Camping Green with Your Dog
Bringing your furry friend along on a camping trip can be a great travel experience. It is so much more fun for him than just sitting on a hotel room floor. Remember though that traveling with a pet means thinking your pet’s environmental impacts, too. Before heading into the woods, make sure you’re prepared for camping green with your dog.
Already by camping you are making a green vacation choice. Think of all the wastefulness at hotels for things you don’t really need or even care about. By choosing camping, you can have even more fun by including all of your family members and have a greener, closer to nature experience.
photo by Laertes
5 Tips for Camping Green with Your Dog
- Plan ahead. Camping is one of the most environmentally-friend ways to travel and there are tons of dog-friendly campgrounds and parks. Just make sure your destination is one of them. Call the park of your choice ahead of time to confirm that they allow dogs or search for a dog-friendly park in the US or Canada on DogFriendly or PetFriendlyTravel.
- Pack reusable pet supplies. Instead of dumping your organic dog food into a disposable plastic bag, look around the house for an old cloth bag that you can convert into reusable pet food container. And if you don’t want to carry bulky dog bowls with you, you can invest in recycled, reusable, portable pet food and water containers. Not sure where to start? GreenPeople’s list of where to find green pet supplies across the world is a great resource.
- Keep your dog on a leash. Even if your dog is dandy off-leash at the neighborhood park, in an unfamiliar environment he might get excited and run away. Remember that rules are there for your pet’s protection, too, especially when you’re hiking or camping. If your dog runs off and barks up the wrong tree — say one with a bear in it — you and your dog could both be in real danger. It may be hard to believe, but not everyone wants your dog, no matter how well trained and behaved, running up to say hi, jumping on them, etc.
- Don’t let your pup get out of control. It’s easy to think that one dog can’t do any real damage, but disturbing wildlife or digging up trails can have real consequences. If your dog start misbehaving, correct his behavior just like you would at home.
- Pick up (and throw away) poop. Yes, poop is natural and biodegradable, but your dog’s poop isn’t indigenous to the woods you’re hiking through. When you’re traveling green camping, you strive to ensure the place you’re leaving is in same condition it was in when you arrived. So preserve the environment by cleaning up after your dog and using biodegradable dog bags. And make sure you dispose of your dog’s waste only in trash cans.
You are probably already doing most of these things at home. Just remember that your dog is going to be experiencing exciting new surroundings and keeping these tips in mind can make camping green with your dog a positive experience for everyone.