Pet column: Outfitting options for pet travel and camping
July 8, 2013
Today, the well-outfitted pet can go almost anywhere in style and safety. High tech and low tech, there's an increasing variety of pet products available to keep the traveling, trekking pet safe on road or trail. Check local stores first for the products listed here. However, some are so new they are only available online.
First, assure your pet is healthy for the intensity of the trip. Then, test basic commands and brush up if needed before setting out.
Keep dogs on the trail leashed or under solid, reliable voice command to avoid chasing, harassing or being attacked by wildlife, or getting lost, as well as to respect and protect trail horses, bikers, and other hikers.
Help keep trails and campgrounds open to pets by cleaning up after them. The problem is serious and threatens future pet accessibility as new and renewed natural areas are opened to the public. Poop Marking Flags (no kidding) are available for sale to signal the spot for picking up after the fact if making a loop. Correct trail etiquette requires moving pet waste off trail and burying it. The same goes in the backcountry, just as human waste is handled.
For Pet Gear Heads
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Smart Phone/iPhone Apps: Pet First Aid; Pet Poison Help, Dog Park Finder, Dog Park Assistant (to read dog behavior signals and play style)
Dog Caller collar sends a text message when pet overheats
Collar Bells for bear warning and pet finding
Warming Vest and/or Cooling Vest and Cooling Bandana Wrap
Fitness Vest for Resistance Training and Power Walking
Thunder Vest for calming during storms or in vehicles
Skid Plate Vest to protect chest, stomach and sides from cuts and puncture wounds
High Reflective Safety Coat for night or fog walking, reflective static and motion light leashes, collars and vests
LED Reflector Light with multiple flash modes, clips to collar, pack or vest
Hands Free Leash System
Pet Pocket or Tag Shuttle ID on small carabiner screw clips to quickly move ID from collar to collar when gear change is needed. (Also keeps tags – and other dogs – quiet in campground.)
GPS or Signal Tracker System for long or short distances
Water Delivery Bowl/Bottle System to conserve safe/filtered water
Goggles for protection from wind, pollution, water reflection and insects
Helper Sling for large dogs and Carry Sling for small dogs to provide mobility assistance or to help get over trail obstacles
Pet Cooler Carrier applies convection to hold ice for cooling as well as drinking
Static Cling Window Thermometer for Car and Home
Pet Packing List Basics
Current ID tags and Microchip Registration
Current Pet Photo for Lost and Found
Temporary Write-On Tag to list cell phone, campsite number or name
Reliable leash and a spare, a well fitting Collar and a spare
Proof of Vaccinations and Veterinary Contact Number, two sets
Pet medications and first aid kit (plain Benadryl-type antihistamine for allergic reactions, vet tape, paw salve/wax, nail trimmers, corn starch, tweezers for tick and quill removal, antibiotic ointment, pet sunscreen for nose and ears, etc.)
Parasite Preventative for area being visited. Note: Heartworm is virtually everywhere.
Water and food bowls with lids, collapsible or folding, and can opener
Food, snacks and safe water. Store all food secure from wildlife. Note: experienced hikers suggest packing two extra days of pet food and water, just in case.
Sleeping pad, blanket and ground pad
Dog waste bags, trowel for burying, and hand sanitizers
Clean-up wipes and towels for motion sickness
Tie-out stake and 20-foot tether
Paw boots and leg wraps to protect from insects like fire ants as well as sharp rocks and litter
Grooming tools and towels
Toys for quiet time chewing and floatable toys for water play
Pet flotation device or pet float coat
Dog sidepack for dogs over 20 pounds. Note: pack only 10 percent to 25 percent of body weight and balance load side to side, smooth against ribs.
Soft-sided portable crate and/or portable pen
Vehicle seat belt harness — pet restraint laws are being proposed to fight distracted driving. In California and other states, pets must be crated or tethered in open trucks. All states have laws prohibiting inhumane animal transport.
— Provided by the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help "Keep Tahoe Kind." Dawn Armstrong is the executive director.
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