Things to pack for your dog for an RV camping trip

Milo the AwesomeDog and I spend lots of time RV camping. When we started traveling together I packed waaaaay too much stuff for him, which made getting ready to go camping a big ordeal. I’ve since streamlined the packing process. Now, I only bring what he needs and it just takes a couple of minutes to throw his stuff in the camper.

Here’s my RV camping packing list for Milo:

Obvious things

  • Food
  • Poop bags
  • Food and water bowls

Comfortable housing

I keep him with me almost all the time. When I’m sitting at a picnic table or relaxing in front of a campfire Milo rests in an exercise pen. I can attach a tarp to one side of the pen in case I need to shield him from unruly kids or dogs, and I have a fabulous reflective sunshade that keeps him cool on hot days. I’ve recently started bringing an electric fan that I set just outside his pen. It does a great job of keeping the mosquitos away.

Hiking, swimming, and kayaking stuff

I take him kayaking with me, and so he needs a lifejacket. And he carries his own snacks and water on long hikes, so he needs his backpack too. Sometimes I run his short leash through my belt and sometimes I hold it, but I find that all we need is one 6-foot leash.

Safety

I always keep a copy of his papers in my vehicle, and when we’re camping I write my cell phone number on his collar with a Sharpie in case he loses his tags. I also bring a flyer with his picture and my phone number on it (just in case). Finally, I keep a canine first aid kit in the trailer, which I supplement with Benadryl, because Milo occasionally eats bees, and a tick remover.

Fun

In addition to his toys, I bring cans of wet dog food and a couple of Kong chew toys. I have a freezer in my trailer, and I make him frozen Kongs so he has something to do on rainy days.

  • Tug toy
  • Water retrieve toy
  • Land retrieve toy
  • Kongs
  • Cans of wet dog food for easy frozen Kong filling

De-skunking potion ingredients

I always keep the ingredients for a de-skunking wash in my trailer. I’ve never had to use them, but I have a friend who had to make a long drive home with a very skunky dog, and I never want to be in that position.

  • hydrogen peroxide
  • baking soda
  • dish soap
  • disposable tarp

I bring fewer things for Milo than I used to, and we still have a great time.

black and tan german shepherd laying in green grass against a backdrop of green forest. There is a fence between the dog and the forest.

Here’s Milo at campsite 220 at Grundy Lake Provincial Park. He’s in his 48-inch Precision X-pen. This pen is a bit pricey, but it’s worth it. It’s a safer and more comfortable option than a tie-out. The black wire blends into the background and the pen has a walk-through door that is easy for people and not just dogs to use. It is simple to set up and is sturdy. 

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Kayaking with your dog: Getting started

Milo the AwesomeDog and I both love the water, so we should both love kayaking. Right? Well, there’s only one way to find out.

Baby steps are usually the best way to introduce Milo to something new. Here’s our step-by-step approach to kayaking.

Step one: Get boat and safety equipment

my boat and I

Buying something rarely makes me so happy!

Step two: Go boating without the puppy

 

Boating with humans is fun too. Although more than half of these humans have German Shepherd Dogs in their lives.

Step three: Let Milo get used to the boat

I let him hang out with the boat until it became less interesting to him than his toys.

Step four: Use pool noodles to make an extended dog deck and add a non-slip mat

Milo has an easier time relaxing when he isn’t sitting on something slippery. I definitely want him to chill out when he’s in the boat. 

Step five: Let Milo get used to his life jacket

add dog's pfd

This didn’t take long. Milo never seems to mind his various vests and harnesses.

Step six: Put it all together on dry land

the whole package in the yard

 

Step seven: Find some quiet, clean, shallow water and give this a try.

I won’t have any pictures of this last step because we are going to get wet. It looks like there might be thunderstorms tomorrow so we might have to wait two entire days before we try this out for real. That seems like a very long time.

Wish us luck!