There is a huge number of people in the USA who owns a dog as a pet. Some of these pets are Goldendoodles that are considered as one of the most popular designer dog breeds.
Did you know that there are almost 80 million households in the USA from which someone camps even several times per year and you can imagine how many of them take their dogs with them?
If you put these two facts together it seems that dogs and camping are a great match! But still, not all dogs are the same. Is your Goldendoodle good for camping?
Yes, Goldendoodles are great camping mates. They are smart and easy to train. Goldendoodles are very active and naturally curious dogs that like to explore. They are friendly and easy to adapt to a new situation. Goldendoodles are superb athletes and like to be outdoors. All these traits make them excellent camping buddies.
Which Type of Camping Is Right for Your Goldendoodle?
There are different types of camping you can go for :
- a simple tent camping ( find a good campsite, place a tent and spend some time in it or around it)
- backpacking and hiking ( requires more preparation for your and your pooch )
- RV or VAN camping
- Car camping ( you approach the campsite with the car)
Of course, there are other types as well ( canoe or adventure or winter camping) but let’s stick to these several most common types.
When choosing the right camping for you, need to think about your Goledendoole, his age, size, physical and health condition, training, and exercise level.
It’s not the same if you go to the campsite with a car, park it and just place the tent and if you leave the car on some parking and then have to hike a long distance to reach the place suitable for camp.
Check The Regulations (dog-friendly places or not)
After you have chosen the type of camping, you need to find the perfect place for it. Fortunately, there is plenty of great States and National Parks in the USA but still, not all of them are dog-friendly.
In some parks dogs are not allowed at all, some others are willing to welcome dogs but they need to be on the leash all the time. You will find that some parks welcome dogs on a campsite only, but not on trails, while some others accept dogs on paved trails only…
There are a lot of different rules so the best you can do is to do the prep work before you go camping in order to avoid any unpleasant situation.
People who camp regularly with dogs suggest where you can search for a campsite but also find if the pets are welcome or not (using ”more filters” button and chose ”pets ok” filter)
What is The Size of Your Goledendoodle?
The size of your Goldendoodle is very important for camping plans. If you have a mini Goldendoodle, he might be sleeping with you in a single person tent but if you have a larger pooch then it could be quite uncomfortable for both of you.
In that case, if the nights are warm you can bring a dog bed, or during colder months you can get some nice and cozy dog-sized sleeping bag for your Goldendoodle.
If you have a standard Goldendoodle he can carry his own food, water, and dishes. It is just important to measure his rib cage at its largest point in order to purchase the right gear.
In case you have a mini doodle, then you will have to carry his stuff in your backpack and maybe you will even have to carry your dog in a backpack too ( depends on how far you need to walk )
Consider buying a more solid leash and harness. Note that walking through the countryside or woods may be more excited for your furry friend so you might need a sturdier leash to restrain him.
How to Prepare Your Goldendoodle For Camping and Hiking?
First of all, check the health of your furry buddy. If you have a puppy, ask a vet if he is capable of going camping. If your puppy is not fully vaccinated yet, don’t think about taking him in nature as it can be quite dangerous for your little one.
If your puppy’s vaccination is completed then you can plan camping but think about his physical condition and how far he can go, is he is already trained, etc.
On the other hand, if you have a senior Goldendoodle, don’t push him too hard, respect his age, and his own pace.
If your dog suffer from some chronic disease maybe camping is not the best idea, double check with the vet.
Also talk to the vet about possible ticks and flea prevention. Camping is great outdoor activity but both ticks and fleas are common there so don’t let them ruin your party.
Camping Preparation – Training and Physical Activity
In case you have a young doodle, do some necessary preparation before you plan a camping trip.
Discipline can make your life a lot easier during camping. Make sure your dog is well trained, respond to your voice commands, and that he is socialized.
As you won’t go camping before your pooch turn 1 year, I guess he will be crate and potty trained. But it is quite necessary to do some obedient training and to teach him to respond to his name when you calling him.
It’s quite useful if some other dogs are approaching or you think that some part of the trail is not safe for your Goldendoodle.
