Tips For Camping With Pets

For those who enjoy the great outdoors, camping during the springtime can be a perfect weekend getaway.

Tips For Camping With Pets © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Tips For Camping With Pets © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

However, if you don’t want to leave your four-legged friends behind while setting out on your adventure, try bringing them along.

“Many campgrounds allow pets, with certain rules and regulations,” said Dr. Mark Stickney, clinical associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, in a public service announcement.

Often, the rules regarding pets can be seen posted on their website, and if not, questions can be easily answered over the phone. However, it is not advised that you show up with your pet without prior research and consent. Always call the campground ahead to verify they allow your dog type or breed.

“Most rules will include things such as having your pet on a leash, making sure they are supervised at all times, and requiring proof of vaccinations,” Stickney said.

“Even if they don’t require health records or vaccination certificates, it’s a good idea to bring them along just in case.”

Just as you need to pack food and other essentials for yourself, don’t forget to pack necessities for your pets as well.

Some items you’ll need to bring are plenty of food, a pet first-aid kit, a harness, and a leash. Even if the campsite has natural water resources, such as streams or lakes, you must still bring plenty of water for your pet to drink throughout your stay.

Tips For Camping With Pets © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Tips For Camping With Pets © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“Your pets will want to drink out of any pond and lake in sight, but there are many different diseases they can catch by doing that,” Stickney said.

“So you don’t want that to be their primary source of water.”

Coming into contact with wild animals is a definite risk when you are out in a national forest or grassland. Although most of the wildlife you run into wants to keep away from you as well, you should have a way of containing your pet just in case.

“If your pet does get into a tussle with a wild animal, you do not want to get into the middle of it,” Stickney said.

“There is a very good chance you will be bitten or harmed.”

Your best method of action is calling off your pet or to try scaring away the wild animal.

In order to prevent such situations in the first place, it is a good idea to keep your pets close to you throughout your camping expedition and to have a leash or harness available at all times.

Before setting off on your camping adventure, make sure your pets are up-to-date on all of their vaccinations, especially rabies.

Depending on the campsite’s location, you may consult with your veterinarian about any other vaccinations that your pet may need, as well as discuss appropriate flea and tick control.

To make camping with your pet an exciting experience for the both of you, be sure to research the campsite ahead of time, take note of any restrictions or regulations, and bring the essentials along with you.

Expect the unexpected is a motto that campers and pet owners both understand well. Taking the time to pack extra leashes and collars, for instance, means that you don’t have to take time away from your camping adventure to purchase new ones.

Put an updated picture of your dog with your vet/rabies shot records. What would you do if your dog went missing?

Tips For Camping With Pets © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Tips For Camping With Pets © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Since you’ve chosen to take your dog camping, you’ll want to plan your outdoors activities to include them. At home you might be able to leave your dog in the backyard or in the house, but that’s not as easy when you’re camping.

Search for dog friendly adventures around your campground, so you can take Fido with you.

Following these guidelines and suggestions will guarantee a good time for everyone.

Worth Pondering…

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.
―Robert Benchley

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Hilltop RV Park Opens in Fort Stockton

Like many RVers traveling across West Texas between Las Cruces (New Mexico) and San Antonio, we often stop for a day or two at Fort Stockton.

Hill Top RV Park is the newest RV park in Ft. Stockton. (Credit: ftstocktontexasrvpark.com)
Hill Top RV Park is the newest RV park in Ft. Stockton. (Credit: ftstocktontexasrvpark.com)

We’ve stayed at several RV parks in this West Texas crossroads town, none of which entirely suitable for our needs.

A new RV park has recently opened on the western edge of Fort Stockton. At first glance it appears that aptly named Hilltop RV Park will not only meet but exceed our expectations.

Head west out of town on Interstate 10, and on a rise on the northern side of the highway sits Hilltop RV Park. The yellow office building sits next to a fire pit overlooking a clear, sparkling pool, which in turn overlooks a beautiful view of the vast expanse of the desert.

The park’s owners, Jim and KC Newby, have done a lot to make their business successful, starting from the selection of the absolutely perfect site.

First time visitors to Hilltop RV are blown away by the view, but it’s the logistics and the creature comforts that promise a loyal clientele, according to a report in the Fort Stockton Pioneer.

