Send Your Dachshund on a Camping Adventure!
Whether it’s an add-on to a current dog boarding stay, or you want to send your Dachshund to “summer camp” for a week while you are working long hours, I can take your dog camping and walking in the woods.
Note: this service is generally available only mid-spring through mid-fall when the weather is warmer.
Like it is for people, being out in nature can be therapeutic and relaxing for our dog. It also provides mental stimulation, socialization opportunities, and noise desensitization training.
Sound interesting but your dog has never camped before so you’re afraid they will hate it? Don’t worry.
Your dog’s adventure will begin with a night at my home, sleeping in a tent on our deck with my dogs.
Being in the presence of other dogs who treat camping as second nature can help your dog realize that there is no reason to be nervous.
If it turns out that “roughing it” is not for your doxie though, being steps away from the comfort of home means that we can snooze the rest of the night in my king bed.
We will keep trying glamping in the yard for the rest of your dog’s stay and just take day excursions to walk, sniff, and play in the woods.
If your dog does like camping, we will spend the rest of the week sleeping in a tent, or my mini camper trailer, at a local campground and taking several walks a day on nearby trails.
What Your Dachshund’s Week Will Look Like
While the activities may vary based on your dog’s desire, age, and ability, this is generally how your Dachshund will spend their week with me.
- Sunday – I will pick up your furry pal anywhere within a 100 mile radius of Cle Elum, WA at no cost (distance beyond that is an extra fee) and we will camp that night on the deck at my home.
- Monday – We will head out to a local campground early in the day, set up camp, and hang out for a few hours to see how your dog do. If your dog clearly isn’t having a good time, we will pack up in the evening and head home. Otherwise, we will camp.
- Tuesday & Wednesday – If your dog does well their first night camping, we will stay out. Their adventure-filled days will include resting at camp, brain games at camp, going for some short hikes (long hikes available upon request), and lots of cuddles and treats.
If at any time, your dog’s behavior indicates that they’ve had enough of the outdoors, we will head back to my house, either sleep inside or camp on the deck, and go for day adventures from there.
- Thursday – I will bring your tired and fulfilled buddy back to you in the afternoon or evening
*extension to Friday may be possible if requested ahead of time
I have been camping with my Dachshunds for 20 years. I’ve taken other Dachshund friends camping too.
Here are some ways that I help ensure your pet’s safety:
- I only take 1-2 additional Dachshunds camping, and will only bring up to 4 total with me (in other words, I may leave 1 or 2 of mine at home with Dog Dad) so that I can give everyone the attention that they need.
- Your dog is never left unattended at camp. I am always with them and they are always where I can see them.
- Your dog is never left to roam free. They will always be on leash (whether I am holding it or it is tied to the camp chair), in a high-sided playpen, or in the tent/trailer with me.
- Your dog will wear a tile bluetooth tracker on their collar or harness for added security.
- In all of the time we’ve been camping, we’ve never had a dangerous encounter with wildlife. Still, I know what to do in those situations just in case.
- If your dog is displaying fear or anxiety that does not resolve in a short amount of time, we will go home to camp on the deck or switch to “day camp” mode (sleep in my house at night, and adventure during the day).
- I have comprehensive first aid training and always bring a stocked first aid kit with me.
- I bring a InReach emergency satellite messenger that allows me to text and summon emergency medical assistance (yes, even for pets) with the press of a button.
My #1 priority when camping is your (and my) pet’s comfort and safety.
Some things that will help ensure that your Dachshund has an enjoyable time at camp are:
- Sending your dog’s regular food, supplements, and medications
- Sending your dog’s favorite blanket or dog bed so they have a spot that smells like home to relax
- Letting me know your dog’s past experience with camping, hiking, and spending time in the woods
What I do and provide to help ensure a good experience:
- We plan our nature walks according your dog’s experience and ability
- We choose campsites that are a bit out of the way (typically, dispersed camping) to avoid loud people, a lot of traffic, strange people and children, bikes and other potentially scary things, etc.
- I provide all camping equipment, including camp chairs and beds for the dogs and a lot of cozy blankets
- When not sleeping or resting at camp, I keep the dogs busy with chews, enrichment toys, and/or short training sessions
These are some of the questions I am often asked. If you have a question that is not covered here, please contact me and ask.
Q: How much camping experience do you have?
I’ve been camping myself for almost 30 years, and have been camping with my dogs for 20.
For the last 10 years, I have ran my own business, which I started precisely so I could go on more adventures with my dogs. That means I have the freedom to camp and hike more frequently than the average person.
I’ve taken my dogs on several 4-6 week camping road trips, in addition to taking dozens of shorter camping trips each year.
A tent is practically my, and my dogs, “second home”.
Q: Can I come camping with you and my dog?
This service is intended to be a “fun camp” while you are on vacation or working away from home for long periods, so you wouldn’t be available to tag along.
Also, we do most of our camping on weekdays, when most pet owners are working, so, again, you wouldn’t likely be available when we are out camping.
With that being said, I am open to teaching others how to camp or hosting a “camping wiener gathering”, so please contact me if you are interested.
Q. What if my dog has IVDD?
Almost every Dachshund has IVDD – a genetic disease – since it’s tied to dwarfism, which is what gives the breed their signature long and low look. However, not all Dachshunds will suffer a back injury from it.
I assume you are asking this question because yours suffered a back injury from IVDD in the past, but I mention this because I take special precautions with all Dachshunds to help protect their back in case they have a compromised disk primed to rupture.
My senior Dachshund Gretel suffered a back injury (grade 2) in 2016. She fully recovered and went back to hiking 10-14 miles and camping again. Just because a Dachshund had back issues the past, doesn’t mean they need to be treated like they are fragile for the rest of their life.
Regardless of a previous back injury or not, I watching the dogs very closely for any signs of discomfort or limping. I also don’t let them jump off anything taller than they are is long (so that it is really just a step).
Personally, I buy into the latest scientific evidence that moderate activity, including stairs, can help strengthen core muscles, which help support the spine.
However, if you are not comfortable with that, our hikes can be modified to, basically, be flat walks on a dirt surface.
Q: What if my dog does not have good recall?
Your dog will never be allowed to roam free and I’ll keep a very close eye on them. In all of the years I have been camping with Dachshunds, not one has escaped and wandered off.
So, in other words, prevention is the best “fix”. If they are never in a situation where a solid recall is needed, it doesn’t matter that they aren’t trained.
However, if you want to work on this before your dog comes to camp, please see my article about teaching your Dachshund to come when called.
Q: Where will you take my dog camping?
We are fortunate to live in a beautiful area surrounded by many campgrounds – Central Washington, about 1.5 hours from Seattle on the east side of the Cascades.
There is also an abundance of off-the-grid dispersed camping available to us that don’t require a reservation.
Unless I have sought prior permission from you, we will camp in an area that is around 1 hour from the nearest city, or closer, so that we can return home quickly if needed.
The closest towns to where we typically camp are Roslyn, Cle Elum, and Leavenworth, and North Bend, WA.
Q: Will I receive photos of my dog camping?
Yes! Because I live most of my life with my dogs on social media, my phone is practically attached to my hand at all times. I’m constantly taking photos and videos.
Because there is typically no cell service where we camp, I won’t be able to send you photos and videos while we are on the trip.
However, I will upload all of the photos and videos to a Google Drive folder where you can download them at a later date.
While I can’t guarantee the number of photos and videos you will receive because my #1 focus is your dog’s comfort, safety, and enjoyment, you can typically expect 5+ photos/videos for an overnight trip and 20+ if we are camping for several nights.