How to camp with dogs!

#1
So, I think everything that has to do with overlanding can be challenging. I have never left my dogs home at camping. So over 20 something years of practice, I have gotten a bit better. Overlanding has kinda posed a bit more of a challenge for taking your dogs. Especially if it is numerous days. So far, the longest I have taken them was 5 days on the road. Overall, it went well. I made a video discussing some of the tips I have learned. What tips do you happen to have for your dogs? We are planning a trip to Alaska in 2020. Roughly 5 to 6 weeks. It’s gonna be a long time on the road with dogs and I want them to be safe and comfortable. Does anybody have any suggestions?

 
#2
I did Alaska with my dog. It was a blast.
One tip I have is stop often and let them sniff and take their time at the stops. Set a routine for the stops. Dogs love routine.
Let your dog be part of the routine of setting up and down.
Of course the obvious always leashed. I used a 30ft so she would have freedom and I could real it in if I had to.
After my Alaska trip my dog learned that the camper is the safe place and home. Now when I load the camper up she goes crazy and jumps right in raring to go.
 
#4
I have taken a number of 6 - 8 week trips with Simon, a 30# beagle. A couple of things I have done:
  • I built a platform for his bed; it is his place in the truck, a little bigger than a properly sized kennel. It has his bedding, a non-spill water bowl, and 'seat belt'.
  • He has a tether for when we are traveling that gives him enough room to move around on his bed but not enough to jump on me or hit the dashboard in a panic stop.
  • I have baby shades that I can put up to give him a place out of the sun.
  • I made a 8 1/2 X 11 card that goes on the dashboard whenever I have to leave him in the truck for a few minutes: " CONCERNED FOR MY DOG? CALL 651-XXX-XXXX ". I've had busybodies call Animal Control as soon as I went into a gas station to pay for gas!
  • I made a 12V fan that fits in the rear sliding window of the cab for air circulation for the few times I have to leave him in the truck for more than a few minutes.
  • I made the steps into the camper deeper and covered them with astroturf for both traction and dirt abatement. Makes it easier for Simon to get up and down out of the camper. The astroturf collects an amazing amount of dirt.
We stop every two hours to take a walk and bathroom break; we both need it.

jim
 
#5
I have taken a number of 6 - 8 week trips with Simon, a 30# beagle. A couple of things I have done:
  • I built a platform for his bed; it is his place in the truck, a little bigger than a properly sized kennel. It has his bedding, a non-spill water bowl, and 'seat belt'.
  • He has a tether for when we are traveling that gives him enough room to move around on his bed but not enough to jump on me or hit the dashboard in a panic stop.
  • I have baby shades that I can put up to give him a place out of the sun.
  • I made a 8 1/2 X 11 card that goes on the dashboard whenever I have to leave him in the truck for a few minutes: " CONCERNED FOR MY DOG? CALL 651-XXX-XXXX ". I've had busybodies call Animal Control as soon as I went into a gas station to pay for gas!
  • I made a 12V fan that fits in the rear sliding window of the cab for air circulation for the few times I have to leave him in the truck for more than a few minutes.
  • I made the steps into the camper deeper and covered them with astroturf for both traction and dirt abatement. Makes it easier for Simon to get up and down out of the camper. The astroturf collects an amazing amount of dirt.
We stop every two hours to take a walk and bathroom break; we both need it.

jim
Those are some super good one! I used to keep them in my truck, but the 4Runner has much more room. Dude, the sign idea is genius! I love it! I would love to figure out some doggie seatbelts. Three may be tough.
 
#7
We've done a few 2+ week trips with our dogs and did 8600km and 3+ weeks this past summer up to the Arctic Ocean in Tuk and back. I removed the back seat from my Tundra and made a nice comfy dog bed platform for them. I used relatively firm dog beds so that they could easily sit up and look out the windows. I have also found that they do better with limited space when traveling, as opposed to having full run of (lets say) the back on an suv. As far as dog food goes, you an only take dog food across the border (either way) that is made in either Canada or the US, and make sure to have the original packaging. You also cannot take dog food into the US that has goat or lamb in it. (and Yes, we have been asked to show our dog food bag to prove its country of origin before). I do a little research on where I can source our dogs food prior to departing so I know we won't run out of their food. I also vacuum pack about 5 days worth of food at a time. it makes it easier to stow in the nooks and crannies in our camper and truck, as opposed to having one huge open bag kicking about.
Also have your dogs shots and vaccinations up to date and carry their paper (we have also have to prove to the US customs that our dogs were up to date on their rabies shots). One of our dogs can get nervous while traveling so we give him a product called Composure to calm him down. It works very well.
If you are heading North to Alsaka you will have to contend with mosquito's, though I found the mozzies to be worse in Northern BC than anywhere else. The best remedy we found to deal with mozzies on our dogs was to use Bronco Equine fly spray. It is dog friendly and works better than any of the other hundred remedies we tried.
I also made a point to take a canine first aid course, and carry a dog-specific first aid kit in my backpack, which is always with us.

