campdog 02-300x225Camping with a dog has its many pleasures but a better time will be had by all with a little proper planning:

1) Whether camping in a tent, RV or cabin it’s helpful to have a plan for storing your dog’s food since food left out could be a recipe for disaster when it comes to bears, racoons and other wild animals.

2) Similarly a plan for disposing your dog’s waste is also in order. Ask staff or camp hosts if you are supposed to bury, pack out, or dispose of the dog waste since it varies from place to place.

3) Know the rules. In some National Parks, dogs are not allowed on some trails for safety, ecological and wild animal concerns.

4) Be proactive about pest prevention. Make sure flea and tick preventative are up to date and current. Ask your vet about unique wilderness concerns such as Leptospirosis and Giardia.

5) Practice important commands like: heel, stay, down, come and leave it.  Pack an extra leash just in case it’s needed.

6) Be mindful of water safety and pack a life jacket for your canine if you plan to be in or near cold or strong currents.

7) Pack a doggie first aid kit and be prepared for outdoor emergencies with medical and veterinarian numbers and information.

8) Always provide a comfy bed in your tent or RV for doggie down time. And remember that extra exercise, weather and elevation may warrant extra water for your furry companion.

Most dogs, much like their human partners, enjoy a camping outing but with a little extra thought, your family trek into the great outdoors will be one of many more great adventures to come.

Carmel L. Mooney is the editor of Roadtripsforcouples.com, an online travel magazine. Carmel co-hosts a travel radio show every Saturday afternoon on KJAY 1430 AM in Sacramento. Her family travel column can be read in California Kids Magazine at: www.valcomnews.com You can follow her on Twitter: @CarmelLeeMooneyor Facebook. Carmel is also the Executive Director of Pawsitive Service Dog Solutions, a non-profit that trains and places Autism Service Dogs. You can read her service dog blog at: www.pawsitivesolutions.org.