Your guide to camping with your baby
Dogs have been man’s best friend since the Stone Age as per National Geographic and the bearded physicist on Cosmos TV series. If you have an ounce of humanity in you, then you love dogs. They become part of the family and understand the social hierarchy. There are working dogs, therapy dogs and dogs for the disabled. Then there is a tiny dog for your daughter’s purse. Watching hippies in Goa, it is common to come across a street mongrel sitting safely on a scooter or a motorcycle as the Euro-trash rides to the next beach for weed and women. But that is just short distance travel, which is neither stressful for your dog nor dangerous for the furry slobbering pal.
If you really live on the road and attend various gigs or tour for work or pleasure, you sure as hell miss the company of your dog. Many do travel with their dogs on motorcycle trailers or sidecars with modifications. This article will give you some handy tips to keep your best companion happy, safe and healthy on road trips and while camping on the road.
1. Dog Tag
Dog tags are not just for army veterans. Their original use was for identification of the dog’s owner. LOL. If your dog is going to be an outdoor dog, it is essential that he have the tags and identification on him in case he gets lost. Especially in camping trips, the outdoor dog, just like his master will have a walk after the meal and wander aimlessly into the forest or mountains or desert.
I know you are paranoid about the Government reading your Facebook posts and sniffing the crap you throw in your dustbin – but a microchip for a loved pet is a very handy device to resolve dispute of dog ownership and other mischief.
Always keep the collar on your dog with your phone number or other identification on it. It is certainly okay to unleash him – the dog ain’t stupid – but never let him wander about outside without the collar having the dog tag.
A bell on the dog collar may also be very useful. For example you are away or asleep and some intruder is in your camp, the dog moving will make the bell ring and alert you before he even has to bark. During hunting season, the bell will protect your dog being mistaken for a bear.
When you first took your pup out on a ride, he must have felt motion sickness and vomited. After that the dog gets used to traveling in a motorized vehicle as long as its master is there to calm his anxiety about going away from his marked territory.
If your dog is not a hyper frenzied mutt, he may actually sit in the pillion seat designed for him with harness to keep his legs safe on a motorcycle ride or a trike ride. Such seats are easily available or customized with the harness acting as a seatbelt for the dog allowing him to enjoy the road trip exactly the way you are enjoying it. Don’t be surprised to find a helmet for a dog in some lovely pet shops.
Dogs are easily trained and with love and your caring voice, your dog can get used to sitting long hours in a crate. Dog crate or kennel as used for travelling on an airplane are perfectly comfortable to the dog. The dog actually feels safer and more relaxed in it if it has been trained right. And of course, securing a dog cage is easier than securing the dog with harnesses.
3. Freak on a leash
Yeah, nice rock song. But there are strict laws in many states on dogs which are out on public property. So if you are at a beach or a park and there are lot of people camping around, you may want your dog on a leash to avoid stupid lawsuits ruining your vacation.
The best of dogs get playful and chase after a rabbit or even a deer. So in case you are in a wildlife area and don’t want your baby getting hurt from predators or poisonous vegetation, it is best to keep the leash on. Walk with your dog on its leash so that the dog is also satisfied in investigating the entire surrounding and does not feel the urge to pull at his leash to break free.
There is a very fine line between stupidity and bravery. Dogs don’t know this boundary line. They will hear a wild animal’s sound or get a smell of a predator’s kill and in his valiant glory, charge at the forest like Don Quixote swinging his sword at the windmill. The dog wants to protect you, but you know that it is a stupid thing to charge into the forest filled with wild things. So sometimes, leave the leash on for the safety of your dear friend.
4. Peter Pan never grew up
Having a dog is like having a child along for the road trip. Even if your dog is 10 years old, he has the sensibilities and behavior of a 3-year-old human child. So always make sure you are prepared for your child’s needs. This can be first aid such as snake bites or thorns / splinters in the legs. Or it could be his required nutrition supplement or dog food which cannot be completely substituted with the roadkill you just served him.
If at a camp, and you need to leave the dog unattended, it is best to have him in his kennel. If you have friendly campers, go ahead and tell them that you need to go off for a while so that they watch if the dog needs water or is in any danger. A kennel also keeps the dog out of trouble, avoiding any damage to the property of other campers or your own.
For really long trips, make sure the dog has had his vaccinations and carry the paperwork along with you in case law enforcement wants to bitch about your dog. Carrying a water dish is also important.
5. Walking the walk
While walking your dog in unknown surroundings, you need to be careful what your dog consumes. If at a creek or lake or pond, the water may not necessarily be safe for the dog to drink due to algae or parasites or even pesticide.
You have to see that he does not start chewing on stuff on the unknown trail and especially vegetation which could be poisonous.
When you get back to camp, check him for insects that may have hitched a ride back home.
In hot weather, take frequent stops to hydrate yourself and your beloved dog. Like a child, he may not even know he is thirsty and dehydrating. So you have to be attentive to the pet.
6. Over the counter medication
Never give over the counter human drugs to dogs. They will cause considerable damage to the dog’s physiology. Definitely never give the dog any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). The dogs liver cells and kidneys are immediately affected by non-prescribed medication. Oxygen supply changes in the blood cells will cause tissue and organ damage.
You can get a good first aid kit for your adventurous dog at:
You can customize your motorcycle or trike for carrying your pet dog with some help from Bikernet.com verified partners such as:
§ http://www.saddlemen.com/ custom built seating
§ http://luckydevilmetalworks.com/wordpress/ for trailers and metal works
§ http://imz-ural.com/ amazing side cars lined up this year by Ural Motorcycles
So travel safely with your best friend in all your life’s adventures. Stay on the road with your family right beside you. If you learn a new trick, tell us about it. Share your on the road experiences with your pet with the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org If you have travelled extensively with your pet, we would definitely like to feature your trip story. So write in or send us the photos. Throw me a bone will ya?!?!
Copyright Ujjwal Dey 2016 www.iqmind.org