Camping/Hiking and Car Travel

CAMPING/HIKING: You can take your pup with you when you camp and/or go on hikes. Here are a few reminders of the do’s and don’ts when you go.

  • Be sure your pup’s flea & tick control are current.
  • As you sit around the fire, check your pup for ticks, especially up around the ears, under its legs or wherever there are extra folds of skin.
  • Keep your pup out of poison oak or poison ivy…not only will she get a rash, but you will too!
  • Mosquitoes bother pups terribly. Spray mosquito repellant on your hands and put it carefully on the pup’s head, being especially careful around the eyes, mouth, and ears, and then you can spray the rest of her coat.  If she shies away from the sound of the spray, then spray it on your hands and wipe down her coat, especially do the tummy and legs.
  • Remember, the woods are a new setting for your pup. It may be a little spooky for your pup the first time he hears the hoot of an owl, or the loud snapping of a branch. Do not say, “Poor puppy, that’s okay.” Talk in a happy, confident voice at all times.
  • Remember to take plenty of water when you go on a hike.
  • Let your pup sleep inside your tent. She is not used to the colder temperatures outside. We have even put blankets over the crate when it’s been real cold at night. Or, this is the one time she can sleep next to you on the ground. Be sure you tie her down though. We had a pup that figured out how to nose the zipper up on our tent. Make sure, too, that she has a blanket to sleep on as the ground gets cold. And if you need to, you can cover her with a towel or blanket.
  • Don’t worry if your dog gets filthy... especially if you use mosquito repellant. A good scrubbing bath will take it all out when you get home. Peanut butter will help to take tree sap out of their coat. Or, you may have to snip it out with scissors.
  • You can take your pup swimming if you’re at a lake. But don’t force him. Make sure you stay in shallow water and that he is ON LEASH at all times. You can use a longer leash (like a 15 foot one). Also make sure you clean out his ears with an ear wash to help evaporate the moisture.
  • NEVER EVER LET YOUR PUP OFF LEASH. There are too many tempting sights and smells.
  • Check your pup’s pads for thorns or cuts after going on a hike.
  • Be alert to dogs off leash. Unfortunately, there will be all kinds of dogs off leash if you go to a camp ground. Most dogs are friendly and will generally want to greet your pup with tail wagging and ready to sniff. Watch for warning signs of aggression.
  • Take extra food for your pup. We’ve sometimes decided to stay an extra day or two, so it always helps to have extra food. Also, one time a loose dog came to visit and decided to stay, so we kept it overnight until late the next day until we found its owners. The extra food came in handy!
  • Exercise pens and/or your crate come in handy if you don’t want to tie down your pup.
  • Take a couple of throw rugs or tarp to put down for your pup to lay won’t keep your pup completely clean, but it will help.


dog in car
  • Many motels will let pups stay in the room.
  • When riding in a car, try to protect the pup from the sun, even if the car is air conditioned. The sun beating in through a window can be hot.
  • Every time you stop to go potty or get something to drink, relieve your pup and offer him water.
  • Make sure you take the pup’s ID card and rabies certificate.
  • DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PUP IN THE CAR. Temperatures in a car during the day can rise very rapidly. If you have to leave your pup in the car, leave your pup at home.
  • Not all towns know about Guide Dog Puppies in training, so be aware that you may be denied entrance to a place of business. Be gracious, don’t pick a fight! They are not required by law to allow puppy raisers into their businesses.