Offering 47 big-rig friendly camping sites, a fire pit for campfire get-togethers, a pool to cool off from a hot drive, and a fenced area for dogs to run, Hilltop RV Park is an example of a well designed park.

The Newbys came from Midland five years ago and originally bought the land as a home for themselves, not an RV park.

“We bought this property to build our house on because we loved the view,” KC Newby said. When she and her husband first surveyed the property, she had reservations. The land was in very bad shape, and the grounds were overgrown.

Hill Top RV Park is the newest RV park in Ft. Stockton. (Credit: ftstocktontexasrvpark.com)
Hill Top RV Park is the newest RV park in Ft. Stockton. (Credit: ftstocktontexasrvpark.com)

The site was previously home to the Red Barn Trailer Park, and the original building was deteriorated so badly it had to be stripped down almost to its bones.

The Newby’s didn’t realize the place had been an R.V. park until Jim found parking sites and old infrastructure on the grounds. They both saw the possibilities and set to work.

They installed sixteen RV sites first, and those filled quickly. The realized they needed to refurbish and remodel the rest of the park so they could expand their business.

They made their home on the property so they can be at their business at all times.

Once the park was up and running, it quickly began to evolve beyond what they’d first foreseen.

“Our plan was to create an overnight business,” Newby said, “and then we found out there was a need for long term.”

Many local residents work in the oil fields, with wind turbines or are land men for the oil companies, and the housing shortage in Fort Stockton and surrounding areas created a demand that Hilltop could fill. Newby estimates that about 60 percent of her residents are long term, and many stay here simply because it’s the perfect situation for them.

Residents feel safe because there is only one way in and one way out of the park, and visitors must pass directly in front of the office.

Hill Top RV Park is the newest RV park in Ft. Stockton. (Credit: ftstocktontexasrvpark.com)
Hill Top RV Park is the newest RV park in Ft. Stockton. (Credit: ftstocktontexasrvpark.com)

The rural setting of the park means that rabbits, roadrunners, and other wildlife are common. Guests are asked to give the animals a wide berth, and not to disturb the native plants. Part of the appeal of the park is the natural beautiful setting, and the owners want to preserve that.

For the long-term residents, it’s like living in the desert with all the comforts of town.

Guest comfort is the number one concern. Along with the comforts of the fire pit and pool, are free Internet Wi-Fi, a satellite dish and clean bathrooms and showers. There are no generators allowed, and quiet hours are between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. every day.

To avoid aggression incidents or making other guests uncomfortable, the park doesn’t allow aggressive dog breeds such as Rottweilers or pit bulls.

Hilltop RV has grown due to customer references, online reviews, and good word of mouth.

“If they stay with us once, they usually come back.” Newby said, adding that she and her husband take a lot of enjoyment from the stories and photos her guests share from the road.

People can make reservations as far as 45 days out, or while they’re on the road. Drop-ins are always welcome, if there is space.

Details

Hilltop RV Park

Hill Top RV Park is the newest RV park in Ft. Stockton. (Credit: ftstocktontexasrvpark.com)
Hill Top RV Park is the newest RV park in Ft. Stockton. (Credit: ftstocktontexasrvpark.com)

Address: 4076 I-10 West, Fort Stockton, TX 79735

Location: I-10; Exit 256 (easy-on, easy-off)

Phone: (432) 336-6090

Website: www.ftstocktontexasrvpark.com

Texas Spoken Friendly

Worth Pondering…

No matter how far we may wander, Texas lingers with us, coloring our perceptions of the world.

—Elmer Kelto

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RV Travel Tips for Pet Owners

Attention pet lovers: recreational vehicles and pets are a perfect match.

Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Traveling in an RV gives you the ability to bring your family pet along for the fun. With the company of your animal companion and without the anxiety of boarding your pet or asking a neighbor or friend to pet-sit, you can enjoy your camping trip with the entire family.

More and more RVers are traveling with their pets and finding it makes RVing even more enjoyable. Recreational vehicles and pets are, in most cases, a good mix. If your pets enjoy riding with you in the car, they’ll also enjoy traveling in the RV.

