I love my dog as most pet owners do and when I go camping, I don’t want to leave him behind. The relaxation of camping can be even more fun when accompanied by our furry friends. Not only but the exercise and opportunity for them to explore can contribute a great deal to the health of your pet. With that said it’s important to remember it camping can also compromise your dog’s health if you do not take the proper precautions to keep them cool while on that special camping trip.
So how do you keep your dog cool while camping?
Here is how to keep your dog cool while camping.
Make sure your dog has clean drinking water, water will keep him hydrated and cool.
Make sure your dog has access to a cool shade spot at all times.
Do not let your dog be too active during the heat of the day.
Know the signs that your dog is getting too hot like excessive panting and drooling and get him cooled off.
Bring along some accessories to keep your dogs temperature down.
- a kiddie pool , the water will keep your dog cool.
- sunscreen (yes they have doggie sunscreen)
- wet towels (place them around your dogs neck)
- battery powered fan.
Keeping your dog’s temperature regulated in hot and potentially dangerous weather while camping is crucial. Without taking precautionary measures, your puppy pal is subject to heat stroke and severe dehydration. Here are some tips on how to keep both Fido and yourself safe and happy!
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Make sure your dog is healthy enough to handle heat.
Before creating a packing list, you should first take your pup to the vet! Explain the reason for your visit and address any concerns. Have the doctor perform a general exam after. Make sure that your dog’s vaccines are current and that you get the green light to take your furry friend on an adventure!
It would be terrible to make sure everything else is perfect just for Fido to fall ill. There are many illnesses that your dog could have and not show signs of that will make them more vulnerable to heat.
If your pet has one of these illnesses, getting overheated could be much more of a complication and quickly overwhelm your beloved pet.
Dog Overheating? Know what to look for
It is important to know the signs to look for that your dog is getting too hot. This is crucial in preventing over-heating and heat stroke.
Here are some signs that your dog is getting too hot.
- Panting- Since dogs do not sweat, panting in their way of cooling off. This is not abnormal, but if your dog starts panting rapidly, this could be a sign that they are getting too hot.
- Dry gums- If you dogs gums become dry and pale, this can be a sign of overheating.
- Confusion or weakness- If your dog seems to be disoriented or weak, this could be a sign of heat exhaustion.
- Drooling- Drooling is more common among short snout or short faced dogs. If your dog doesn’t normally drool, then it is a sign of a problem like overheating.
- Rapid breathing- This can be a sign that your dog’s body is trying to get rid of heat and will be accompanied by heavy panting.
- Feel their ears- A dog’s ears will be the first thing show sign of getting too hot. Their ears can rapidly get to 115 degrees within just a few minutes in sunlight.
If your dog shows any of these signs, it is important to get them to shade quickly. Cool them down with towels soaked in cool water wrapped around their neck and a fan if possible.
If your dog was disorientated, collapsed or is still panting or drooling profusely, get them to a vet immediately.
What items should be packed for keeping a pet cool?
After you have determined that your dog is healthy and happy, consider packing these items. They’ll come in handy later!
- Cooler, water bottles, and ice: Dogs love icy water! Keep plenty of water and ice cubes on hand to keep your pet hydrated and chilly.
- Dog bowl: This is one of the essential items on the list. After all, how else is man’s best friend supposed to drink? You can even buy travel-friendly dog kits for camping.
- Cool clothes, dude: If you and your dog go hiking or for a stroll in the summer sun, chances are that you won’t always have water nearby for him to splash around in. In that case, there are several versions of cooling vests out there, guaranteeing that Spot can frolic and play without risk of a heat stroke. If those options aren’t appealing or too expensive, you could always make do with a cooling towel! Dip it in water, wring it out, and you’re all set.
- Umbrella or canopy: While a tent can do just fine to house both you and your puppy pal, any exploration you do during the day will leave you without that shelter. An alternate suggestion is to string up a nice lean-to or set up an umbrella. This will allow enough shade to lower the temperatures underneath.
- Brush: If your dog tends to have longer fur, you may need to keep a pet brush on hand to move along the shedding process. Of course, this depends on how long you plan to stay. Don’t bother packing one if you will only be out for a day or two.
- Kiddie pool: Depending on where you go, you could set up a small kiddie pool for your puppy to roll around in. These pools are affordable, and your pet’s joy is priceless! Just be wary of inflatable pools; they are more work to set up, and a dog’s nails can easily ruin them. They can be found at nearly any Walmart or Target, and the dollar store seems to keep a few around!
- Pet sunscreen: Yes, it really exists! Dogs can get sunburned just like us. You probably shouldn’t lather your long-haired pup up because their skin is already protected, but sunscreen is especially crucial for short-haired breeds like bulldogs and beagles. You can find some here.
