Fetch Some Adventure: Exploring the Great Outdoors with Your Dog.

Camping with your dogs can be a wonderful adventure, too, full of rich experiences, but it does require a little extra planning to ensure everyone has a fun (and safe) time.

We are so lucky to call BC home – with some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world; it’s a great place to live for outdoor enthusiasts and their dogs. Our favourite time to play outside is … well always, and day trips are great, but for us, spring and summer mean CAMPING!  

I grew up in the 80’s trekking around BC with my family, running through dense forests with my brother with nothing but a pocket knife, snaxx, and dogs by our side. (#schnauzerpack!) With no such thing as cell phones, social media, and no rules other than to be back before dark (or if you got hurt), it was a simpler time full of lush adventure.

With an emphasis on self-sufficiency, ‘lil bro David and I grew up relying on nature for entertainment and sustenance. We learned how to shuck oysters, hike, fish, make fire and identify animal scat. (bear in the area kids)

Camping with your dogs can be a wonderful adventure, too, full of rich experiences, but it does require a little extra planning to ensure everyone has a fun (and safe) time. 

Before you go, research the area to make sure your dog is actually welcomed. Loads of BC parks have restrictions on where dogs are allowed, such as only on designated hiking trails or certain beaches, and most government sites have strict on-leash rules. No one is Instagram “cute arguing with a ranger” over an off-leash violation. 

Pack enough food and clean water for your dog to last the entire trip. (And then some.) With all the sniffing and squirrel chasing, we’ve found Ditto is EXTRA hungry when we camp and need to pack more food than normal and always buy an extra jug or two of clean drinking water – otherwise, he’s likely to visit goose poop lake and then we have tummy troubles in the tent. 

Speaking of tummy troubles…. sadly, camping these days can be a literal sh*t show, with used TP, excrement, feminine hygiene, garbage, and old food laying around like a drive-thru of disgusting snaxx. Having a properly fitted muzzle ensures your pal isn’t consuming what he shouldn’t and can prevent sickness or ingesting a foreign object which can lead to an abrupt end to your adventure while you panic drive to the 24-hour emergency vet. It’s not difficult to get your dog used to wearing a muzzle, like much of dog training, consistency is key. Slowly start exposing them to the muzzle a few minutes a day – well in advance of any planned trip.

It’s getting hot in here…..the past couple of summers have had stretches of blistering heat, (go away heat dome), and your dog is just as susceptible to sun burn and heat stroke as you are. White dogs sunburn faster and black dogs are susceptible to heat stroke. It can happen fast when your dog can’t regulate their internal temperature. This leads to a rapid and dangerous increase in body temp and if unnoticed or left untreated results in scary health problems or even death. Watch out for excessive panting, drooling, vomiting and seizures or collapse. Make sure you have lots of fresh water, access to shady spaces and limit strenuous exercise on the hotter than hades days. Side note: this is your time to grab a book, a bevvy and a hammock in the shade and wait for the heat to pass. (Ditto loves a good hammock)

When it’s time to bunk down for the night, where will your dog sleep? Ditto sleeps with us at home, and is usually found hogging all the sleeping bag space – keeping us cozy like the love furnace he is, but that’s not always the best option. Nocturnal creatures can approach the camp site, and a curious, prey-driven or protective dog will immediately sense potential danger and want to defend you. If you’re waaaaay out there up a forest service road with a high chance of wildlife encounters, consider a kennel or keeping them in the vehicle overnight. No matter where they sleep, keep them warm and comfortable with their own PJ’s, sweaters and dog-specific sleeping bag or extra blankets. 

Lucky for us, our daughter is a very experienced Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) and no matter the situation, she’s always prepared to fix and save our pack in the wild. From her, we’ve learned the importance of first aid supplies for Ditto. Accidents can and will happen at the worst of times (Hello Murphy, and your stupid law), and we make sure we have the basics always packed. Think vet wrap, antiseptic wipes, dog-safe medications and more in case of an unexpected injury.  

Lastly remember to practice good etiquette and pack in/pack out what you bring. Pack IN/pack OUT! Too often, we end up bringing other people’s garbage home, picking up nails from pallet fires and digging holes for other people’s sh*t! Respect nature and keep your campsite clean, dispose of your dog’s waste properly and maintain a healthy ecosystem for the next visitors. 

If you have any questions, please reach out. Have fun and see you out there …. 


ABOUT THE AUTHORS  |  Caroline & Brent Flink are from Langley, BC, Canada. They’re the Founders and Co-Owners of Fawn & Moose Collar Company.
Makers of lifetime-guaranteed, customizable handmade beaded collars for dogs. Reach them at:

Our Customers Love Their Collars
Almost As Much As Their Pets Do.


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