Winter camping is quite attractive and many people are now considering it. It doesn’t mean that the winter colds will be the reason you will enclose them indoors. There are still ways through which you can enjoy outdoor fun with your furry friend. Of course, you might be planning a winter trip with your pet and you should get time to check through the tips below that will keep you and your fur friend warm. Keep reading for insights on the essentials you must know for winter camping.
1. Understand your pet
Because it’s your pet, we expect that you know everything about him. Some pets are better suited for the old environments while others will do well in warm places. If your pet is better built for cold places, then you will do well with him during winter camping. Be realistic about your pet and understand the things that he can handle well. You may need to do a pre-visit on a cold day with your pet just to help you understand how your pet will do if you take him for a long winter camping. Doing a pre-visit with your pet will help you adjust what your pet may need, or in instances where he fails in the cold day pre-visit, you can dump the idea of working with a dog altogether.
2. Ensure that the campsite is dog friendly
When you pretty understand what your dog likes and the things he can do well, you need t know if the park you are visiting is dog friendly. Note that some parks and recreational centers do not permit dogs, while some he specific spots for pets. Before you head to a park site for winter camping with your furry friend, ensure that you read through their dog policies which are available on their websites. Some state parks have liberal dog policies such as the love well state park in Kansas, the Brown country state park in Indiana and Chatfield state park in Colorado. You need to be certain that dogs are permitted so that you don’t end up cancelling your trip because of failure to check the dog policies.
3. Dress your pet in layers
Because you will be doing this trip with your pet, you need to be considerate about his/her comfort uncles it’s a breed that can survive extremely cold conditions. Note that some pets are bred to stay in cold areas such as the Alaskan Malamutes and the Siberian Huskies. You will have to let the others sleep in the tent, cabin or a camper if you care about their comfort. Here are the basics that you should pack before you head for winter camping with your fury friend;
- Carry a dog jacket; you will need a do jacket or a vest so that you can layer up your pet to keep him warm during the cold nights. You will have to arrange of options to choose from out there in the market and you should always be wise in the choices that you make. You will be choosing from the types such as waterproof, fleece-lined and others. Your pet needs a thick jacket, and other accessories that will keep him warm. We recommend that you carry a doggie wardrobe while you are out there for winter camping with your pet.
- Ensure that you have an absorbent towel: winter camping will expose your dog to cold and wet winds. There is a high likelihood that your pet will get wet during the process. Carry an absorbent towel that will keep your pet dry, by absorbing any water drops.
- You also need a bed, sleeping bag and Blanket: Maybe some of you think that this is ridiculous, but your furry friend also needs to stay warm. Ensure that you carry the padding, a mattress and other sleeping accessories because you don’t want your pet to freeze on the ground. You may also need to lay down a tarp for your pet, just the way you do in your tent to break the wind and keep the stray rains from hitting you. There are dog’s camping gears that you may want to consider to accord your pet the comfort it deserves during winter camping.
4. Consider Booties to Protect Their Paws
This is prudent when you are certain that you may be working in snow and thorns. While we are certain that the dogs' paws can withstand extreme conditions, you should realize that they may risk the cuts due to exposure to snow and ice. Getting a pair of booties will save the situation. It will protect the dog paws from the rigorous trails ad cold weather.
Note that pets will not readily accept the booties if they had not tried them out before. Ensure that you try the booties with your per several times before you set off for camping. Dogs will not comfortably walk with booties on the first attempt, but with sufficient practice, they will adjust and they will adjust. Teach your pet to walk with boots before you set off because it will be a disappointment if you will give him boots at the campsite, and they have never seen it before.
In instances where you opt not to use the boots during winter camping or on a hiking trip, you should be concerned with your pet. Ensure that you check between the paws for cracks or painful ice balls. Ensure that your pet’s paw pads are moisturized so that they feel comfortable during winter camping.
5. There is something with bright colors
It's winter and in most cases, the area will be covered with snow. Your pet may stroll far away from your tent, and it will be a challenge if you are not careful with the clothes that your pet will put on. Ensure that you choose bright colors for your pet. You can have bright collars, jackets and harnesses. You need to spot your pet after dark that is why it is wise to choose bright colors.
6. Watch for Hypothermia
Most pets are susceptible to hypothermia and you should always be on the lookout for their signs and symptoms that are not limited to;
- Extreme shivers
- Your et will be occasionally whimpering
- They may also stumble
- The pupils will be dilate
- The breath will get slow at some points
- They may also feel cold when you touch them
If you notice these signs and symptoms in your pet, take your pet close to the campsite fire and let him warm up. You can also cover your pet with blankets or let them sleep in a sleeping bag. The symptoms will heal within a short time, but if it persists, seek veterinary advice.
7. Keep your pet hydrated
Trekking along the trails in the cold winter can be so tiring, and you will need some water in the process. Many campers will pack sufficient water when they are going out from camping. You should do the same for your furry friend because it will get dehydrated in the process. There are signs that you should observe when your furry friend is getting dehydrated such as slow walk rate, lagging when you are walking. Ensure that you rest and dehydrate your pet before you resume the journey.
8. Pack nutrient-rich food and snacks
Taking nutrient-rich food during winter camping is helpful because it will increase the metabolic processes in the body that you need for energy and heat. Ensure that you pack sufficient nutrient-rich food and snacks to allow your pet to burn more calories. It will also enable you to navigate through the terrains while burning calories that are essential in keeping you warm.
Give your pet enough food so that they get high to enable them to burn more calories to increase the amount of energy and heat being released. You can talk to the vet to help you on improving the quality of the food that your pet will be receiving. You need to choose the snacks and other food substances that will deliver the right amount of fats, proteins and minerals to your pet.
To conclude, you and your pet need to do good preparation before you set off for winter camping. Because you know what it takes to do winter camping, you should put your focus on the comfort of your pet by ensuring that you have the right gear and food that will favor your pet.