According the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), more than 50 percent of RV travelers bring pets on their travels. Among these pet owners, 78 percent bring dogs, 15 percent travel with cats, and the remaining pet owners travel with birds or other small pets.

The RV industry’s suppliers and manufacturers have made an effort to accommodate mobile pets, from collapsible pet window cages to special tie-downs for dogs built into RVs.
More and more campgrounds and RV parks now welcome pets and an increasing number are becoming pet friendly.

Plan your trip with pet-friendly destinations in mind. Contact the campground ahead of time to determine their policies on pets and then plan accordingly. If your lifestyle or your pet’s lifestyle cannot adapt, find a different campground or change your destination. Only as a last resort, reconsider taking your pet.

Bring copies of vaccination records with you, as you never know when you might need them.

The American RV Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not only receives high Good Sam rating for its facilities but has something to offer every member of the family from its heated swimming pool for the kids, a spa for the adults, and a dog park for the family pet on board. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The American RV Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not only receives high Good Sam rating for its facilities but has something to offer every member of the family from its heated swimming pool for the kids, a spa for the adults, and a dog park for the family pet on board. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Ensure your pet is properly identified. Also, obtain identification with the address of your destination.

Carry a photo of your pet. You’ll be glad you did if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of making, photocopying, and posting “lost pet” notices.

Bring along your pet’s bed and favorite toys so it will feel comfortable and at home on the road. If traveling with a feline friend, think through the cat-box arrangement. Having extra litter, a covered litter box, plastic bags for disposal, scoop, and baking soda to cover the bottom of the box will keep mess and odor to a minimum.

Your dog feels as cramped as you do after hours of traveling. It’s important that you walk your canine pet when you take rest stops. If your pet is a cat, walks aren’t an issue, but plenty of stretching room is.

Upon registration request a site away from other campers, shady if it’s hot, sunny if it’s cool. Check about leash rules, dog-walk areas, “poop-scooping” policies, and local dog parks.

Once you make camp, abide by the camp’s pet policies. No-spill food and water bowls make the experience even easier. Keep water within reach and keep any possible entanglements out of the way.

Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Never let your pet wander. Portable enclosed pens will enable your pets to enjoy the outside with you. Always clean up after your pet. Be a quiet and considerate neighbor—nothing ruins a camping experience for others like a constantly barking dog.

In selecting its list of Top Pet-Friendly RV Parks for 2014, Good Sam chose RV parks and campgrounds that feature amenities, special services, and events tailored to owners of pets.  These parks offer facilities ranging from dog runs to pet washing areas, and some hand out free treats and toys to canines upon check-in.

A number RV parks feature fenced-in dog runs on their property—a boon to travelers seeking a place to give their furry passengers a place to run after idle travel time. Also offered in some parks are trails for pet walking.

Among the most luxurious pet amenities are fenced-in dog wash stations, with stainless-steel sinks, soap, and warm water available to wash pets.

The American RV Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not only receives high Good Sam rating for its facilities but has something to offer every member of the family from its heated swimming pool for the kids, a spa for the adults, and a dog park for the family pet on board.

Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A favorite with Winter Texans, Bentsen Palm Village has 5.5 miles of onsite hiking and biking trails as well as numerous organized activities and workshops, from couples dancing to gourd painting, and Swedish blanket making to water color painting.

Pet friendly amenities include dog agility course and pet parade. The dog park became so popular that the owners recently added a second park so that guests could have separate running and play areas for big dogs and small dogs.

Happy camping to you and your four-footed friends. Most of all, have fun with your pet! After all, it’s a ruff life being a dog!

Worth Pondering…

We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made.

—M. Facklam

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Good Sam Announces Top Pet Friendly RV Parks for 2014

The Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory announced its list of Top Pet-Friendly RV Parks for 2014.

Good Sam 2014-Top Pet-FriendlyShieldGood Sam editors and consultants chose the list of Pet Friendly Parks from the annual publication’s database of 8,000 private parks.

These select RV parks stand out for amenities and special services tailored to owners of pets.

These parks offer facilities ranging from dog runs to pet washing areas, and some hand out free treats to canines upon check-in.

