You’ve got the gear, the approved time off work and the family is all-hands in— and all-paws in too, for that matter. It’s camping time and it’s going to be epic. However, before you peel out of the driveway, take to the mountain trails and sing “Kumbaya” around the campfire, take a few tips from the experts at Petco and Chuck & Don’s on how to make the trip just as epic (and safe) for your pet, as well.
- Pack a Pet-Friendly First-Aid Kit:
You’ll most likely remember to pack a safety kit for yourself and your family, just don’t forget to bring one along for your furry friend, too. Heather Ratynski, Colorado district office and community manager for Chuck & Don’s pet supply store, said many of the things we use in our own first-aid kits can be applied to our pet’s as well— gauze, gloves, scissors, etc.— however she did recommend we also pick up some pet-specific products.
- Mutt Nose Best Healing Stick is similar to lip-balm only it’s made for our dogs’ noses, according to Ratynski, and it helps prevent sunburn and protects them from cuts and abrasions.
- Ratynski said nail clippers and styptic powder (to help stop any bleeding associated with nail clipping) are both good things to have, as well.
- She suggested including Vetericyn, which is used to treat hot spots and other minor abrasions, and packing a prebiotic to help with any stomach trouble your pet might experience.
- Fun in the Sun:
Chuck & Don’s offers some cool toys like Ruffwear Hovercraft and Booda Floating, Flying, Flexible Discs that are perfect for land or water use and they’re softer than plastic disks which means they’re easier on their teeth. However, it’s important to make sure your pet is properly conditioned for the exercise required of him. “People need to be honest about what their dog is capable of doing. Dogs are so willingly to go out and do what we ask of them and be good sports about it,” Ratynski said. Lori Morton-Feazell, director of animal care and education for Petco, agreed, “Extreme outdoor activity is not meant for most animals.” In case your furry buddy needs a little help in the water, check out Petco’s Yellow Dog Flotation Vest. It’ll keep him afloat and allow a more enjoyable water adventure. After a fun-filled day, Ratynski said Premier Busy Buddy Line’s Edible Disks are a great way to keep dogs occupied. It gives them something to chew on while we’re making dinner or simply enjoying some downtime, she added.
- Nighttime Safety:
Obviously it’s important to keep an eye on our dogs at all times, and nighttime is no exception. Chuck & Don’s offers a solution in the product Night Ize LED light, which provides a light to our dog’s collar and makes being able to see him, and his identification tags, way easier. A portable doghouse might not be a bad idea either. Morton-Feazell recommends the Petco Home and Travel Portable Canvas Crate. “It comes with a carry bag and spikes to anchor it in the ground…perfect for camping,” she said.
- Have Emergency Plans in Place
- Be sure to always have up-to-date vaccinations on your pet, but especially when taking him outdoors for an extended period of time.
- Know where the nearest vets are in relation to your campsite “Check out nearby towns to see where the local veterinarians are located or at least jot down their numbers in case you need them,” Morton-Feazell said.
- Make sure he has his ID tags. “One [of] the biggest dangers is not having identification on your dog,” Morton-Feazell said, “Have current tags with several numbers to reach you at.”
- Bring along plenty of your dog’s meds. “If you dog takes medication plan to bring extra. It can be dangerous if you are camping and traveling and get delayed if your dog does not have their medication,” Morton-Feazell said.
You can’t complain about the lack of camping opportunities in Colorado. We have plenty of places to set up camp and plenty of outdoor adventures to participate in once there— hiking, rafting, fishing— just remember that if you want to include your furry friend, make sure he is equipped and up for the challenge.