Camping with your dog is an amazing bonding experience that allows both of you to enjoy each other and nature. However, camping can also be dangerous if you’re not sure how to take care of your dog out in the wilderness. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring your furry best friend with you, though.

After you’ve made sure that your dog is allowed on the campgrounds, here are some tips for camping safely with your dog so you both can have a good time.

Keep Your Dog Leashed

Even if your dog is allowed to run off-leash in the area you’re camping at, you should still keep them either on a leash or inside of the tent or kennel. First, the people around you may be uncomfortable with your dog being loose, even if he or she is the kindest dog ever and would never hurt anyone. Second, while dogs are descended from wolves, they’re still a domesticated animal. In the wilderness, when they’re running off-leash, you aren’t able to protect them as well. This means that they can become injured or even attacked by a wild animal.

Bring Enough Food and Water

You need to make sure you bring enough food and water to last for both you and your dog. Don’t just assume that your dog can drink out of any puddle or water source. This can lead to a parasitic infection or other issues, especially because you don’t know if any chemicals are present.

Protect Your Dog from the Elements

Just like how you prepare for the heat, snow, and cold, it’s important to make sure your dog is prepared. Consider buying a doggie raincoat and booties. If it’s going to be hot, keep your dog hydrated, and allow them plenty of breaks in the shade.

Check Your Dog for Pests

If you’re camping in the woods, it’s possible that your dog may pick up a tick or two. Even if you’re using a pest repellant on your dog, comb through their fur each night to make sure there are no ticks or other pests. This will not only save your dog from discomfort but can prevent diseases that could seriously harm your dog, like Lyme disease.

Protect Your Dog’s Paws

Keeping your dog’s paws safe is one of the most important parts of camping, especially if you plan to camp somewhere extremely hot or cold, or with dangerous terrain. Thankfully, there are many ways to do this. One of the most popular ways of keeping your dog’s paws safe is to use booties. However, while hiking, these can fall off easily. If that’s the case, there are also special waxes designed to keep their paws from anything harmful, like snow.

Bringing your dog camping with you is a great experience that both of you will enjoy. Being in nature is already wonderful, and it’s even better with your best friend, so, next time you plan to camp, consider taking your dog with you.