Guide for Overlanding with Pets

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Daniel Etter

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Overlanding is awesome, and who better to go on an adventure than your four legged friend! Including pets on trips can make your experience more entertaining and your pet will be thoroughly happy. Bringing along a furry companion will require a some modifications to your list of items to bring and rethinking vehicle organization. Below are a few tips and essentials that pets will require if you bring them along for an adventure.

Before your adventure begins and you set off to your destination, make sure that pets are allowed in the area. Many national parks have changed their regulations for pets because they "disrupt nature". Call ahead and know where your pets are allowed, some areas only let pets stay in the parking lots which would be a major bummer if you drove a few hours to find this out.

building a list of items your pet will need can be just as long as your own. The idea is to hit the essentials to maintain space in your vehicle. Depending on the size of your pet, you will have to reserve space for them to be able to lay down comfortably during your trip. Your pet would not be to thrilled if they were wedged between your cooler and storage containers. So keeping that in mind, you might have to remove some nonessentials from your own list if space might be an issue.

Essential items for your pet
-plenty of water: your pet will be more inclined to be active outdoors, be sure to pack more water than you usually take or get a water purification system to save space
-food: bring enough food for your pet that will last for the duration of the trip
-bowls: food and water have to go somewhere, I use collapsing bowls to save space and weight
-treats/snacks: these are a great to carry if you plan on taking hikes to keep energy levels up, I put them in a ziploc bag so they fit in my pocket and keep them protected from water etc..
- collar with tags: important to have a set of tags with your name and two sets of phone numbers on them, this is for worst case scenarios. Have a rabies tag because you can use the info on them to contact owners
- leashes: there are numerous leashes available on the market, I typically carry a standard 6ft and a sturdy retractable leash when out in the woods. Many national parks require pets to be on a 6ft leash when walking
-harness: a properly fitting harness that is sturdy will relieve strain on your pets neck that leashes create using the collar. Your pet will be more comfortable and happy.
-first aid kit: this is by far one of the most important items on the list. You can pick up a basic pet first aid kit that are pretty good. I recommend getting a booklet for pet first aid since it is different than how we treat people. I also recommend carrying children's Benadryl. This can be a lifesaver if your dog happens to get into something. Look up the recommended dosage for your animals weight. Wet snacks come in handy if you need to get meds in your pet asap. Make sure you have a good set of tweezers for removing ticks, thorns, splinters etc. peroxide is not good for pets so do not use it on them. Get a pet friendly version of neosporin at the pet store.
-shade: whether it be an awning or tent, your pet will require shade to keep them cool. If using a tent with your dog, make sure they are comfortable going into it before your trip. Set it up in your backyard and let them get used to it. I also recommend getting an extra tarp or blanket to cover the floor because their nails can puncture the plastic easily. Dog beds work great for this.
-local veterinary info: this is for worst case scenarios
- recent picture of your animal: for worst case scenarios
- some toys that are rugged
-make sure sure pet is up to date on vaccines and gets some sort of heartworm prevention and a form of flea/tick repellent
-poop bags: enough said
-dog booties: depending on your environment such as desert, snow, woods... Your dog may require boots to protect their feet from high/ low ground temperatures or rough terrain such as rocks/thorny areas.
-weight rated clothes line: I use 100 foot line that is rated for 200lb+ to attach to my recovery point and to a distant tree. I then attach the dogs 6ft leash handle to a carabiner, then connect the carabiner to the long line. This method allows your dog to explore up to 100ft while being attached to a "leash". Gives them ample exploration and still have access to their items at your rig. It also allows you more peace at mind by being able to look down the line to see where or what your pet is up to. These can be found at any hardware store and even places like Walmart.

Overlanding with your pet brings a whole new element of adventure. They will look forward to going on more trips and will watch to see if you grab the keys to your rig. Once you start taking your furry friends, you will never want to leave them home. This is just a basic list that you can customize based on your needs/space/budget. Camping with your pet should be fun and relaxing, by making sure you are prepared, it will prevent a lot of stress and early departures. Please post if I missed something!
 
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NorthStar96

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Nice write up! @Daniel Etter .....

Just another thought when you have pets with you while out on your adventures.

If you have a smaller dog, you should keep it within sight and possibly tied up with a harness not on a collar.
your little buddy is the perfect size for a meal for Eagles, Hawks, and other wildlife.

