One of the best things about bringing home a new puppy is being able to hit the outdoors with your new best friend. After all, there aren’t too many things better than camping with your dog, especially if you turn it into a family experience.
We all know that you shouldn’t be rushing into taking your new puppy out with you, as you can run into a bunch of problems along the way. So at what age can you bring your puppy on a camping trip with you?
In this article, we answer all that and more. Keep reading to learn more.
When Can I Take My Puppy Camping?
At the very least, you have to wait until your puppy is five months old and has all its required shots old before even considering taking it with you on a camping trip. This is because you need to wait until your puppy starts developing certain traits and begins to understand its training before you bring it with you.
This varies from puppy to puppy, as some dogs take longer to learn things than others. In the next section, we take a close look at some things you need to do and check before determining if your puppy is ready for the first camping trip.
Are Your Puppies Ready?
Ask Yourself If Your Puppy Is Sturdy Enough
What this means is to make sure your pet can handle the trip. This means emotionally and physically.
Every dog has its own time when it will be ready to go camping, but it’s very important to check that your puppy can handle a lot of physical activity before bringing it with you. That way you can ensure that you and the family will have a lot of fun while keeping your pet safe.
Take Your Puppy to a Vet
This point cannot be stressed enough. Before you even consider taking your pup on a camping trip, you have to get it checked by a professional. That way, you can also get an expert opinion on whether the dog is ready to go out.
When Is Too Early?
A lot of people have different opinions as to when it’s too early for a puppy to be out and about that varies from 5 months to an entire year.
But most experts agree that your dog has to have all the basic shots before it can go and explore with you. Most puppies get shots at 8 weeks old, 12 weeks old, and 16 weeks old.
Make Sure Your Puppy Is Trained
Another thing you have to check before bringing your puppy on a camping trip is how well-trained it is. Ask yourself if your puppy still barks at strangers or other dogs, or if your dog still isn’t potty-trained.
While these require time and effort, they are essential in making sure your puppy is ready for a camping trip. Having an untrained puppy can result in problems during the trip like a stinky tent, and nobody wants that!
Other Things To Consider When Taking A Puppy Camping
Here are a couple of extra things to check before you take your puppy camping.
Campground Rules And Leash Laws For State Parks
You have to know what a campsite or state park’s rules are with dogs before you go ahead bringing your puppy. Because even if your pup is physically and emotionally ready and is very well trained, some areas don’t allow them on the campgrounds.
Different places also have different leash laws, but you can check all of that out here.
Know Your Pup
This means truly understanding your pet. What things it doesn’t like, how your pet acts when uncomfortable, scared, or simply not feeling too well.
That way, you can ensure that your pup is having a good time while you’re out, and you also know what limitations it has. After all, you would not want to get your pet fatigued or exhausted within the first couple of hours of your trip.
This applies to both the temperature of the campgrounds and your puppy’s temperature. Young puppies can have a difficult time with temperature changes, so make sure that the site where your camping doesn’t have temperatures too extreme for your pup.
You can also bring a pet thermometer with you to help you keep track of the dog’s temperature.
Is your dog going to be sleeping with you in the tent? Or will it be sleeping outside in a crate, or are you going to leash the dog while it sleeps? This needs to be figured out and arranged before the camping trip.
If you choose to bring your dog in the tent, make sure it is toilet-trained and won’t soil the inside of your $300 tent.
Other Big Dogs
You can never be sure if you’ll be the only one bringing a dog to the campgrounds. That’s why you have to know how your puppy reacts to other dogs, especially big ones.
You also have to make sure not to bring your puppy too close to other dogs until they have familiarized themselves with each other.
The Puppy Chewing Things
It’s no secret that puppies chew on things. This could be because not all their teeth have grown, or they’re just like that naturally.
Either way, you have to be prepared for this and train your puppy not to chew and make sure there’s nothing that it could reach and destroy while you’re on the camping trip.
Choose Your Campsite Wisely
You would like to choose a relaxed area that isn’t too congested or crowded for you to camp.
You also need to make sure that your puppy has enough space to move around without feeling constricted. That way both you and your puppy can have a relaxed and enjoyable camping experience.
Prepare A First Aid Kit For Your Puppy
Accidents can happen while out in nature, and puppies are very vulnerable. They can fall, get hurt, and get small scratches.
To make sure things don’t get worse in the event your puppy gets hurt, make sure to bring a first aid kit with the necessities for dogs such as disinfectants, band-aids, surgical tape, cotton, and gauze.
Lots of Supervision Would Be Key
The first time you bring your dog camping will always be a learning experience for both of you. But the best way to make sure things run smoothly is to keep a close eye on your pup and make sure it follows your rules and instructions.
Get A Bed For Your Pup
Regardless of whether or not the puppy will be sleeping with you in the tent, or outside in the crate, you have to make sure that it is comfortable. That means getting a dog bed where your dog feels comfortable.
Get Your Puppy Vaccinated
This cannot be stressed enough. This is to ensure the safety of your dog, all the dogs around it, and all the people around your dog. Dogs are usually fully vaccinated by 12 weeks old, so make sure to wait until it’s that old at the very least.
Get An LED Collar
Sometimes it can be hard to spot a puppy at night, especially if they have a dark coat. To avoid this, you can get a flashing LED collar that lights up when it’s dark.
That way, you’ll never lose your pet in the dark, and you can keep a close eye on it.
Control How Far the Puppy can go
When camping with a puppy, you need to be the one in charge and have everything under control. To avoid your puppy suddenly darting off and you having to look for it, control the area where it can move in.
This can mean keeping it on a leash, making a zipline in between two trees, or simply keeping the puppy close to you so it doesn’t run off too far.
Enjoy The Trip
If you have fun, your dog has fun. So it’s important to keep in mind why you went on the trip in the first place: to have a good time.
That way, even the chores involved with bringing your dog camping such as cleaning up and setting up the puppy’s space will be something that you and your family can all enjoy together.
Q: Is My Puppy Going To Run Off After An Animal It Sees?
If your puppy is well-trained, no. However, animals can be unpredictable, and sometimes your dog can go chasing after an animal it sees. That’s why it’s very important to keep a close eye on the puppy and make sure it can’t go too far.
Q: Should I Use The Leash For My Puppy While Camping?
Yes, or at the very least bring it with you. A leash is a great way to control your dog and make sure it stays in one place. If you want to give the dog a bit more freedom when tied up, consider making a zipline in between two trees.
- Related: Tips to crate my puppy when camping.
Q: Can You Take A 9-Week Old Puppy Camping?
If it’s trained enough and is vaccinated, go ahead. However, it usually takes up to 16 weeks before a dog completes its shots and is ready to head out and explore the world.
Q: Can You Camp With A Puppy?
Yes, you can! And it can be a great experience, for you, the dog, and the whole family. You just have to make sure that the puppy is ready for the entire experience.
That is all you’ll need to know about taking your puppy camping. You can’t do it right away and it takes a lot of preparation.
But if you’re willing to put in the work, it can turn into a wonderful experience and can result in you and your puppy having a stronger bond than ever!