PS. The best human mosquito repellant hands down is a mixture of Avon Skin So Soft with rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. This concoction is legendary up North and works betyter than absolutely anything we've ever used on ourselves.
 
#9
We've done a few 2+ week trips with our dogs and did 8600km and 3+ weeks this past summer up to the Arctic Ocean in Tuk and back. I removed the back seat from my Tundra and made a nice comfy dog bed platform for them. I used relatively firm dog beds so that they could easily sit up and look out the windows. I have also found that they do better with limited space when traveling, as opposed to having full run of (lets say) the back on an suv. As far as dog food goes, you an only take dog food across the border (either way) that is made in either Canada or the US, and make sure to have the original packaging. You also cannot take dog food into the US that has goat or lamb in it. (and Yes, we have been asked to show our dog food bag to prove its country of origin before). I do a little research on where I can source our dogs food prior to departing so I know we won't run out of their food. I also vacuum pack about 5 days worth of food at a time. it makes it easier to stow in the nooks and crannies in our camper and truck, as opposed to having one huge open bag kicking about.
Also have your dogs shots and vaccinations up to date and carry their paper (we have also have to prove to the US customs that our dogs were up to date on their rabies shots). One of our dogs can get nervous while traveling so we give him a product called Composure to calm him down. It works very well.
If you are heading North to Alsaka you will have to contend with mosquito's, though I found the mozzies to be worse in Northern BC than anywhere else. The best remedy we found to deal with mozzies on our dogs was to use Bronco Equine fly spray. It is dog friendly and works better than any of the other hundred remedies we tried.
I also made a point to take a canine first aid course, and carry a dog-specific first aid kit in my backpack, which is always with us.

PS. The best human mosquito repellant hands down is a mixture of Avon Skin So Soft with rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. This concoction is legendary up North and works betyter than absolutely anything we've ever used on ourselves.
Holy christ man! those are amazing tips!!! I never once thought about bringing my dog's papers and their first aid kit. That is a great idea!!!
 
#11
I probably should use in the back seat too, but I have a dog platform and allow her to walk around when there is someone in the front seat. Also, remember to turn off your air bag if using the front seat. That's if your dog is heavy enough to indicate a person is sitting there....
 
#12
We fold up the rear seats in the Power Wagon and they have the fold-down platform covered with a blanket to hang out on. As we slow down under 40mph or come to a stop they like to have the windows down so that they can hang their heads out. I need to start carrying their papers with us on any trip longer than a weekend.

 
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#13
I tend to worry about my pooch. Always need to know where she is, what she is doing, etc. Kindof a pain at camp. Especially after dark.

The best discovery I have made is to get her own sleeping bag for camping. When it starts to get dark I will plunk it down in a camp chair. She will wait until I hold it open, then she jumps in and goes to sleep. Snug as a bug in a rug and she won't move until bed time. I can pick her up and the sleeping bag and carry her to the RTT or camper. At 20 lbs. it's easy to carry her.

This is the sleeping bag we use, and it works so well (for keeping her in one spot, warm, and happy) that at this point we have three of them. One for the bedroom, one for the living room, and have recently put one together for the car. When spring comes I'll purchase one more for the camping gear. The bag is synthetic so if she gets wet it will still help her to stay warm. Very robust. I bought the first one for a large Doberman about eight years ago and it still looks like new.

At everywhere but camp, we set them up like this in a medium kennel. We clip the bag to the kennel. She can get in and out on her own and if she is cold she curls up way in the back (where it automagically covers her up). There is also a dog bed in there to keep it soft.
4.jpg

Kinda spoiled huh?
 
#15
I tend to worry about my pooch. Always need to know where she is, what she is doing, etc. Kindof a pain at camp. Especially after dark.

The best discovery I have made is to get her own sleeping bag for camping. When it starts to get dark I will plunk it down in a camp chair. She will wait until I hold it open, then she jumps in and goes to sleep. Snug as a bug in a rug and she won't move until bed time. I can pick her up and the sleeping bag and carry her to the RTT or camper. At 20 lbs. it's easy to carry her.

This is the sleeping bag we use, and it works so well (for keeping her in one spot, warm, and happy) that at this point we have three of them. One for the bedroom, one for the living room, and have recently put one together for the car. When spring comes I'll purchase one more for the camping gear. The bag is synthetic so if she gets wet it will still help her to stay warm. Very robust. I bought the first one for a large Doberman about eight years ago and it still looks like new.

At everywhere but camp, we set them up like this in a medium kennel. We clip the bag to the kennel. She can get in and out on her own and if she is cold she curls up way in the back (where it automagically covers her up). There is also a dog bed in there to keep it soft.
View attachment 483458

Kinda spoiled huh?
Spoiled, meet spoiled. We just came back from camping this past weekend. Ichabod has a single coat and gets cold easily so he likes to be bundled up while we sit beside the fire. Our other dog Molly is a husky mix and thinks Ichabod is a bit of a wuss.


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