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One of the perks of going on a camping vacation is the ability to bring along your furry friends without having to deal with hotel or home rental rules. However, it's important to understand that not every dog is fit for a wilderness excursion.
A calm, well-behaved dog can enhance your family's experience, but a less docile creature can sour even the most carefully planned trip. Here are four things to consider before taking your dog camping.
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1. Contact the park
Before you start planning your trip, make sure your dog is welcome at your destination. Not all parks allow pets, and some trails may be off-limits. Make sure you call the campground directly to confirm information you may find online. Obviously, you should ask if they allow dogs, but you should also get information on related rules they may have in place.
2. Visit the vet
Before you travel, you may want to make a stop at the vet. A quick check-up will ensure your pet is in good health. Make sure your dog is up-to-date with all his shots and, if medication is required, has enough to last the trip. Ask your vet for a current copy of medical records, and be sure you keep the office's phone number on hand at all times.
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3. Create a comfortable sleeping area
Don't chain your dog up outside. Your pet should sleep in your tent or recreational vehicle with the rest of the family. Not only is it illegal at some sites to make your dog sleep outside, but it is also dangerous: Your pup will be faced with potentially dangerous, unvaccinated wildlife and harmful insects.
4. Never leave your dog alone
All of your activities should be pet friendly. If they aren't, you need to have a designated dog-watcher at all times. You cannot leave your pet alone at camp or in the wilderness. Remember, you aren't at home. Your dog is in an entirely different world with a whole new set of stimuli and threats.
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: A government program gives kids and educators free entry to national parks How to find the best travel credit card for your needs Landing the best airfare is a matter of timing