By Kerri Irwin of Dusty Desert Dogs
Before we head out for a camping trip I always have a small checklist I run through to make sure I have everything I need for my desert dogs. It’s just the necessity’s and I’m sure every owner will have a different item they might bring along, but here are my 15 things I never leave home without.
Possibly one of the most important things on my checklist, I check and double check to make sure my crew has their tags and all their info is up to date and current phone numbers are on tags.
Food & Water
It’s best not to make a food switch before you go camping either, you don’t want your dog to be stressed or worse get the “runs”. Bringing your pups favorite food from home is the best way to make sure there are no upset tummies, we feed or desert dogs Zuke’s Ascent Natural Dog Food. Also bringing water from home might help pickier dogs who won’t drink from a stream or a different water source. Also it good to have water on hand if you pull over for a break so your pups can catch a drink or two.
Food & Water Bowls
Collapsible bowls for food and water is a great choice for camping, they take up less space and the bowls won’t won’t break, we use Alcott explorer duo bowl. The portable explorer duo bowl unzips into two separate bowls so your dog can drink up and chow down anywhere!
Nothing is better then cuddling with your pup at night, but what if that mummy sleeping bag doesn’t hold your 40+ pound dog. No worries just bring a mini sleeping bag or bed, Alcott has a great little sleeping bag the top is completely removable and the bag rolls up for easy storage and travel.
Snow, sand, granite, sharp rocks, hot surface, or paw injuries, did I miss anything? Boots are an awesome multifunctional item to keep on hand when you go camping or hiking. We use Ruffwear Grip Trex Boots to keep our pups paws in tip-top shape.
Snow, rain or the wind sometimes even the fluffiest dogs still need some sort of protection from the elements, a dog jacket coat or parka is perfect for when the weather turns nasty or if your playing in the snow. Here is a few of our favorites,Ruffwear & Hurtta
Towel or Shammy
Yes, one of the things you never want to be caught without when camping with dogs is a towel or shammy dogs get dirty and wet when camping, yes really! So we make sure to pack our Shammy from Alcott the Mariner shammy works wonders for pulling dirt and water off your dogs even the fluffy ones!
After setting up base camp you may want to hit the trails and explore, what better way to explore than have your pup carry some of his water or toys or even better some of your stuff! Our favorite pack has to be the Hurtta Trail Pack the waterproof zippers and the waterproof material will keep all the stuff in the pack dry.
Collar & Leash
You’re going to need something to hold that I.D tag that I talked about earlier check out the ENO reCollar & reLeash . The reCollar & reLeash are upcycled webbing made from excess materials from the Atlas Suspension Strap manufacturing. The ENO webbing is durable and flexible, ideal for the eco-friendly adventure dogs.
You will need these at camp or on the trail, don’t leave home without them. You’re going to want to make sure you pick up your dog’s messes and leave no trace. Picking up your dog’s pooh is not only good for other campers and yourself but also for the environment.
You’ve just got to pack them it is like packing s’mores for yourself to have around the campfire. When you have treat’s you get to share a special moment between your dog. I know the way to my dog’s heart is paved in Zuke’s treats so I always make sure we always bring Zuke’s treats they have the best treats around and a huge selection to choose from.
The holy grail of dog toys for my desert dogs has to be the Ruffwear Lunker it can be tugged, thrown for a game of fetch or even thrown into the lake to elevate the game a bit further. It allows you to burn some pent up energy your pup might have after sitting in the truck after your drive time to find your camping spot.
A place to retreat and calm down, this is what we use the pup tent for. It’s a great place to put your pups bed or even a good place to have them relax while you are getting camp set up. I know my desert dogs love to go in my tent but I don’t always have the tent door open so this is a perfect substitution till we are ready for bed.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is a must, we always have one in the car so when we are traveling or setting up camp we are ready for any extra adventure the pups might get into. Our car camping first aid kit is from Alcott its has everything you need and also some human items as well.
A Sense of Adventure
We always make sure we pack a good sense of adventure, sometimes things don’t go the way you plan sometimes the weather, road closures or even full campsites can dampen your high spirits, but sometimes you have to push on and search for a new spot a new and exciting adventure. Remember to stay positive and happy sometimes things work out for the better and there is always next time to explore that campsite or trail. Sometimes you just need to sit back and relax.
I’m Kerri Irwin and I spend my days exploring the Arizona Desert with my adventure dogs by my side, we are always seeking out new and untraveled trails in Arizona. My dog Goose is my constant and devoted companion and is able to navigate the desert as well as any well-seasoned trail guide, together we are both always up for any adventure.