D = dogs, so for the A to Z Challenge I have decided to make my D post about camping with dogs.
Go to any RV Park or campground and you will find a variety of campers from young couples, to families and often empty nesters enjoying their freedom but in all cases you will likely find a dog in most units. Yes we campers love our four legged friends and all the work that goes along with them. For that reason I am always surprised at how pet unfriendly many campgrounds are. It seems hotels are more accommodating to dogs than campgrounds. Hotels often offer dog bones and beds at check in, maps to dog parks and dog daycare services. It’s time that campgrounds took note and started adding pet services to their list of facilities.
What should you look for in a campground when you are traveling with dogs.
1. An off leash option: I agree all dogs should be required to be on a leash at all time but campgrounds would do well to offer an off leash area for dogs to run. If there is no room for an off leash area then provide a map to where the nearest off leash area is.
2. A dog friendly beach: Dogs love the water as much as people, we always check to see if a campground has a dog beach. It is a much more relaxing day if we don’t have to worry about our pets sitting in a hot trailer.
3. Reasonable dog fees: An extra buck or two each night is the average rate for your four legged friend. If a campground wants more, it is likely they don’t want your dog at all, so make another choice.
4. I have never seen this but a doggie daycare service would be great. We would pay a premium if we could find a campground that offered this service. It would be great for those days that you were heading off white water rafting or to an amusement park for an extended period. The dog and your neighbours would both appreciate.
What should you take if you are camping with a dog.
Recently I did a blog, Great Camping Items For Fido, and it gave some cool gadgets for your pet but here are a few more tips and options.
1. Vaccination records, always have this on hand. You never know when your dog may need to be taken to a local vet but also if you decide to put your dog in a day care for some reason, they will require this information.
2. Extra leashes, one for the RV, one for the truck and then one for good measure. We arrived in Leavenworth one year only to discover the leashes were packed in the back of our tent trailer. It seemed easier to buy a new set even if we were paying tourist prices.
3. A radio or a fan – if you have to leave your dog in the trailer for the day put on the radio or a small fan. The white noise will help drown out the outside noise reducing unnecessary stress for Fido.
4. Stainless steel dog bowls – stainless steel cleans better and does not absorb food odors. You should always bring your pet bowls in each night or when you leave the site. Even the smell of an empty dog bowl in your tent can lure unwanted visitors.
Dogs are part of the family and with the right research and planning your camping trip can be enjoyable for all of you.