You’ve adopted a new puppy! Congratulations! Of course, most new dog parents want to include their newest family members in their plans, including vacation plans. But can puppies go camping? The good news is that yes, they can join you on your upcoming trip with a few simple safety precautions.
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Can You Take a Puppy Camping?
If you’ve recently adopted a new adventure buddy and can’t wait to start exploring the world together, you may be wondering if puppies can go camping. Is it safe for a young puppy to join you on your next trip? The short answer is yes!
We took our youngest pup Lucifer on his first camping trip less than a month after bringing him home.
If your puppy is old enough to leave his mother, you can safely introduce the idea of camping. This includes spending a night in the RV or travel trailer or even camping in a tent. But you may need to take some safety precautions for your puppy depending on his age.
When puppies are young, they are at a high risk of picking up serious diseases like distemper and parvovirus. These diseases can be carried by wild animals such as raccoons, coyotes, and foxes. Of course, these are animals that are commonly seen around parks and campgrounds. For this reason, many veterinarians will recommend not allowing your puppy to touch the ground in public spaces at this stage.
When camping, the entire campsite is public ground. So, can you take a puppy camping safely?
One solution for creating a puppy-friendly campsite is to bring a pet playpen or large crate where your puppy can be safely contained when not in your RV or tent. Ideally, you want to choose something that is large enough for your puppy to have room to move about, play, eat, and create a bathroom area with puppy pee pads.
Before heading out, make sure to check with the campground that you will be visiting. Some campgrounds do have vaccination requirements for dogs. This could prevent you from bringing your puppy until the vaccination schedule has been completed.
Can I Take My Puppy Camping After Second Vaccination?
One of the best ways to keep your puppy safe from diseases like distemper and parvovirus is to follow the regular vaccination schedule.
To ensure that your puppy has built up a strong enough immune response, you should wait until approximately 2 weeks after he receives the second round of vaccinations. This waiting period is important as it provides his body with the time needed to respond to the vaccination that he has been given.
At this stage, you are now able to safely give your puppy access to the campsite. This includes putting him on a tie-out on the campsite, creating a contained area with an exercise pen, or taking him for a walk.
When Can You Take a Puppy on a Hike?
Hiking with a puppy involves many of the same concerns and safety precautions as camping with a puppy. The trails are a high-risk area for contracting these dangerous diseases. For that reason, it’s not recommended to allow your puppy to hike on the local trails until his vaccinations have been taken care of.
This doesn’t mean that bringing a puppy to camp will prevent you from exploring the trails. Like taking puppies camping, taking puppies on the trails will involve planning and preparation. If your puppy is too young to freely walk the trails, one easy solution is to purchase a dog carrier backpack. This will allow you to bring your puppy along on the adventure without his paws ever touching the ground.
Two weeks after he has received his second set of vaccinations, you can now allow your puppy to walk alongside you on the trail. But if you’re planning a longer hike you may still want to bring your new backpack along to give his little legs a break along the way.
How Do You Take a Puppy to the Beach?
Another common activity when taking puppies camping is to plan a trip to the local dog beach. But is this safe when your puppy is still young?
The dog beach is a little more challenging when it comes to keeping an unvaccinated puppy safe. You are likely going to be faced with large numbers of people (and dogs) in close quarters. This increases the chance that your dog could run into a dog that’s carrying one of the diseases in question, even if they aren’t showing any signs at this point.
There are also additional concerns for a puppy at the beach including the fact that they are more susceptible to heatstroke at their young age. Also, their growing bodies are more sensitive to the effects of harmful algae that could be present in the water.
For all these reasons, the safest choice is to hold off on the dog beach until your newest family member is a little older. We recommend waiting until two weeks after your puppy’s second vaccinations so that their immune system is prepared to fight off any diseases that they may be exposed to during their beach adventure.
When you do go, there are some important dog beach safety tips to consider. Bring a large beach umbrella or beach shelter to provide a shaded space for you and your puppy to escape from the hot summer sun. You will also want to make sure that you have a doggy dish and plenty of fresh water to keep your puppy hydrated.
Wherever your summer plans take you, there are ways to include your new puppy in the fun. Make sure you are familiar with the risks at each stage of your puppy’s growth and how to keep your furry friend safe.
Dog parents, do you have experience bringing your puppies camping? If so, we would love to hear your tips and tricks for a successful trip in the comments!