Pets, Kids & Camping

Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by Clawhauser, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. Clawhauser

    Clawhauser Member

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    Do those of you who take your pets with you and your family while camping - do you find it difficult to coordinate things to do with the kids? We would like to take our dog with us for most camp trips, but we won't be leaving her in the PUP alone at all. This would make use of pools, lakes, playgrounds...etc basically impossible. I'm more than ok with skipping these things but for others that do - do you find your kids complaining about it or being bored by end of summer? Ours are younger from 8 down to 3 yrs. If it matters - the dog is older(11)
     
  2. SDK

    SDK Active Member

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    I have an 11 and a 13 year old and have been camping and active vacationing with them since they were little. We love our dog, so we found a really good and reasonable doggie daycare place that boards, and focus on us and the kids having a good time and being free to wander when we camp or vacation.

    I would not even consider bringing the dog unless it was a trip where we mostly would be hanging around the campsite. That is not even remotely gonna fly in my current situation. He would be miserable crated up there by himself and I would worry about him. He is happier and safer at the daycare place and they love him there.

    Your mileage may vary depending on your situation, but that is how we handle it. Before we had kids we took our four dogs camping all the time.
     
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  3. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    We mostly camp in National Forests hours from home, and never any place with pools or playgrounds, so a dog is able to go everywhere with us. But we do go to state and national parks sometimes, many of which disallow dogs on trails or anywhere interesting. That's a pain in the butt and if it's for more than a stopover, we try to find other accommodations for the dog and not bring him. But generally, we like to bring him and he likes to come.

    The dog is very inconvenient, every step of the way. Visitor centers. Rest stops. Setting up camp. If you have a nice place for your dog to stay at home without feeling any guilt (mine loooooves being with my inlaws), ditch the dog! (On the other hand, there are places we go with certain types of wildlife where I do prefer to have my dog along. He is always on a leash.)

    My dog also set off our propane alarm on two consecutive nights on our last trip. He may refuse to go camping again.
     
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  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Sometimes when it comes to pets it requires tag teaming. Where I go I can bring the dogs to the playground, lake, etc, but there are some places I can’t. My dogs are ok when we go to the bathhouse but there are times it gets complicated. If I have plans where I knew the dogs really can’t participate I won’t bring them. It just wouldn’t be fair to them. Luckily my parents are willing to babysit aka spoil the dogs while I’m away. So I know they are in good hands. Most of the time the dogs come and I just forgo things they can’t do with us. Thankfully my little side kick if she comes with me is happy to go hiking or splashing around a lake with me.
     
  5. Fish N Farm

    Fish N Farm Well-Known Member

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    One time we were at a state park with our dog hanging out at the fish cleaning station and this guide came in with a customer and they had a triple behind load of white bass. The little woman loves fish and she wanted to go with the guide the next day and I said we can't because we can't leave the dog in camp. The guide heard the conversation and said we can take the dog on his boat and I said that she never been in a boat. He said I will bring my pontoon boat and she won't be a problem. So how could I say no to that? We did not have as good a day as the people the day before us but we did pretty good. Nasty loved it.
     
  6. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    We've taken the dog in our canoe. Not as relaxing as you'd think! But he's got no problem being in a bigger boat. (Technically he had no problem being in the canoe. The humans were the ones with the problem...)
     
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  7. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    At those ages, the kids are young enough to learn new outdoor things in order to include the dog.

    Heck, I remember being at the younger end of those ages and watching my older sibling hang on a log and float down the small river. When the log reached a certain point, our dog would jump in and drag (swimming) her and the log back upstream. I don't think either of us would ever have chosen a swimming pool or playground for that.

    Look for COE, BOR, BLM and USFS campgrounds - they usually are near water but don't have the dog restrictions that other agencies do.BLM

    For me, camping is one of the few things I can fully enjoy with my dogs. I enjoy the outdoors more with them.
     
  8. Clawhauser

    Clawhauser Member

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    Thanks for the responses. We've mainly done cabin stays & didn't get to take the dog, but our last trip we kept thinking about how much she would love it. We mostly hike & explore but now and then want to do other things. Seems like I'll need to research the areas well and pick and choose which trips puppy joins us
     
  9. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    My dogs have always loved just going for a drive. So when I went to Death Valley last year, they rode to all the sights with me and waited in the car while I spent time taking photos, did some shopping, etc. I'd let them out at spots they were allowed as we went.