There are some people that like to be harsh with their dogs, as they think that this way is the right one but positive reinforcement is much better. Experienced dog trainers will always say that is better to reward a positive behavior than to punish a negative one.
The point is that you want your dog to like being around you. If you are yelling at him and punish him often, do you really think he will enjoy your company? Most probably your dog will be afraid of you which is not good.
What you can do is to go for a regular walk with your furry friend. On every 15-20 feet you can call him and once he runs back to you, give him some treat. After several times, he will realize that something nice happens if you call his name.
You can also use a three-tone whistle instead of your voice. Once your Goldendoodle is properly trained he will be happy to respond to your command even though if you don’t give him any treat.
It is also very important that your dog is socialized. He will be running into many different people, other pets, and possibly wild animals on trails or campsite so it is crucial to react properly.
Bottom line- your Goldendoodle needs to respond to your voice commands ( sit, stand, lie down, stop), to runs back when you call him, and show no aggression towards other people, dogs/pets.
If you combine hiking with camping you should start building your dog’s stamina and strength. This is not a short term task, it takes some time, same as with humans. Take baby steps and provide plenty of rest for your Goldendoodle after a hiking weekend.
Plan a 4-month long training program. During the first month of practice, take short 5 miles walks every other weekend. Next month you can go for a bit longer walks – 8 miles also every other weekend. In the third month, decrease the number of miles you make per weekend but go every weekend ( 5 miles ) and in the last, fourth month you go for 8 miles walk also every weekend.
After this period, your Goldendoodle will be most probably ready for longer walks of 10-15 miles. Of course, don’t forget to mix this training with regular weekly walks and exercise to maintain your dog’s strength.
Also, make sure your dog is groomed before you go camping. You might find this unnecessary when he will get messy on camping for sure, but he will be safer with his nails and hair trimmed.
Before you really go camping, have a backyard version! Why not! Set up the tent, the fire, call some friends to join, make a real camping scene in your backyard, and watch how your dog will behave.
Keep him on a leash or secured at all times, the same you would in the camp. It’s better to assess your doodle’s behavior during the trial run so you can prepare for the real thing.
What To Pack When You Go Camping With Your Goldendoodle?
Note that if you go camping with your Goldendoodle, requires some extra planning and gear. Again, it depends on which type of camping you choose, it’s not the same if you have an RV or a tent and above all you plan to go hiking.
Let’s see what do you need anyway and I will also add some stuff you need to have in case you will go hiking with your pooch.
- Water – you always take a fresh, drinking water with you no matter if you are going to camp around a lake, on a river bank or some stream will be in the vicinity of your tent. You never know what kind of parasite or bacteria might be found in the water which intake can seriously jeopardize your dog’s health. The amount of water depends on the size of your dog and if the drinking water is available on the site.
- Food – as you know your dog’s eating habits, you will know what to bring and how many of it. I read somewhere that free samples of dog’s food ( if you get any) are a good idea, as they packed conveniently in small one meal packs so if you have them, great, bring them along. Don’t forget treats as well.
- Bowl – you should bring expandable/collapsible food and water bowls, light in weight.
- First aid kit along with flea and tick prevention, insect repellents, tweezers for ticks. Make sure your dog is fully vaccinated before you go anywhere in nature. Bring your dog’s vaccine record.
- Paw protection – if it’s too cold some dog booties will do the great work but if it’s not, then you can try to protect your Goledendoodle’s paws with some product such as Musher’s secret natural paw wax protection. Although this product is designed for protection during winter and snowy season, it is successfully used all year round. It can help to prevent bleeding and cracks.
- Leash and harness – some strong and durable ones. The harness is a better option than collars.
- Dog backpack – mini Goldendoodle won’t be able to carry his own backpack with food, water, and other stuff but larger pooch would be perfectly capable of it. Measure his rib cage at its largest point in order to avoid purchasing a non-matching backpack.
