Activities For Campers With Dogs

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Introduction

Camping is one of those activities that’s just wonderful no matter the weather. It can be breezy spring, smoking hot or rainy summertime, or even chilly autumn, and we’re ready to pack our equipment and head out. Even for the camping extremists, a little snow never hurt anyone, right? It’s hard to beat a campfire lighting up a small circle of your pals’ faces under a starry sky. It’s hard to beat waking up to the gorgeous outdoors, imagining yourself as one of the first humans on Earth. You forage, you explore, and you play. And who doesn’t like to include their fur child in all the camping fun? Stay tuned for some dog-appropriate activities. They’re great for campers with outdoor-loving pooches!

Canine Canoe

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Sunny Day
Expensive
Normal
2 - 5 hrs
Items needed
Dog toys
Canoe
Doggie life vest
Paddles
Snacks and drinks
Activity description
We know what you’re maybe thinking: another water activity? Well, why not? Our continent is literally overflowing with rivers, creeks, and lakes. In fact, bass fishermen from all over the country journey to the forest in search of packed waters. So, if you’re camping, especially during the spring and summer, you’re likely near the warm water. Canine Canoe is probably your kind of activity anyway. You can also use a kayak if it’s big enough for both you and your pooch! Get into your life vest, climb aboard, and set out on your way. Be prepared to drag your canoe a bit, if the water source is experiencing drought.
Step
1
Call ahead
This is especially important if you’re on a river or near a dam. Call ahead and check the water conditions. Your local ranger station or park supervisors will have information about levels, currents, temperature and more. It’s just a good idea to know what you’re getting into before you head out, if at all possible.
Step
2
Prep the canoe
You’ll want to make sure everyone on board has a life vest, including your pup! Take along snacks and water. Figure out logistics: Who will pick you up and where? Have you parked a car at the end of the float? Do you know if you’ll encounter any white water along the route? If you’re on a lake, this probably won’t be an issue. Take some dog toys along as well.
Step
3
Enjoy the day
Your pooch will love floating and feeling the breeze on their face. Let them walk around the canoe and find a happy spot. They may like the head, rear, or middle. If you’re in a kayak, you have less room to offer, but it’s possible. You can fish a little, and let your dog sunbathe and nap. It’s always fun to cool off, so when you find a peaceful spot for swimming, take advantage. Remember to bring along your waterproof camera and get plenty of photos!
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Trail Fetch

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
3 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Dog toys
Backpack for water and snacks
Harness and Leash (optional)
Activity description
This activity will work best if your doggo can be trusted to walk alongside you on their own. Don’t worry, though. If you want them on a leash, this can work. You just have to make a few adjustments. Trails are pretty easy for dogs who are used to regular exercise. A challenge may be presented though, if there are a ton of hills or rocks to climb. With a flatter trail, your pup can travel a greater distance; they’re not constantly having to battle the uphill. Neither are you! So have a little fun on your hike with a fun game of trail fetch. It’s sure to be a hit!
Step
1
Choose your path
You’ll have to select your trail first. Ask your friends about the most dog-friendly paths, or check with the park ranger. More than likely, your dog will enjoy most any of them. Set out on your journey, and let your dog walk and explore at first. They’ll get used to the trail and enjoy taking in all the new, interesting scents.
Step
2
Get to fetching
After your pet is looking up again and taking in the sights (instead of nose-down in all the pine straw and red clay), introduce the idea of fetch. If your dog is unleashed, they’ll know what to do. Toss the toy up ahead and let them run on up to fetch it. If your doggo is leashed, obviously you don’t want to throw the toy too far. They may drag you along for the run!
Step
3
Be careful
Take plenty of water along for the walk, especially if it’s during the humid summer. Dehydration can happen quickly with both animals and humans. Also, watch for poisonous wildlife that slithers in the warmer months. And be certain that your pooch isn’t eating plants they shouldn’t. Just keep an eye out, of course, at all times!
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Dock Diving

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Hot Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Amphibious Dog Toys
Campground Dock
Activity description
The spirit of the chase definitely lives in the more natural corners of our dogs. They love to see their prey sailing through the air, knowing that it’s about to fall for the taking. If your pup is a swimmer, then they’ll love Dock Diving. You’ll need quite an arm to get the job done, but this is an activity your camping dog is sure to enjoy. And it can involve the entire family. Kids can take turns launching the amphibious dog toy out into the water and watching their four-legged brother or sister run for it! Energy levels are high in this game, but it’s so thrilling for your fur child.
Step
1
Check the weather and water
First, you’ll have to locate the dock and scan it for harmful debris. Keeping your pup safe is, of course, essential. Make sure the water is deep enough for a doggy jump. Usually, you can bank on this, especially if it’s a community dock. Fishermen have to pull their boats up regularly after all. And this activity works best if it’s warm, of course. You don’t want your doggo jumping into chilly or freezing water. So save this game for the sunshine and heat!
Step
2
Chuck it out there
Back up quite a distance. Maybe before you unleash your pooch, you should test things out. See how far you or your kiddos can throw the floating dog toy. Once you have your sweet spot, the activity is ready to begin. Launch the toy by hand or with some sort of launcher you may have. Plenty of running, leaping, splashing, and retrieving will ensue.
Step
3
Find a playmate
You can just about bet on making friends when you are camping in a campground. If you’re backpacking through the pine forests, you might be hard-pressed to find a dock or other people. But if folks are around, usually their fluffy companions are, too. Ask them and their canines to join the fun. You can have two amphibious toys going at the same time, or the dogs can compete for the same toy (just watch out for aggressive behavior from either pup).
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More Fun Ideas...

Hound in a Hammock

If you love to hammock among nature’s trees, invite your pup along for the rest. They’ll enjoy the nap alongside their favorite owner. If they have a hammock of their own, be sure to pack it!

Pooch Picnic

You can always pack a picnic if you’re looking to explore the park you’re camping in. Journey for a little while, and then unpack your basket. Be sure there are dog-friendly food items, or pack some of their own kibble and treats.

Conclusion

Another option we don’t want to fail to mention is the backyard camp. Hey, it works! And memories can be made just as effectively. But if you’re out in the great outdoors and specifically in the water-riddled terrain of your favorite camping area, then you’re bound to find at least one of these activities to be perfect for your furry friend!