Highlights of this list include:

  • A number RV parks feature fenced-in dog runs on their property—a boon to travelers seeking a place to give their furry passengers a place to run after idle travel time. Also offered in some parks are trails for pet walking.
  • As a gesture of welcome to pet owners, some RV parks offer free treats and toys to pets traveling in RVs.
  • Among the most luxurious pet amenities are fenced-in dog wash stations, with stainless-steel sinks, soap, and warm water available to wash pets.

Facts about RV pet owners

Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, more than 50 percent of RV travelers bring pets on their travels.

The RV industry’s suppliers and manufacturers have made an effort to accommodate mobile pets, from collapsible pet window cages to special tie-downs for dogs built into RVs.

Among pet owners who take their animals on the road, 78 percent bring dogs, 15 percent travel with cats and the remaining pet owners travel with birds or other small pets.

Top Pet-Friendly RV Parks

Arizona
Good Life RV Resort, Mesa
Sun Life RV Resort, Mesa
Sunflower RV Resort, Surprise

California
Chula Vista RV Resort And Marina Chula Vista
Escondido RV Resort – Sunland Escondido

Florida
Sunseeker’s RV Park, Fort Myers

New Mexico
American RV Park, Albuquerque

Texas
Northlake Village RV Park, Roanoke
Travelers World RV Resort, San Antonio

Washington
Horn Rapids RV Resort, Richland

Good Sam RV Travel Guide

The American RV Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not only receives high Good Sam rating for its facilities but has something to offer every member of the family from its heated swimming pool for the kids, a spa for the adults, and a dog park for the family pet on board. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The American RV Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not only receives high Good Sam rating for its facilities but has something to offer every member of the family from its heated swimming pool for the kids, a spa for the adults, and a dog park for the family pet on board. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A different category of Top Parks will be featured each month in articles released by the Good Sam RV Travel Guide.

In addition to comprehensive listings of RV parks and campgrounds across North America, the 2014 Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory features travel itineraries, helpful maps, and informative tips that RVers need for a journey anywhere in North America.

Additional camping and RV Travel information is available on the Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory Camping Blog.

Worth Pondering…

Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care all life.

—James Cromwell

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Top Pet Friendly RV Parks

An estimated 60 percent of RVers travel with their pets, according to recent studies.

Good-Sam-Club-logo-300x259When it comes to selecting a campground, these travelers seek out RV parks that offer a wide range of pet-friendly amenities, from dog runs to trails for dog walking to flexible rules that allow their particular breed of dog.

To assist pet owners find campgrounds and RV parks that open their arms to canines and other travel companions, Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory has compiled a list of the Top Pet Friendly Parks of 2013. Featuring RV parks from across North America, the list is tailored for RV travelers seeking facilities that welcome pet owners.

Fortunately, many RV parks throughout North America welcome travelers’ four-legged companions with perks ranging from dog runs to pet-friendly policies.

The operators of these parks realize that dogs need more than collars and leashes when they go camping. They require wide-open spaces to run and pet rules that allow owners to take their animal friends for walks around the campground property.

Travel blog Gradling.com reports that pet owners in the U.S. spend $47.4 billion annually on their pets. Among the pet owners who take their animals on the road, 78 percent bring their dogs, 15 percent travel with cats and the rest brings birds, reptiles, or fish.

Traveling With Fido

petsMany RV parks set aside large areas where dogs can frolic after being cooped up in an RV for extended periods of time.

A fenced-in dog run enables canines to run around leash free at Deer Creek Valley RV Park in Topeka, Kansas.

“Dog owners appreciate when you provide facilities for their animals,” says Todd Denius, owner of Royal View at Royal Gorge Campground in Colorado half-acre is set aside for pooches.

“For many people, pets are like their children.”

The park also boasts three miles of trails suitable for dog walking, although a leash is required for dog walking on the trails.

“It lets dogs burn off some energy after a long day of traveling,” added Denius, who owns three dogs.

Denius requires pet owners to review the campground’s policy regarding pets when checking in. They include requirements to clean up after the animal and avoid leaving barking dogs inside vehicles for prolonged periods of time.

Garden Of The Gods Campground, Colorado Springs, Colorado, allows up to three dogs per site but bans pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Dobermans.