- Tie outs or trolley – great things to use during camping or hiking. It will give your dog maximum mobility without a chance to escape. It is crucial for a nervous doodle that needs time to acclimate to a new environment or energetic young pooches that finds temptation in every corner.
- Led collar or tag, bells, and reflection – all this stuff will make your life easier, especially if you have to track your dog when he gets away. Led collar and tag are very helpful for night time potty breaks.
- Your doodle’s photo, an Identification tag with a phone number, and an emergency phone number that should be attached to your Goledendoodle’s collar or harness. The photo will make your search easier if your pooch gets lost. Although microchipping your dog is not necessary in most of the campsites, it can be very helpful in case your dog disappears.
- Toys – your dog’s favorite toys, fetch, Frisbee, a variety of chew toys, balls, and other things for entertainment.
- Poop bags- bring along plenty of zip-lock plastic bags so you can pack all your dog’s waste and leave nothing behind.
- Jacket, life jacket, cooling vest – if the temperatures will be lower, bring a jacket ( waterproof) to keep your dog warm. On contrary, if you think that days will be hot, you have to carry a cooling vest to cool down your furry friend as he can easily get heatstroke. A life jacket will be necessary if you go camping near water.
- Sleeping bag + pad – your Goldendoodle needs to have a proper place for good night rest. He can sleep with you in the tent, especially if you have a mini doodle. In that case, you can cover it with a blanket. If your dog is a larger one, you can get a sleeping bag. Don’t forget to place a pad to keep your dog away from the hard, rocky, and cold terrain. A good idea is to have a yoga mat. This useful thing is light in weight but very effective for this purpose.
- Towels and brush – towels are always necessary and brush as well. You can remove burrs from the fur, as well as check for ticks and other insects.
Precaution Tips for Camping with Dog
Keep your dog on a leash all the time. Most of the campsites require this but even if they don’t it’s highly recommended. Although your dog is fully trained, nature is full of temptations.
Don’t let your dog eat anything besides dog food you give him. If you notice that he is chewing on something on a trail, react immediately, and discover what it is. He can easily run into poison oak or poison ivy which are very toxic to dogs.
Keep your dog away from wildlife. Depends on where you go camping but you can run into bears, wolfs, mountain lions but also to sneaks and a great variety of insects that could harm your furry friend.
If you are going with several dogs, make sure you respect the rule ”one to one”. One human on every dog. It won’t be safe if you camp alone with 2-3 dogs.
Observe your dog carefully. After a full day in nature and different activities, take a closer look at your doodle, from his head to the toes. Look for any bites, scratches, cracks, bumps, lumps, ticks, or other insects. Brush his fur to remove any of these tiny intruders or simple debris.
Watch out for allergies. If you notice your dog is sneezing, itching, wheezing maybe your doodle sufferers from a seasonal allergy. Talk to the vet before you go about possible treatment options but also try to avoid going to nature during the high-pollen period.
Prevent overheating in your Goldendoodle. If you notice some signs such as excessive panting, weakness, heavy breathing, dry gums, bright red tongue, disorientation, your dog may be overheated.
A temperature above 104 F indicates overheating. In that case, try to cool him down immediately. You can take damp towels and put them on him ( head first), then you can encourage to drink some water ( but never push him to do that ), you can use the cooling vest. Consider overheating as an emergency and seek for vet’s help.
Never leave your doodle unattended anywhere, not in the car nor in a campsite, parking lot nor dog park. Always keep a close eye on your pet.
If you plan to take your Goldendoodle for a camping trip, do some research before. Check first if the campsite where you want to go is a dog-friendly. Check with your vet if your doodle is capable of this kind of trip, especially if you have a puppy or a senior pooch.
Camping is a great way to spend some good time in nature and to make even tighter bonds with your pet. Just make sure you leave no trace. I am not talking only about collecting your dog’s waste. Don’t let your dog disturb the wildlife, like chasing the squirrels for example.
Make sure you both get some good rest after a long day. Note that some dogs will bark if they hear some strange noise during the night. And strange noise at the campsite is not uncommon. You can put some white sound ( such as a battery-operated fan ) to calm your dog before going to bed.