If an eagle or animal attacks your little buddy, his tied down harness, will keep him from being flown or dragged away with by a hungry animal..
Even at night be careful with him. Owls fly silently and
will try and take your pet for supper.
Our little buddies, need our protection too. @jon snow
 
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murps

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solid write up! We were in costco one day and ended up getting this "outdoor" pet cot. Our pup loves it and we do too because it keeps him from laying on the ground with the ants. Something about airflow yadda yadda but for $20 its been pretty great.

Also bring some glow sticks to attach to his collar/harness and dog eye wash. You pretty much covered everything else. 0422161731.jpg
 

Garry

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Good morning. What about sleeping conditions? I'll be getting a shepherd pup soon and doing some bite training. I think I've settled on the idea of a ground tent since I prefer my 'protection dog' to sleep in the same enclosure.
This will be my first dog in many years.
Any advice sure would be appreciated.


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15Canyon

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Good morning. What about sleeping conditions? I'll be getting a shepherd pup soon and doing some bite training. I think I've settled on the idea of a ground tent since I prefer my 'protection dog' to sleep in the same enclosure.
I've spent several nights in a tent with my ~65 lbs Golden, and I recommend getting as large a tent as is reasonable. For just me and her I used a 3 person tent, and I wouldn't want it any smaller than that.

I took her water bowl and put it on a waterproof tarp so if it spilled it wouldn't make too much of a mess, and put down a blanket for her to sleep on. Aside from that, take your pup out to the bathroom before hand, as it can be tough when you're nice and cozy in the sleeping bag.

Best of luck and congratulations!
 

Daniel Etter

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Good morning. What about sleeping conditions? I'll be getting a shepherd pup soon and doing some bite training. I think I've settled on the idea of a ground tent since I prefer my 'protection dog' to sleep in the same enclosure.
This will be my first dog in many years.
Any advice sure would be appreciated.


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I would recommend ground tents for sleeping because they offer more space and are less hassle than roof top tents. We set our tent out for awhile so our dogs could get acclimated to it. We have two German shepherds so I got a tent that was big enough for them and two people comfortably. Definitely bring blankets or their dog bed to sleep on and I would recommend putting a tarp or blanket over the floor to help prevent cuts from their nails. Bring some toys for them to play with and plenty of food and water which can be kept in the tent. Non-spill bowls are great for keeping in tents so they don't flood the tent by accident. By getting yours used to a tent at a young age, they will be able to learn the routine and where things are pretty quickly. I agree with letting them out before you sleep so they can take care of any unfinished business. If there is anything I missed, feel free to ask!
 

Garry

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That's great advice! Thank you.
I'm going to get a raised cot made for dogs to get them off the floor in cold situations.
Have your dogs ever had an issue with foot soreness? What do you do to remedy this if so? Would you recommend dog bootties? I've seen them on backpacking companions in the Sierra.


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Daniel Etter

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Etter
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That's great advice! Thank you.
I'm going to get a raised cot made for dogs to get them off the floor in cold situations.
Have your dogs ever had an issue with foot soreness? What do you do to remedy this if so? Would you recommend dog bootties? I've seen them on backpacking companions in the Sierra.


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They have had sore feet from colder temps which we remedied by getting dog booties. I did a lot of research into dog boots before purchasing any because there are so many styles. I ended up ordering ones that dog sleds use for their dogs at dogbooties.com. Dogs feet regulate their body temperature so it is important to keep them protected. But the boots should not be as restrictive like the roughwear brands. Dogs do not sweat so ice will not build up inside the boots as long as they are velcroed properly. The boots we have used for over a year now are the 1000 codura material for ice, mud and snow. Then we also got the fleece boots for extreme cold conditions. We have never had issues with these boots and they are insanely durable. They are designed to fit snug on their feet and have never fallen off or rotate because of the Velcro design. Our dogs love them and don't even realize they have them on their feet and they have never gotten foot soreness since. Before we go to sleep, we rub coconut oil on their pads because in cold and damp conditions, the pads dry out and crack. The coconut oil keeps the skin hydrated and healthy.
 
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somerset-andy

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In the UK our pets have to have a passport, micro-chipped and all appropriate vaccinations to travel outside the UK. Crossing Europe the National borders are not a problem. But you need the pet passport and to have a vet pass your pet as "fit to travel", no more that 5 days before you return to the UK. At the ports/channel tunnel you also have to take your pet through the pet immigration office to have micro-chip read and passport stamped. We took our dog to Europe for the first time last summer, it all worked out really well. It helps that our springer spaniel loves camping and travelling.