Pet experts say that although traveling with pets can be fun and rewarding, RVers should consider a number of factors. Travelers should make sure their rig is large enough to accommodate an animal, and the pets should have up-to-date tags with contact information. Owners should always make sure their pet has the necessary immunization shots.

The Good Sam RV Travel Guide’s Top Pet Friendly Parks of 2013 are:

Good Life RV Resort, Mesa, Arizona
Sun Life RV Resort, Mesa, Arizona
Sunflower RV Resort, Surprise, Arizona
Circle RV Resort – Sunland, El Cajon, California
Rio Bend RV & Golf Resort, El Centro, California
Garden Of The Gods Campground, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Royal View at Royal Gorge Campground, Canon City, Colorado
Ocala Sun RV Resort, Ocala, Florida
Deer Creek Valley RV Park Llc, Topeka, Kansas
Evergreen Park R.V. Resort, Mount Eaton, Ohio
Horn Rapids RV Resort, Richland, Washington

Details

Good Sam RV Travel Guide

02-Feb-Pet-87801544In the listings found in the 2013 Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory, pet restrictions are indicated by breed (B), quantity (Q), or size (S). If pets are prohibited, “No Pets” will appear.

The 2013 Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory combines two of the RV industry’s most popular and respected brands—the Trailer Life Directory and Woodall’s Campground Directory—into one comprehensive volume. The guide contains detailed information on more than 14,000 RV parks across North America; each campground is personally inspected and rated by the Good Sam’s consultant teams.

The guide also includes lifestyle features, regional trip guides, and essential travel facts. Readers can get vital tech tips, learn about must-see points of interest in all of North America’s states and provinces, follow a meal and fitness planner, and get Road Ready with a special products section. Also included are guides to RV-related state laws and information needed for trouble-free trips into Canada and Mexico.

For more information about the 2013 Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory, click on goodsamcamping.com.

Worth Pondering…

Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.
—George Eliot

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New England Campgrounds That Love Dogs

Campgrounds in New England that love dogs provide amenities that go above and beyond to ensure you and your four-legged friends are comfortable throughout your camping experience.

Dog park in Normandy Farms Campground, Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Source: USA Today)
Dog park in Normandy Farms Campground, Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Source: USA Today)

Campgrounds that offer leash-free areas larger than a postage stamp, tools that help make cleaning up after your pet a breeze, and an inclusive policy that rejects banning dogs based on breed type demonstrate truly dog-loving campgrounds along the East Coast, according to a USA Today report.

Campers need to do their part as well by following campsite rules with regard to leash policies, cleanup, and supervision.

USA Today recommends that dog owners use the following four steps when camping with their pets.

Step 1

Look for campgrounds that provide leash-free, fenced zones as well as areas to explore with your leashed pet.

Bay View Campgrounds on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, provides a leash-free, fenced dog park away from most of the campsites to prevent disturbing other campers.

Some campgrounds offer doggy day camp, too, such as KOA Chocorua in Tamworth, New Hampshire, which offers a 15,000-square-foot dog park equipped with AKC agility equipment and kennels to board your dog should you need doggy daycare. If your destination provides this service, be sure to check the rules regarding supervised play and vaccinations.

Step 2

Camping with pets (Source: redwoodgoodsam.org)
Camping with pets (Source: redwoodgoodsam.org)

Use your own pet waste pickup bags unless the campground offers pet waste bag stations equipped with eco-friendly bags and trashcans for easy cleanup. Truly dog-loving campsites ensure that designated “potty areas” for dogs are set away from campsites and are well-maintained.

Many campsites in New England have clean up stations and designated dog areas, but Scenic View Campground in Warren, New Hampshire, provides free cleanup bags if you run out.

Step 3

Record the campground contact information ahead of your visit to have on hand should a problem arise with another camper’s dog, suggests USA Today. Pet-friendly campgrounds will provide contact information should you need to report dog aggression or another incident that violates campsite rules.

In addition, a reputable campground will require pet owners to provide current vaccination records. At Ross Hill Park in Lisbon, Connecticut, for example, a rabies certificate must be presented at the time of check-in, and the campsite forbids visitors from bringing in their dog. A policy like this helps prevents canine disease from spreading by ensuring that the dogs that are allowed into the park are properly vaccinated.

