Dear Miss Behavin’: We decided to get out of town for a bit and are going camping in a couple weeks! We’ve never brought our dog, Ruby, with us before but we’re planning to bring her this time. Any tips for her first camping adventure?

Ruby is a lucky dog and will no doubt love going camping! You’ll of course want to bring her usual supplies like food, bowls, water, treats, and a comfy place to sleep. Additionally, there are three other things that will come in handy.

Bring a longline, or a very long leash, so that you can tether her when hanging out at your campsite. Longlines range from 10 feet to 50 feet and can be attached to her harness while you’re lounging around the site. This gives her freedom to roam and explore but makes sure she doesn’t wander off and get lost or disrupt a neighboring campsite.

Protection from the sun is also important. Depending on her skin and coat type, you may need to bring sunscreen for to wear. Sunscreen for dogs is available at most pet stores, though a gentle, unscented baby sunscreen will also work. Apply sunscreen to the bridge of her nose, tops of her ears (sound familiar?) and her tummy if she’s a sunbather! If she has a long coat and doesn’t have as much of a need for sunscreen, you can bring either a cooling mat to lay on or a cooling vest to wear. Make sure she has a shady spot to relax in when the afternoon sun is upon you.

Lastly, bring with you a realistic expectation of her exercise limits! Dogs are used to spending much of the day sleeping, so she will be in for an exciting and tiring few days. Planning a long hike? Consider if Ruby will be up for it. If she’s typically a couch potato, you may want to scale back your plans.

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