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If you’re a dog person, you know that your pup is so much more than just a pet; he’s a member of your family. Because of this, it can be distressing for you to leave Fido behind when you take off for a weekend getaway or a family vacation in your RV. But while bringing the family dog along for the trip is definitely do-able and can be very rewarding, there are certain considerations that must be made when camping with your four-legged friends. As one of the most pet-friendly RV resorts Georgia has to offer, we’ve put together this guide for camping with your pooch.
- Verify that Your Dog is Welcome
Not all of the campgrounds and RV resorts Georgia is home to are happy to allow pets on their grounds. Before you make any plans to hit the road with Rover, then, it is very important that you take the time to do your research and confirm that you destination is dog-friendly. Be sure to carefully review their policies, as well. Must dogs be on a leash at all times? What about noise control, vaccinations, and pet behaviors? By knowing before you go, you can enjoy a smooth and fun vacation.
- Consider the Weather
During the hot summer months, you must be very conscientious of the temperatures and how they may affect your pup. Dogs should never be left inside of a vehicle that is not able to be properly cooled and ventilated, and shouldn’t be left alone unsupervised. Make sure that your pet has plenty of water to drink, and, when outdoors, has a shelter from the sun.
- Pack the Essentials
You can camp at one of the top RV resorts Georgia has, but your dog still won’t be happy or comfortable unless you make sure to pack everything that he or she needs. First, you’ll need to bring a proper car restraint such as a crate, kennel, or seatbelt to ensure that Fido is safe on the ride to the campsite. Your dog should be wearing a current ID tag with a well-fitting collar, and should have a sturdy leash. Be sure to bring plenty of food, treats, and fresh water, as well as a collapsible water dish that can easily be carried with you while you enjoy activities together. Have doggie bags on hand to collect waste. If you plan on hiking through rocky or rough terrain, or an area that may have nettles, you should also bring pad-protective booties. Toys will keep your pet happy and playful during the day, and at night, let your pup curl up in his favorite dog bed or blanket.
- Protect Against Wildlife
When you’re camping, it’s important to keep your dog safe from wild animals that may be indigenous to the area. To protect the pooch, it’s best to allow her to sleep inside of your RV, tent, or car as opposed to outside where she may be in harm’s way. Whenever hiking, your dog should be on a leash for safety, and you should be on the look-out for potential dangers, like snakes. It’s smart to utilize a tick control product before your camping trip, and it’s wise to inspect your pup for any ticks on a regular basis.
- Anticipate Natural Hazards
Wild animals aren’t the only hazards for pets when camping. When in wooded areas, be aware of your surroundings at all times. You will need to avoid poison ivy, poison oak, or sumac (remember: ‘Leaves of three, let it be.”), wild mushrooms, elderberries, and acorns. All of these can be poisonous to dogs. Be aware, too, that foxtail, burrs, seeds, and thorns can all irritate your pet’s paws or become suck in its fur. Some natural water sources can also make your pup sick, so use fresh water at all times. Finally, if your dog will be swimming in streams or rivers, be sure to avoid areas with swift currents.
- Supervise Constantly
Above all else, it’s your responsibility to keep an eye on your four-legged friends at all times. Always monitor your dog’s demeanor in warmer weather. If he seems lethargic or is panting excessively, you will need to cool his body temperature right away. Exposure to a fan or a quick swim can quickly remedy his condition. Be sure to also keep your dog at a safe distance away from any camp fires, and if you’re enjoying s’mores, make sure that no chocolate reaches his doggy lips.
When you take time to plan ahead carefully, follow these six tips, and stay at one of the best RV resorts Georgia has to offer, there is no reason why your whole family – including those with fur – can’t enjoy an amazing camping excursion.