September 21, 2018

Photo Cred:  @austingwhite

"TIRED DOGS MAKE GOOD DOGS."
(Says every dog owner ever)

“Dogs” and “Outdoors” are like “Trucks” and “Overlanding”— but some folks don't understand how the two could go together.

Sure, you can own a 4X4 truck as a daily-driver and never take it off the pavement, but you'd be missing out on the potential of where it could take you. In the same way, you can own a dog and keep it fenced off in suburbia.

We think it is a travesty to own a 98.8% wolf and never take it somewhere wild.

Some dogs  especially  need this. They need freedom and space to be dogs—to run around, pee, bark and hunt that elusive, bounding shadow demon.

If you own a dog like this, including them in your outdoor hobbies can be an incredible bonding experience and keep them stoked on life with you.

Check out some of these tips and best practices gathered from our community:

1. PREP

Preparing for a trip and packing for a trip are two different things. Preparing involves all the mental work vs. checking off a gear list before hitting the road. It’s about asking the right guiding questions, evaluating the answers, and then taking next steps.

Here are examples of some guiding questions:

Photo Cred:  @austingwhite

HOW ROAD-READY IS YOUR DOG?

On a scale of sleeping 6 hours while you drive to barfing everywhere inside your vehicle.

If your dog is not used to travel, your wild adventure is going to be short-lived.

Practice trips to your local dog-friendly hardware store, then incrementally increase their ride time. Soon they’ll realize your rig is an ideal napping spot and means fun new places.

For some, crates are easy-to-clean options that work well for dogs who on their way to being #FullyRIGd.

Photo Cred:  @dannybz_T4R

IS YOUR RIG DOG-READY?

Depending on your vehicle, you may need to modify your camping setup to accommodate your best friend. Usually, this involves moving your gear from the inside to the outside of your vehicle. When it comes to traveling on the road, space is one of the critical comfort factors (for pets & humans).

Racks, cargo carriers, rooftop tents, and hitch-mounted accessories are great options for organizing your gear.

Photo Cred:  @whitwitehouse

GOT A DOG-SPECIFIC FIRST AID KIT?

No? Check out this list must-haves from  @DUMBO_T4R:

"Yes, a lot of this comes with a normal first aid kit, but the point is to have something specific for your pet so you aren't scrambling through your first aid kit when things go south or contaminating your kits."  -  @DUMBO_T4R

  • Disposable Skin Stapler
  • QuickClot Gauze
  • Hemostat forceps
  • SOL emergency blanket
  • Emergency cold pack
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Thermometer (digital or analog)
  • Lodine prep pads
  • Saline solution
  • Surgical scrub brush with iodophor solution
  • Pet Tourniquet
  • 15cc syringe
  • 2-inch Co-Flex
  • Eyewash
  • Scissors
  • Forceps
  • Lodine solution
  • Styptic pencil
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Triple antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton swabs
  • Cotton balls
  • Compress bandages
  • Tweezers
  • Gloves
  • Benadryl
  • Dog pain reliever
  • Latex Gloves
  • Tape

2. TRAVEL

On the open road...   Wind flapping your ears...   Then you realize your human forgot to let you take care of business.

The most likely thing your dog will do on the road is sleep. To keep them comfortable for longer stretches, here are a couple of things to take care of:

Before
Food. Water. Potty. Not necessarily in that order, but make sure your dog eats, drinks, pees and poops before you hit the road.

If your pup gets nauseous, hold on food until arrival. They'll survive the delay.

During
Chew items are great for passing the time—freeze treats, bring antlers or bones, whatever your pup enjoys. While sleeping, most dogs sleep best in colder environments, so keep car temperatures low.

Every time you stop for a fill-up, offer them water and a place to take a leak.

The  WaterPORT  system makes accessing water during stops easy.

3. CAMP

Photo Cred: @risuens

Daytime
While taking your dog out on hikes or trail rides with you, bring the first aid kit your packed for them. It should include things like Benadryl (check with your vet for proper dosages), bandages, rubbing alcohol, tweezers, and matches or tick tool in case they pick up any along the trail. Most treat their dogs for ticks beforehand.

Photo Cred: @whitwitehouse

Nighttime
When it’s time to set up base camp, you should have already planned where your dog is going to sleep. This is contingent on the weather conditions as well as the temperature tolerance of your dog. Make sure you bring them the correct insulation & sleeping quarters (crate, tent, mat, etc.).


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Mountain vista with fully RIGd Tacoma and 4Runner rigs.