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Monday, February 3, 2014

Tips for Camping with Dogs

Aah the freedom of traveling the open road! The lure of a new destination has always been enticing to humans and judging by the way our two shih-tzu's react at the site of the camper, dogs as well. Hence it’s no wonder that so many RV'ers choose to go camping with their dogs. Unfortunately, despite everyone’s best hopes, not every RV road trip with our fury friends turns out well. Having traveled hundreds of thousands of miles over the years we have had great experiences with RV'ers and their dogs, but there always seems to be that one campsite that presents a challenge to our adventures. Being dog owners we have learned to except that as part of the territory, I can only imagine what non pet owners must think.  So here are a few reminders to all you dog owners that will keep everyone a happy camper :

Poop Detail
I am always amazed when I see a dog owner fail to pick up their pets waste.  I still remember like it was yesterday, Michelle and I packed up the camper along with our two kids to escape from a cold Ohio winter.  After two days of driving we finally arrived at Tropical Palms campgound in Kissimmee Florida and could not wait to get out and feel the sunshine. Parked in our campsite we all piled out of the motorhome and within seconds I could hear screaming from the other side of the RV as I tried to plug in our electric cord.  I made a mad dash slipping and sliding to the to the other side to see all three of them standing there with one foot in the air.  Dog poop!  It was everywhere, I even stepped in it with both shoes as I ran over to find out what was going on.  By the time we cleaned things up we had picked up over 10 piles besides the ones we stepped in on our site.  We could of gone up to the office and complained and probably should have, but we where so excited to be out of the snow we just laughed it off as another adventure in the trip.  We watched as a few of the neighboring dogs roamed free to do their business during the remainder of our stay with not a care from their owners.  We did not own a dog at the time, but talks where already under way as to just when we would.  This was the perfect lesson for the kids to learn on how not to care for a dog while camping. It's always wise to carry a roll of pet waste bags that are attached to the dogs leash. If your a bit squeamish you can try this handy pooper scooper that we have seen many people outfit with a plastic bag on the end to easily pick up dog waste.
The Best Behaved Dog
Our two dogs love to walk, I must circle the campground at least 5 to 6 times a day and at least once during a weekend stay an unleashed dog runs out to greet us.  Generally everyone gets along until the dog owner arrives yelling at the dog to come and it completely ignores them as if it never even heard that command before.   Occasionally, a dog becomes very aggressive and having many years of experience I have learned how to keep things relatively calm until the owner gets there.  They are always apologetic and explain that the dog never leaves the camper and they don't understand what got into them.  As much as we would all love to think our dogs are the best behaved and obedient, it is always wise to error on the side of caution and keep your dog under your control at all times.

Know The Pet Policies
We are finding more and more private campgrounds are requiring a copy of an up to date vaccination record for each dog and now we see some state parks requiring this information as well.  It is also a good idea to review a campgrounds pet policy and regulations before booking a campsite.  There are now limits as to the number and breed of dog(s) aloud to stay at campsite and for good reason.  Some of these places can get very crowded, especially on holiday weekends, and the dog madness can turn a campground into a camping nightmare.
As much as we all love our dogs with their slobbery little faces and oh so cute bark (sarcasm), no body else does. To ensure we will camping at most any campground far into the future we need to make sure our dogs are as respectful as we are.  To discuss these tips for camping with pets further, please contact us at your source for RV parts and accessories . We can help provide you with a few RV specific pet accessories needed to make your next family camping trip a great one.

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