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Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in Outdoors | 0 comments

Canine First Aid Guide For A Camping Adventure

Canine First Aid Guide For A Camping Adventure

I have been on many expeditions into the wilderness, but the ones I have the fondest memories of are when I took my dog with me as my sole companion. Dogs make for great camping buddies in the wild – they are watchful, they learn along the way, they protect you and snuggle up to you at night. There is something truly poignant about watching a dog stare peacefully at the glowing embers of your campfire as it slowly drifts off to sleep at your feet.


One of the most important things to consider when planning a camping trip with your canine companion is their physical wellbeing:

A dog can get hurt just like a human being. Remember that dogs arenít always great at judging what they can and cannot do. If your dog is careful, trustworthy and disciplined properly, it probably wonít get hurt on the trail, but it if itís an energetic, fearless pathfinder, it might pay for it on occasion. You may find it fun to scramble over rocks, but your dog can suffer an injury if you donít take care. Generally, if your dog is hesitant about a particular path along the trail, take it as a warning and circumvent it.

The most frequently occurring injuries among dogs are to their foot pads because they arenít thorn proof. A tiny thorn can cause a lot of pain to your dog since their feet have lots of nerve endings just like us. They simply canít walk it off.


Be it a fishhook or a thorn, most of the first aid for an injured foot is much like human first aid. The major difference lies in how the pain is treated. Dogs cannot handle human pain relievers / NSAIDS so youíll have to get a vet prescribed pain reliever for your pet such as Tramadol or Rimadyl.

Another nuisance is the many assorted critters youíll find in the woods. Bigger mammals like moose and bears, that normally tend to avoid humans if we stay clear of them, will maim and kill your pet if it gets too nosy. Porcupines are another major problem, as are raccoons and skunks that can transmit rabies with their claws and bites. And let us not forget the other thing skunks are quite notorious for. A curious dog might get its nose scratched by a small mammal if it pokies it too far!


If your camping trail takes you through tick country, be careful – inspect your dog for ticks each night. It might take some searching, mind you, if its deer ticks that carry Lyme Disease. Youíll find wood ticks much easier to detect. Deal with them just as in the case of a human – if they havenít embedded themselves yet, you wonít find it hard. Toss them into the fire to hear a satisfying pop for all your efforts.

Alternately, you could consider having your pet immunized for Lyme. I understand that this is a sensitive topic with some, but Iíve been doing it for years without any negative effects. However, itís entirely up to you.

Lastly, keep in mind the climate of the location you are going camping – If it is unbearably cold or wet, you will have to let your dog kip with you in your tent, so make sure that you find a good air mattress that is rugged enough to fend off their claws.

In any case, if you are concerned about your pet or it is your first time taking it camping, plan your trip in a way that you arenít impossibly far from veterinarian assistance if the need arises.