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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

5 Simple Rules When Camping With Pets

Now that we have our puggle , Oscar, we have to think about things like this. He will be going with us everywhere we go.

Most parks will have some form of pet regulations in effect to ensure the campsite and area, fellow campers and your pet are safe and happy.

Most people only bring either dogs or cats, a few bring birds and some may even have an iguana or two but for now I am going to focus on the dogs and cats.

1. Your pet must be on a leash at all times.

Your dog or cat may not respond the same in a camping environment as they would in your home. Just for instance, I had taken my cat camping and had her on a leash beside the tent. The neighbor had a large poodle that was running loose on their campsite. I had reminded them that dogs must be leashed at all times and of course their reply was "my dog is not a threat to anyone or anything".

Maybe 5 minutes later the poodle saw my cat and the chase was on. Somehow the cat managed to get out of the leash and the dog was in hot pursuit. All you could see was 2 black streaks running flat out through the trees. Eventually the cat saw an open tent door (which happened to be the neighbour's tent) and ran for it. The owner saw the dog chasing it and thankfully got the tent door closed before the dog got there. Needless to say - they kept the dog on a leash after that.

Dogs in particular are quite nosy and like to investigate anything that is new. Sometimes that new something is a porcupine, a raccoon or a rattlesnake which is another good reason to keep your pet on a leash. It is also very important to have a first aid kit available just in case. The park attendants will know where to find a vet if you need one.

2. Your pet is not allowed at any swimming area or on the beach.

A lot of parks that have a beach may also have a pet exercise area with water access. Pets and people sometimes don't make friends very well, especially if you have a pet that is very protective of their family unit. All those people make them very nervous and apt to strike out at anyone or anything that is passing by. There is also the fact that some people are allergic to pets.

3. Your pet must be kept under control
Survival Kit For Dogs

Some dogs become very vocal when their owners are not around or if they see something they should be letting everyone in sight know about. This is known as excessive noise and can be very disturbing to fellow campers. Listening to a dog cry for hours because their owner has left them on the campsite is not a pleasant experience for anyone, including the dog. If you must leave your pet behind at the campsite, ensure they have shade, water and food available and only leave them for a short time. If you are going somewhere that you can't take your pet for a longer period, some parks have pet-sitters close by that you could leave them with. It is best to check with the park before you go if you know you are going to be away for an extended period.

4. You must not let your pet disturb wildlife or habitat.

Some dogs and cats like to chase things whether it is a ball, an animal or a bird. Deer, chipmunks, squirrels, and birds are the favourite things for pets to chase while camping. Again you must be able to control them to ensure they don't chase anything.

The habitat on and around your campsite is very delicate and when it is destroyed or damaged it takes a long time to recover. Your best option is to have a steel stake with a swivel top to attach your pet's leash to and not the trees or brush around your site. Remember your leash must not extend off the campsite and in most parks it may be limited to 2 metres or 6 feet.

5. Stoop and Scoop

This is one of the joys of being a pet owner - you must clean up after them whether you are at home or in a campground. It is not a pleasant thing to encounter when you are walking barefoot to the beach or setting up a campsite if the pet owner has not done their job properly. You would not want someone to let their dog do his business on your lawn at home so the same thing applies to campsites.
Following these few simple rules will ensure that you, your pet and your fellow campers will have a pleasant and enjoyable stay in any campground.

Rose Emerson is a lifelong camper and outdoors enthusiast with over 20 years of working experience in Provincial Parks. Camping is an ideal vacation experience and statistics show that more people than ever are embracing the idea. Her website has all the basic equipment needed to start camping as well as lots of information on places to go, things to do and what you need to know before you go.


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