If you’re like most dog owners, you see your dog is an important part of your family and prefer to take him wherever you go. In some cases, that may mean in your dog as part of your paddling crew. By planning, your canoe camping can be a great bonding experience for you and your pup.
If you want to take your dog in a canoe, you first need to make sure he is comfortable. Most dogs will not simply sit back and relax their first time on a canoe. They are more likely to slip and slide around, so you need to ensure your dog understands how to ride first. Never tie your dog to the boat, though.
Second, invest in a good lifejacket for your dog. Even if your dog is a good swimmer, if you are miles away from shore, your dog may not be able to make it to shore. There are many companies available that offer lifejackets that are both comfortable and light. Many will also include a handle that you can use to lift your dog into the canoe is he falls or jumps out.
Be sure to put your dog to work when you are portaging. To do this, simply outfit your dog with a saddlebag. He can use his strength to help carry your gear through the trails to your campsite. Make sure to have your dog practiced carrying the saddlebag before going on your trip, and be careful to not overload your dog.
When setting up the tent, be sure to include something from home that is familiar to your dog. A toy or blanket can make a huge difference in helping your dog become accustomed to tent life. A smell from home can also help ensure that your dog gets good night’s sleep, meaning you increase your chances of a good night’s sleep as well.
One of the best parts of bringing your dog along on your canoe camping trip is seeing his enjoyment of time with you in the wilderness. Your dog will appreciate the time to explore a new area, and you will enjoy the companionship.