- Battery powered fan: These fans are portable, lightweight, and do not require electricity. Keep batteries on hand, and your tent will be a breezy oasis! Do remember to keep all batteries out of the hot sun for your safety.
- Spray bottle: Filling a spray bottle with water and giving your dog a spritz often will keep his skin from overheating underneath the fur.
- Cold packs: Another weapon to beat the heat you should have in your cooler arsenal is a cold pack or two. Bring your dog inside the tent and have him lie down on soft cold packs covered by a blanket or towel.
- Cooling beds: When your furry one gets warm it is best for them to lay down and cool off and a cooling bed is a perfect way to do this.
What activities should be avoided while camping to keep my dog cool?
For the most part, your pup can be kept on a long leash when it comes to do’s and don’ts. You have everything you need packed, but maintaining your doggy’s temperature is more complicated than just carrying around some water. Some activities are not recommended for safety reasons:
- Sipping on the stream: You two might have chosen to set up camp near a body of water. Who wouldn’t? Streams and ponds are ideal for playing in, but they are not so suitable for drinking out of. While caution should be exercised with any natural water source, stagnant water found in ponds, puddles, and lakes have a high potential for carrying some nasty bacteria. These bacteria can cause dehydration and overheat your dog.
- All play and no work: Understandably, your dog may feel like exercising, running around and stretching his legs. While that’s great, pets will frequently wear themselves out because they cannot comprehend the concept of limits. If you see Rover panting hard, call him over for a nice drink or a nap in the shade.
- Car sitting: Never, ever leave a dog in a hot car for a prolonged period of time. Taking a short bathroom break on the way is fine, but do not go into the store for that last-minute snack run and leave your pal behind. Temperatures reach around 19 degrees higher than the outside climate within 10 minutes of a car being parked and shut off.
- Hitting the pavement: If, by chance, you happen upon a paved road or parking lot during the day, please refrain from making a dog walk on it. You have shoes to protect your toes; your four-legged friend does not. Even with booties on, a long stroll could become quite uncomfortable.
- Splitting up: You may think that your dog will be okay by himself in the great outdoors while you take a nap. After all, dogs are descendants of wolves, one of the greatest animal predators! However, most domesticated dogs will be caught in sticky situations if left to fend for themselves. Dogs rely on us for their safety more than cats do; if the two of you split up, you increase the risk of your pup getting lost and dehydrated.
Are there shelters to keep dogs cool and safe?
By now, other pet loving outdoors-people like yourself have thought of a solution that will keep both you and your dog from getting heat stroke or getting eaten by a bear. Some tents are meant to accommodate both of you comfortably.
If you would like your pet to have their own sleeping arrangements or just a cool, comfortable place to hang out while you do some things that could keep your attention off of them, check out these neat pet accommodations.
How do you keep a dog cool in style while glamping?
Most pet-friendly glamping sites provide amenities to keep you both from sweating and starving. You should still pack a dog bowl, pet sunscreen, and a battery-powered fan. Not every site is made equal, so call ahead for the best advice.
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Where should a long-haired dog be taken for ideal camping?
Camping with shaggy dogs like huskies or German shepherds requires extra effort. The danger of taking them along on a mid-July camping trip increases exponentially. Here are some recommended camping areas for dogs who must stay in a colder climate:
States in the North American northwest like Washington, Oregon, and Colorado have several pet-friendly sites. The average summer temperatures (Fahrenheit) during midday reach 79 degrees for Washington, 64 for Oregon, and 86 for Colorado.
Also, it might be ideal to visit your dog’s groomer and get a fresh cut or hair thinning so that your pet doesn’t retain heat as easily.
How to keep a dog safe while swimming
An obvious answer for keeping your dog from overheating is to swim with them! Labrador retrievers are great swimmers, but other breeds like bulldogs may have a tough time. In that case, you should guide them by placing your hands underneath them, bringing them to shallower waters if they panic. You could also try getting your puppy to wear a flotation device.
Yes, there are floatation devices for your pets and not only are they handy for camping but trips to the lake and boating as well.
Some additional questions that you might have.
Can my dog stay in my tent while I’m away?
The answer is dependant on your dog. In a lot of cases, this is not a problem. Just be aware that if like me you have dogs that are of the curious type and relatively strong this might not be wise. Some dog’s curiosity overpowers them when they hear or smell new or strange things. Your dog may chew or scratch at the tent to get to these new wonders. Also, if you are using an airbed, there are ways a dog could easily damage it.
How do I secure my dog while camping?
If you have one of those curious dogs, the best bet would be a dog shelter. We briefly covered a few types in this article. We do not recommend keeping your dog on a tether when camping if you are away from the site. This will leave your dog exposed to the elements, not to mention wild animals.
Dogs have similar needs to humans. Don’t forget to think about your family pet and his safety before braving Mother Nature. Take advice from your vet, pack all necessities, and have fun!