    Honestly, they were just happy to be with me.
     
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  10. Susan Premo

    Susan Premo Well-Known Member

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    Great story, sounds like a great dog!
     
  11. woodentoy

    woodentoy Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Our Lab, Odin, has been traveling with us since we've had him. We've been across the country on an 8 week trip
    and usually head south for 8 weeks in March and April. We're outdoor people and do a lot of hiking which suits
    Odin just fine. We usually stay in state parks and they always have great hiking trails available. The National parks
    allow you on any hard surface with a pet but not on the hiking trails. I think that almost all campgrounds allow pets.
    We actually plan our trips around him which is really easy because he's always up for anything that we are. IMG_0001.JPG  Odin.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
  12. generok

    generok Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    We've found so many CGs in Alaska that offer doggie care on site! So, if DW and I go out, they don't have to get stuck in the TT all day without visits, walks, and attention. Every one we've met that does this service is so dang nice and good with the dogs too! Our dogs will chill in the TT all day, but it is nice to know someone will check in on the dogs to be sure they have water (if they spill), a couple of walks, attention, and there isn't an unexpected problem with the TT. In cases where we cannot find doggie care, and we have to leave them in the TT, we tend to go in short bursts and come back.

    When the kids were with us, we WERE less apt to take the dogs though.
     
  13. Campee

    Campee New Member

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    Dogs love swimming (in lakes/rivers), hiking, and they're always happy to just hang out at a campsite (or a playground) on leash. What activities are you concerned the dog will hamper? I find our pup in the TT for short bursts if we go on a bike ride, but that's about it. We do tend to boondock far from civilization though - I can imagine "city camping" may be less dog friendly. I think most state parks are dog friendly, so long as you keep the pup leashed.
     
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  14. Clawhauser

    Clawhauser Member

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    We camp almost exclusively at state parks. While we have made sure any sites we booked are pet friendly, I'm finding that certain areas within the parks are not (like the lakes) We'll probably follow the advice of some others to pick & choose which camp trips she tags along with us on. If we plan to swim in the lake (which I admit, I hope my kids hate), we won't take her, but for trips where we plant to mainly hike & hang out at the site she will be happy to tag along.

    The dog is not at all destructive but has a tendency to bark quite a bit when left alone so leaving her, even for short bursts won't be a neighborly option.
     
  15. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Can you find an overnight daycare or boarding school that would take your children for the weekend?
     
  16. Clawhauser

    Clawhauser Member

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    Lol you mean, take the dog & leave the kids?
     
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  17. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

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    We can leave our dogs in the camper while we go for a swim or a bike ride etc etc.
    You can't usually do it all at once though.
    We had to start out putting them in the camper for short periods while they could hear us outside
    And gradually for long periods at a time.
    I am not saying it works for every dog but it does for ours.
    Our Lab has figured out during the day in the summer that AC is pretty nice and he will stand by the door.
    You let him in and it's Nap time.
    I think some go nuts because they are afraid you are leaving them.
    If you can slowly reassure them that you always come back then they get more comfortable
    and learn the camper is just another home of theirs.
    A good long walk before you put them inside the camper can help as well.
    I sure wouldn't put the dog in the camper and take off at first.
    They can shred a pop up in no time if angry about you leaving them.
     
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  18. Clawhauser

    Clawhauser Member

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    For a younger dog, this advice is awesome but our dog is about to be 11yrs, she knows we come back. Like I said, she isn't destructive or anything - she just really likes people and doesn't want to be alone.
     
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  19. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

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    They are never too old...My last two dogs were adults when they went for first time.
    They adjusted but it's your call.
     
  20. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    Camped with and without dogs. Not all dogs are suited for it. Add kids and even less are up to the lifestyle. Most campgrounds I've been to don't allow pets to be left unattended. We have chosen to be pet free except the goldfish that's fine with a vacation feeder. We are raising grandchildren and prefer to focus on them. Growing up my family had pets, but we had friends that cared for them while we were away. If it's a camp that you are going to be spending all your time at your site it works well. If you have a member of your family that would rather stay with the pet while the other go adventure it work well. If you have to appoint someone for the task I wouldn't recommend it.
     
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