!Let's Talk! Button

Askov – 320-838-3176
Hinckley – 320-384-7004 
Let’s Talk! 320-838-3176

Camping With Fido

July 15, 2023

Are you planning to go camping this summer? Your canine pal would most likely be thrilled to accompany you. Fido loves campfires and starry skies as much as we do! You’ll just need to take a few precautions to keep your pooch safe. A Sandstone, MN discusses camping with dogs below. 


Fido should be current on all vaccines and parasite control products. Bring copies of his records with you. (Tip: keep copies in your glove box, so you always have them handy.) 


Pups can get into all sorts of trouble at a campsite. The potential dangers range from campfires to toxic plants to wild animals. Keep a close eye on your furry best friend, and don’t let him wander off unsupervised.


Always pick up after Fido. Some places allow you to bury your canine buddy’s waste, though you’d need to carry a small shovel instead of bags. However, you’ll need to check first … or risk a potential fine.

First Aid

You should always bring a first-aid kit when going camping. You don’t necessarily need a separate one for Fido, as you would find many of the same things in a pet first-aid kit as you would in one for people. However, you’ll want to add a few pet-specific things, such as a muzzle and splint.


Fido’s doggy bag should contain several days’ worth of food, water, and snacks; towels, blankets, and bedding; a leash and tie-line; grooming supplies; and bowls. If you’re going swimming, include a doggy lifejacket as well. Stronger pups may be able to carry their gear, but you don’t want to overexert your furry pal. 


All dogs should obey simple commands, with the most important being Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. This is as much about safety as it is about manners. Untrained pups are much more likely to get into trouble, whether it be from approaching wild animals, chasing squirrels, or eating toxic plants. If Fido isn’t trained yet, work on this before your trip. 


All that aside, camping with dogs can be a wonderful experience. It’s hard to beat sitting at a crackling fire looking out over an amazing view with your furry best friend and perhaps friends or family. Snap some pictures of your canine companion!

Our Advice on Camping With Fido in 2024

What specific vaccinations and parasite control products should dogs receive before going camping?

Before going camping, dogs should be up to date on core vaccinations such as rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus. Additionally, vaccines for leptospirosis, Lyme disease, and Bordetella are advisable depending on the location and risk of exposure. For parasite control, a broad-spectrum product that covers fleas, ticks, and heartworm is essential, along with intestinal worm protection. Always consult with a veterinarian to tailor the vaccination and parasite control regimen based on the specific camping location and the overall health of the dog.

What are some common toxic plants found in camping areas that dog owners should be aware of?

Dog owners should be aware of several toxic plants commonly found in camping areas. These include foxglove, which can affect the heart; rhododendron and azaleas, which cause gastrointestinal and cardiac issues; and oleander, which is highly toxic and affects the heart. Sago palm and yew are also dangerous, causing liver failure and cardiac problems respectively. Recognizing these plants and preventing dogs from ingesting them is crucial. Always monitor your pet closely in unfamiliar environments and consider consulting a guide to local flora before your trip.

What specific items should be included in a pet first-aid kit for camping?

A pet first-aid kit for camping should include several essential items: bandages, gauze, and adhesive tape for managing wounds; antiseptic wipes and antibiotic ointment to prevent infection; a digital thermometer to check for fever; tweezers for tick removal; a muzzle to safely handle an injured pet; and a splint for stabilizing fractures. Additionally, include a copy of your pet’s medical records and contact information for nearby veterinary services. Hydrogen peroxide can also be useful to induce vomiting if instructed by a vet, and saline solution to flush out wounds or eyes.

How much food and water should owners pack for their dogs?

Owners should pack enough food and water for their dogs to last the entire camping trip, plus an additional day’s supply as a safety margin. Typically, dogs require about one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. For food, maintain the dog’s regular feeding routine, adjusting for increased activity levels, which might increase caloric needs. Always bring extra in case of delays or emergencies. Additionally, pack a few treats for training or rewards, and ensure all food is stored securely to avoid attracting wildlife.

How can dog owners gradually acclimate their pets to camping gear and activities?

Dog owners can acclimate their pets to camping gear and activities by gradually introducing them to each element before the trip. Start by allowing the dog to explore and become comfortable with the camping gear, like the tent and sleeping bags, at home. Set up the tent in the yard and encourage the dog to spend time inside. Familiarize the dog with the carrier, backpack, or lifejacket they’ll use. Practice walking with a leash and harness in varied environments and introduce campsite-like conditions, such as a portable stove or firepit sounds, to reduce anxiety.

Do you have questions about caring for your dog? Contact us, your Sandstone, MN pet hospital.