Spring is here! It’s time to air out the tent or open the camper. Get ready for a summer of fun with your dog! If you camp or glam, be prepared in advance to ensure your pets safety. Consider taking a pet first aid course. If your plans include crossing the border, make sure all inoculations are up to date and you carry paperwork with you. Your dog should be licenced, tagged with a phone number and address, micro-chipped and/or tattooed. Leave kibble at home and purchase it in the U.S. While at your vet’s office, ask about areas known to have Lyme disease (carried by ticks), fleas, mosquitoes and rabies (bats, raccoons) Apply med and inoculate your dog well before you travel. Refill any meds your dog might need. Create a first aid kit to include absorb pads for cuts, Vet wrap or gauze rolls, a pair of wire cutters for removing fish hooks, Benadryl for allergic reactions and stings, a tick remover stick, and baking soda for leeches (apply as a paste). Heat and cold are major issues.
On long hikes pack for sudden weather changes or unexpected overnight stays outdoors. Carry extra food and water for everyone. A reflector vest could save your dog’s life in the woods. Keep your dog on leash but consider a GPS locator on the collar. Add a bear bell and carry a bear banger for safety. Consider a sleeping bag. Of course, never leave your dog in a hot car or environment. Any dog around the water or in a boat should wear a life jacket. It will provide warmth, buoyancy and visibility. If your dog is a non-swimmer don’t force it. Be patient and remember cold water, currents and ice are dangers. Around the campsite be sure to know the campground pet rules and respect them. Keep your dog on leash, put dog bowls away at night and pick up poo. Bear may be attracted to the scent. Dogs may not be campfire savvy. Collapsing crates or pens protect your dog when you are busy.
Above all have fun! Dogs generally love the outdoors and exiting new adventures. Preparation insures a safe and happy trip!
Contributed by Kendall De Menech