Summer is here and camping season with it! Many of us enjoy taking out dogs along with us camping. Before you take your pet with you, do some preparation:
Check to see whether the camping area allows dogs, and familiarize yourself with the rules for pets at the site.
Check with us to make sure your dog is healthy and up-to-date on all required vaccinations, particularly Rabies and Leptosporosis. Lyme disease, a tick-borne disease, is expected to be a problem in our area this summer. We are recommending systemic flea and tick control for all hiking/camping dogs. Bravecto has been very effective in killing both fleas and ticks, and only needs to be given to your dog once every 12 weeks. Be sure your dog is protected against heartworms, which are transmitted by mosquito bite and have been reported in all 50 states. We can help get your dog on a safe and effective heartworm prevention.
Have an appropriate collar or harness with an identification tag. Use a cell phone number where you can be reached at all times, not a home phone number, on the tag. Microchipping your dog is also an excellent idea. Keep your information up to date so that you can be contacted when your dog is located.
Packing for Your Dog:
Bring water for your dog to drink if a water supply is not available at the campsite. Do not allow your dog to drink out of standing bodies of water. Your dog should continue to eat his regular diet during the trip; pack enough food and treats to last for your entire stay. Bring food and water dishes, bedding and toys. Take a copy of your dog’s health records and vaccination reports, especially important if you are crossing state lines. Other essential items include a leash and collar or harness, a carrier or other means to confine your dog when necessary, bags to pick up your dog’s waste, a first aid kit and any medications your dog takes regularly.
Once at the camping ground, keep your dog on a leash or otherwise confined so that other campers are not disturbed and your dog is not at risk for becoming lost or injured. The biggest medical problems we see at Kindness Animal Clinic with camping dogs are gastrointestinal problems related to eating bones, garbage, or other unfamiliar foods dogs find at campgrounds. Keep your dog away from dangers such as campfires and cooking utensils that can cause injury. Teach your dog to “leave it” in case your dog begins to explore or picks up something dangerous in his mouth.
Keep your dog close to you during your camping expedition. Do not leave your dog confined in a closed car or tied to a stationary object. If needed, provide a carrier, crate, or portable fencing unit to keep your dog safe. Other injuries we often see with our patients who camp are related to exposure to wildlife such as porcupines, and foot injuries including cuts and abrasions. Make sure your dog is supervised at all times! Here are some dog friendly Washington camp areas:
1. Kaloloch, Olympic National Park, Pacific Coast
Kalaloch is one of the few public campgrounds in Washington right on the Pacific, and it has great ocean views. While dogs are not allowed on the trails of Olympic National Park, they are allowed on leash on this 10 mile stretch of park beach. 170 sites - in summer they go fast, so be sure to make reservations (www.recreation.gov).
2. Sullivan Lake, Colville National Forest, Selkirk Mountains
In northeastern Washington, Sullivan Lake is surrounded by steep peaks including 7,308-foot Abercrombie Mountain and 7,309-foot Gypsy Peak, the two highest summits in eastern Washington. Two national forest campgrounds, East Sullivan and West Sullivan are on the lake’s northern shore while remote Noisy Creek Campground is on its southern shore. The sites are well-shaded and there are plenty of dog-friendly hiking trails nearby, including the four mile Sullivan Lake trail connecting the campgrounds. The lake warms up nicely by mid-summer and there’s a beach for your dog to splash in!
3. Colonial Creek, Ross Lake, North Cascades
Colonial Creek sits in old growth forest along Diablo Lake in a deep valley in the heart of the North Cascades. There are several miles of dog friendly trail radiating right from the campground, including the 1.9 mile Thunder Knob Trail.
4. Silver Springs, Snoqualmie National Forest, Mount Rainier
Right outside of the Mount Rainier National Park is the Silver Springs Campground in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. In old growth forest right on the glacial-fed White River, this CCC-built campground offers spacious and private sites. Dogs are not allowed on the trails in the National Park, but you may take them to nearby Crystal Mountain to hike the large network of trails surrounding the resort.