My Vet’s Guide to Camping and “Ruffing” it with your Dog!
The summer months naturally coincide with nice weather, and nice weather makes us all want to get out of the house and into nature – what be er way to take a break from city life than a weekend camping trip with your furry friend? Whether you’re roughing it in a tent or staying at your family lakehouse in the woods, these tips will help ensure that y our dog has a safe and healthy experience.
1. Make sure your pet’s vaccines are up to date!
Since dogs can easily encounter wildlife while out exploring, it is especially important to make sure your pet is current on it’s rabies and distemper vaccines. Distemper is o en found in wild raccoon; there is no cure for the disease and it is frequently fatal. Rabies is ALWAYS fatal and can be transmitted to humans!
2. Make sure your pet is microchipped and has an ID tag on it’s collar.
While we don’t recommend letting your dog go off leash unless you are very confident in your recall, we know it’s fun to watch them bound through the trees and smell all the new exciting smells. Even the best behaved dogs can easily become distracted by a wild animal and focus all of their a en on and energy on catching it, leading them to bolt and run away faster than you can catch them. Microchips and ID tags help reunite lost dogs with their owners every day, and by keeping your pet’s up to date you can increase your chances of finding your pal if they ever go missing. If you need assistance updating microchip information or if you need your pet scanned for a microchip, stop in and we can help!
3. Bring plenty of fresh water!
Dogs can easily become dehydrated when playing outside or on hikes, so we recommend offering your dog fresh water at least every hour. It’s best to discourage your dog from drinking from puddles or lakes, as they can ingest intestinal parasites like giardia. Giardia causes severe, urgent diarrhea, requires an -parasitic medication to eliminate it, and is transmissible from animal to human.
4. Give flea, tick, and heartworm prevention.
Dogs running through long grass or in the woods are flea and ck magnets. Ticks are of special concern as they transmit Lyme disease and ehrlichia. Heartworm is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes and is very costly to treat but easy to prevent. We recommend thoroughly checking your pet each night for ticks, as well as for any bumps or scrapes they may have gotten throughout their day.
5. Know where the nearest veterinarian is located, and bring basic first aid supplies.
It’s always a good idea when traveling away from home to make sure you know where to find the closest veterinarian in case of emergency. Additonally, some basic first aid supplies like gauze pads, ice packs, Benadryl, and hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting). Please never administer Benadryl or hydrogen peroxide without first consulting with a veterinary professional. You can also purchase an item for tick removal to help remove any ticks you find during your trip.
We carry the Tick Tornado here at My Vet.