friendly, too.
3. First-Aid Kit
Make sure you always have your dog’s first aid kit with you, and research beforehand what you should do in specific situations. It could save your dog’s life!
We strongly advise that all dogs be kept on a leash at all times. If you are far from home, losing your dog in the woods could be disastrous. Keeping your dog on a leash will also keep him out of danger.
5. ID Tags and Microchips
Make sure your dog has an ID tag on his collar and double-check that his microchip info is up to date before you set off on your chip. If your dog does escape, the best-case scenario is that they are found, identified, and returned to you—but this is only possible with up-to-date info.
6. Shade and Water
If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, always make sure your dog has access to shade and water, especially during the warmer months.
7. Vaccines and Medications
Before setting off, make sure your dog is up to date on all his vaccinations and preventive medications. You never know what you’ll encounter out in the wilderness, from animal droppings to unvaccinated dogs, so make sure your dog is protected.
8. Never Leave Your Dog Unattended
This is especially important in the summer months, when tents, RVs, and cars can quickly become too hot. It’s best to make sure that at least one person is with your dog (and supervising) at all times.
9. Don’t Drink Standing Water
Standing water and slow-moving rivers and creeks are hotbeds for bacteria and parasites that can be harmful to your dog. Keep clean water on hand at all times, and don’t let them drink any standing water.
10. Bring a Crate
If your dog is crate trained, consider bringing it with you. It might help your dog feel more comfortable, and it will help to keep them safe, as well. Portable fencing is another good option to keep them contained.
11. Campfire Safety
Always keep your dog a safe distance away from the campfire. Even a small spark can burn them.
12. Food Safety
Keep your dog’s food in tightly sealed containers inside of your locked car or vehicle. Doing so will ensure the scent doesn’t attract unwelcome visitors, like bears!
If you plan on doing a lot of walking and hiking, consider bringing some booties along to protect your dog’s paws, especially if you’re going to be traversing rough terrain.
Plan a Great Camping Trip With Your Dog
Dogs are welcome at the Los Suenos de Santa Fe campground—provided all of our regulations are followed. Get in touch with us to reserve your spot and start planning your camping trip. We look forward to hosting you and your dog!