For a lot of people, traveling and camping with their dog is one of the best things about summer. June is National Camping Month and while heading into the outdoors with Fido can be a great time, it’s important to be aware of the dangers and take some precautions.

Safe transport. Depending on where your pet will be riding, a travel crate or seat-belt harness is the best way to go. If you opt for a harness, make sure you choose one that will keep your pet secure in a rash, not just a snap-on device to prevent distraction. The Center for Pet Safety recommends that crates be attached to vehicle walls.

Make sure your pet has ID inside and out. Your dog should not only have a collar and identification tags but a microchip as well. Collars can get removed or lost, and a microchip—with your current contact information—will greatly increase the chances that your pet is returned to you if he or she goes missing.

Tick prevention is a must. These tiny bloodsuckers often carry diseases that can make you and your pet sick—including Lyme disease. Even if your pet is current on prevention medication, it’s a good idea to check for ticks daily as these insects can jump from dog to human easily.

Don’t let your pet lap up lake or river water. They’re often full of bacteria that can cause illness. If there’s a bloom of blue-green algae, your pet could be at risk of liver failure and nervous system damage if they ingest it.

Watch for wildlife. Coyote, hawks, bears, wolves, and others have been known to track, snatch and kill pets. Raccoons and possum could fight with your dog over food. It’s best to walk your dog on a non-extendable lead and never leave your pet tied up at a campsite unsupervised.

It’s always a good idea to get in for a check-up before traveling or camping to make sure your pet is current on vaccinations, has the parasite protection needed, and that he or she is healthy enough to travel. To schedule an appointment call us at 480-887-4791.