Step 4

Camping with pets (Source: camping-essentials.org)
Camping with pets (Source: camping-essentials.org)

Check the campground policy regarding breed restrictions. If certain breeds are restricted from visiting the campsite, consider choosing a different location to stake your tent or park your recreational vehicle.

Breed discrimination policies often exclude well behaved, socialized dogs while overlooking more comprehensive language that helps ensure the safety of you and your pets. Often a campground in New England that loves dogs include specific behavior that is not acceptable, such as excessive barking, jumping on other guests, or any outwardly aggressive behavior toward other people and pets.

Worth Pondering…

I am part of all that I have met

Yet all experience is an arch wherethro

Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades

Forever and forever when I move.

—Alfred Lord Tennyson

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Camping with Pets

With more and more campgrounds accepting pets and offering on-site pet amenities, more pets than ever are being included on camping trips.

Camping with pets
Camping with pets

Camping with pets can be a very enjoyable experience for both owners and their animals with a little preparation and planning.

While camping can be a very affordable vacation option, being able to bring pets eliminates the need for a boarding facility. Owners and pets can enjoy their vacation together, an experience that’s usually not available on other types of vacations, according to a New Hampshire Campground Owners Association news release.

Sylvia Leggett, owner of Roberts Knoll Campground in Alton, New Hampshire, and member of the New Hampshire Campground Owners’ Association Board of Directors, has been camping with her three golden retrievers for many years. Leggett has noticed an increase in the number of campgrounds that allow pets, with many adding pet-friendly services.

“That’s why many people camp, so they can be outdoors and keep their pets with them, Leggett noted.”

Leo Spencer, owner of Chocorua Camping Village in Tamworth, New Hampshire, agrees, noting he has seen the number of owners camping with their pets increase within the last decade. Chocorua Camping Village was one of the first New Hampshire locations to offer a dog park and has since added additional amenities, which Spencer said has garnered very positive responses from campers and keeps them coming back year after year.

Camping with pets
Camping with pets

While being able to bring pets along can eliminate the need for a dog sitter or kennel, it does require some advanced planning on the owners’ part to make sure they are prepared for all situations. Only friendly, non-aggressive dogs should be brought to campgrounds.

When camping with a pet for the first time, Leggett recommends planning a shorter trip so the animal can get used to being away from home. That way, the trip can be ended early if needed.

When making a reservation, it’s a good idea to mention pets are part of your group. Some campgrounds can offer a campsite further away from busy areas, which may be more comfortable for some pets. Other campgrounds have a restriction on the number of pets allowed per campsite, which is helpful information for pet owners looking to bring more than one animal along.

Many campgrounds require proof of vaccines against rabies and Bordetella, a type of bacteria, though calling the campground ahead of time to confirm is suggested. Leggett recommends copying vet records with proof of all current vaccines and making sure licenses and contact information are included on pets’ collars. While all of her dogs are micro chipped, Leggett also has her phone number embroidered into her dogs’ collars in the event that they ever became separated.

When it comes to packing for pets, it’s also important to remember food and water dishes, an extra collar and leash, medicines or supplements, brushes, tie outs, shampoo, and something familiar from home, like a toy or blanket. If a dog is comfortable sleeping in a crate at home, that should be brought along too.

After settling into a camp or RV site with pets, it is important to be a responsible camper and pet owner. This includes cleaning up after pets, keeping them leashed, and making sure they stay out of prohibited areas.

Chocorua Camping Village has had a dog park for about 10 years now, but an AKC agility course was added about four years ago. The course contains a series of obstacles that anyone can use. In addition, there is a dog pond where dogs can swim and play fetch off leash, a dog wash station and access to five miles of walking trails. Pet themed events are held at the campground during the summer to include a pet parade.

Camping with pets
Camping with pets

When in doubt, do not leave pets unsupervised in an unfamiliar environment, as pets may act differently than they do at home.

As other places add pet-friendly amenities, it is getting more convenient for pet owners to bring their pets along. Many campgrounds can offer suggestions on places to visit with pets, from nearby hiking or walking trails to stores.

Like Leggett suggests, if you plan ahead and are prepared, camping can be a rewarding, memorable experience for both owners and pets.

Worth Pondering…

There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.

—Franklin D. Roosevelt

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