Most dogs undoubtedly love camping. A few extra precautions will help make sure that it is a safe and enjoyable experience for them.

  • Be very careful around the campfire. Many dogs are unfamiliar with fire and can easily get burned or hurt.
  • Never leave your dog in the camper or tent while you are out. It can get as hot as any other vehicle and can cause life-threatening heatstroke or even death.
  • If your dog does not have good recall, make sure to keep him leashed when you are not able to give them your full attention.
  • Canada’s national and provincial parks all have “leash and license” laws — be sure you have both to avoid fines from park wardens.
  • If your dog does not enjoy camping, consider an alternative vacation for them with a friend, qualified pet sitter or reputable kennel.

Heatstroke prevention

Just because you enjoy the heat doesn’t mean your pets do. When we get hot, our bodies sweat as a mechanism to cool us down. A dog cannot sweat like we do, so they pant. Unfortunately, panting is not the most efficient means of cooling down and that means they can easily get heatstroke. A couple of the most common ways dogs get heatstroke are being left in a parked vehicle and exercising in hot weather.

Preventing heatstroke is preferable to treating it. Here are several simple ways that you can protect your dog.

  • Make sure that fresh, cool water is always available. A non-spillable container is helpful.
  • Pay extra attention to grooming during the summer. Removing loose hairs and keeping your dog’s coat free of tangles will help him feel more comfortable when the weather is hot, particularly when your pet is shedding.
  • NEVER leave your pet in an unventilated area, and remember that this can include a house or apartment without air-conditioning as well as a vehicle. An outdoor doghouse or kennel should be well ventilated and located in the shade.
  • Allowing a dog access to a child’s shallow wading pool, filled with an appropriate amount of clean water, is an excellent method for keeping your pet cool during the heat of the day.
  • Overexertion and intense exercise should be avoided during the middle part of the day. Long walks and heavy exercise should be reserved for the early morning and late afternoon.
  • When taking your best friend for a walk, remember that he does not wear shoes. Dogs’ paws are sensitive and burn easily on hot asphalt. This and other hot surfaces should be avoided.