9 Tips for Camping with your Dog in Central Oregon

There’s nothing like a camping adventure your dog at your side: But while making memories and taking photos to share with friends, it’s important to prepare your dog for the challenges of camping. There are several unique considerations every dog owner should be aware of when bringing their pets along: Our guide is the perfect starting place to get ready!

1. Learn the Leash Laws

Always look up leash laws for any place you plan to hike or camp at. Leash laws can vary based on the type of park, campground, or trail. Most campgrounds and most trails will have leash requirements. Some areas may also have specific waterside leash requirements, so take a close look if your dog is a swimmer. When in doubt, always visit the campground and trail websites! They should have thorough information on what is expected from dogs and their owners.

It’s a good idea to bring a stake or other type of reliable attachment so that you can anchor the leash to one spot when necessary. If you’ve never been camping with your dog before, go slowly and don’t try to manage setup/cooking and your dog at the same time if you can find some help.

2. Upgrade Your Accessories

If you love camping with your dog, look around Bend for camping accessories that will make the experience more fun for everyone. There are harnesses and collars made for safer camping (and safer playing in the water), and even LED tags that can light up at night and make it easier to find your pooch. You may also want to bring booties or paw wax if you plan on hiking over lots of rock!

3. Never Leave Your Furry Friend Alone

This general rule is especially important while camping. If you are going somewhere beyond your campsite, your dog should either have company while they are waiting, or they should go with you. Leaving a dog alone increases the odds of accidents, runaway pets, and ruined campsites upon return. Plus, it’s not fun for your dog to be alone in a strange – and very large – place.

4. Bring Plenty of Water for Your Doggo

Summers in Central Oregon can get hot! While some campgrounds may have water for your dogs, it’s not a guarantee, especially if you are interested in camping off the mountain trails. Bring plenty of water just for your dog, and a bowl to make it easier for them to drink (if you are hiking a lot, they do make collapsible bowls). It’s better that they drink purified water that you bring with you than stream or lake water that isn’t always the healthiest.

And since we’re talking about hot weather, it’s also a good idea to keep dogs cooled down and in the shade when it gets warm: You may also want to talk to your dog vet in Central Oregon about mosquito repellent fit for dogs, which they should be able to supply you with.

5. Pack Food Away When Finished

You really don’t want kibble or other treats to stay out for an extended period. While Central Oregon doesn’t have a notable bear problem, food left out can still attract a variety of animals, including potentially dangerous ones (as well as other nearby pets). Once your dog has finished eating, pack the kibble away for next time.

6. Pack Your Own Waste Bags

Some campgrounds may have doggie bags for waste, some may not. Trails, in general, will not. When creating a kit for your pet, add in plenty of waste bags so you can help clean up after your furry friend: Help us keep the beautiful Oregon ecosystem healthy and enjoyable for everyone!

7. Include a First Aid Kit

A good first aid kit is vital for your dog’s camping safety. Include basics like antiseptic, wraps, braces or splint materials, tweezers for splinters or quills, and other important necessities – as well as plenty of any medication your dog may need. Local stores like Mud Bay do offer medical kits specifically designed for going on adventures with your dog, and you can talk to your veterinarian in Bend about any specific concerns you may have.

8. Bring Your More Expendable Toys

When your furry friend gets some free, there’s nothing like playing with a toy by the water or at the campsite. But toys on outdoor adventures…don’t always make it back. If you are planning on bringing some toys, choose new toys or pick those that won’t cause too much heartache if they end up disappearing. When in doubt, a good stick can do wonders.

9. Keep Dogs in the Tent at Night

Night is a risky time for your dog to be out of the tent. You can’t watch them closely, they may encounter more dangerous wildlife, and they are more likely to be startled or go on a barking spree from what they see or hear. It’s all-around better to have them bunk down with you inside your tent or trailer.

10. Don’t Forget to Inspect for Fleas and Ticks

After a play session or when the camping trip is done, always reserve a time and place for a thorough inspection for fleas and ticks. Good doggie medical kits will include tick removers to make this process easier. On that note, always check in with our vet clinic in Bend to make sure your dog is fully vaccinated and healthy before you plan your trip!