Benefits of camping with your dog
Going away on a camping trip is a great way to leave behind the hustle and bustle of city life to take in some fresh air, beautiful scenery and get back to basics.
By taking your pooch away with you on the trip as well it means you’ll get to chill out and enjoy their company without the usual distractions around, which is a great way to help strengthen your bond.
If you’re one for getting right off the beaten track when heading out with your tent or swag to camp out under the stars, having your dog snuggled up beside you at night time can also give you a little extra peace of mind too.
Then there are the health benefits associated with camping for you and your dog.
Fresh air boosts your serotonin
The fresh air that comes with spending more time near trees or seaside means your body takes in more oxygen, which gives both your bodies a break from the usual pollution and chemicals that we are subjected to every day, and can also make you feel happier as it releases serotonin in your brain.
Serotonin can affect all sorts of things in our body from our moods and behaviour, to our sleep, digestion and much more.
Sunshine boosts melatonin
If you are camping out somewhere warm and sunny, an abundance of sunshine can help even out the chemical melatonin in your bodies, a chemical which can also affect our moods and sleep patterns for the better when we have it at the right level. In dogs, melatonin can help restore their sleep patterns, body rhythms and reproductive cycles, and is sometimes given to dogs to help with phobias and anxiety.
De-stress you and your dog
Camping is also a great de-stressor, for both humans and dogs. Relaxing, exercising, exploring, turning off the phone and computer, reading a book… all those things that we often make excuses for not doing in our day-to-day lives are the things we love most about camping trips. Stress has a terrible impact on our minds and bodies, so the more relaxed we are around our dogs the more relaxed they in turn will be around us as well.
You will also get more exercise when you take your dog away with you on a camping trip as it will encourage you to get up from roasting marshmallows around the fire to head out and explore the local sight and sounds with your devoted mate by your side. Camping trips often entail more outdoors exercise than a day in the office would anyway, so it’s a win-win for you and your dog.
Then there is the great night’s sleep that usually comes with a camping trip. All that fresh air, exercise and relaxation often sees us falling into a deep slumber, which provides a heap of health benefits as well.
Research the area
Just make sure before heading off on your next camping trip that you aren’t planning on staying in a National Park, State Recreation Area or Nature Reserve as dogs are banned from such areas due to the impact they can have on native wildlife and other animals so you should always do your research on the area.
Also check with the accommodation provider if staying at a camping ground or caravan park to check any restrictions or conditions they might have in relation to camping with your dog.
About the Author: Lara Shannon is co-Host of Pooches at Play and has completed a Certificate III in Dog Behaviour & Training with the National Dog Trainers Federation. Lara also runs her own dog walking, dog minding and dog training business in Melbourne’s Bayside area.