Bringing your dog to CFT? Here's your thread to discuss

A big thanks to Okami for drafting this!

So you want to bring your four legged companion to camp with you? Here’s some fleshed out guidelines you’ll need to follow to keep both you and your dog safe! If your animal cannot fit within these guidelines PLEASE be sure to make arrangements for them to be with a dog sitter or at a boarding kennel while you’re attending Campfire Tails.

Necessary Guidelines

-If your dog is at all aggressive towards strangers or other animals you CANNOT bring them to CFT!
As a social event full of new people and environments, your dog needs to be openly social and okay with strangers who may attempt to approach them without using proper etiquette for approaching unfamiliar animals*. It’s a safety hazard for you, your pet, and the other attendees of the con.
If you recently adopted your animal, PLEASE do not bring them, this includes young puppies. It’s very stressful for a dog to enter into a new family, even more-so if they are thrust into an uncomfortable situation like being in the woods surrounded by strangers.

*The proper way to approach an unfamiliar dog is to slowly approach them from the side, not making direct eye contact, and offering the backside of your hand to smell. If they lick you or don’t show any sign of reluctance, they may be alright with receiving your affection, though of course always check with the owner first! Still be aware that an animal can be nice at one moment or to certain people, but turn or be specially wary about another without any warning. It’s not horribly common, but I have run into a few examples of this while working at a vet office. Be safe and be smart so you don’t get bit!

-Your dog will need to be accompanied at all times, no exceptions!
You must keep your dog on a leash and supervised. If for any reason you need to leave your dog, you’ll need to have a trusted friend assigned as a back up supervisor to care for them in your absence. Even if your animal is great off leash, there could be too much going on for your pet to keep track of you. If you don’t think you can supervise your pet at all times during this con, do not bring them!

Make sure your pet is up to date on regular vaccines before bringing them. Most boarding kennels require these core three:
-Bordetella (kennel cough)
-DHPP (distemper, adenovirus-2 [hepatitis], para-influenza, and parvovirus)
Another good one to consider for camping is the lyme vaccine to help prevent lyme disease which your pet could get from any ticks they may encounter in the woods.

-Medications/First Aid
If your dog is diabetic or needs special care that can not be easily given in a camp setting, it would be best to leave them at home.
If your dog has prescribed medications, you’ll need to make sure you bring them and are able to administer them on schedule and according to your veterinarian’s instructions.
As the Animal Care Nurse for the camp out this year, I will be bringing a decently stocked kit with a few extras items for bandaging and caring for minor lacerations. If for any reason your dog is severely injured, you will need to know the nearest emergency vet to the campground. I am neither trained nor prepared to care for major injuries.

Make sure you bring enough food for your dog for the days you’ll be at CFT. If you feed kibble, you’ll need to find out what the daily feeding amount is for their weight. Please do not bring raw diets as you may risk the food becoming spoiled, it would be a good idea to buy a small bag of kibble just for CFT. Also be sure to keep them well hydrated.

-Pick up after your dog!
It’s courteous to your fellow campers. Bring a good supply of biodegradable bags to clean up and be sure to throw them in the trash were they belong. Remember to keep our campsite beautiful so we can continue to use it for years to come. You can find biodegradable dog bags at any pet store.

-Make sure your dog has a good fitting collar or harness that they won’t slip out of and that they are properly licensed and tagged.
Your dog should have a legal registration tag listing a registration or license number and the jurisdiction of the registration. A second tag with their name, your phone number, the name of the city where you live would also be a helpful piece of information. If your dog is micro-chipped, great! It’ll help you reconnect with your pet much more quickly in the event they become lost.

Not Required, but Still Important

-Flea Treatments
If you don’t regularly administer flea preventative to your dog, it would be a good idea to do so before bringing them out. It’s for their comfort as well as your own. Fleas like people too!

If your dog is used to sleeping in a crate or you don’t want to worry about what they’ll get into in your tent while sleeping, bring a proper sized kennel for them to sleep in. Your dog will need to be able to stand and turn around in the crate for it to be the proper size for them. Keep in mind that having the crate does not mean you can leave them unattended in it, only for sleeping with you at night in your tent where wild critters can’t come and bother them.

With that, we all hope you have a fun and safe camping experience with your dog!

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Reply here!

A couple of added notes:

I realized last year that the ground can be pretty rough on your pooch’s paws. After a few days, my own pup started to rough up his pads with minor abrasions so I had to craft him booties to walk in for the remainder of the con. If your dog isn’t use to walking on harsh, rocky terrain, I would recommend picking up a set of booties for their comfort and safety which you can get for as little as $10 online or at any pet store.

Secondly, although my dog won’t be attending this year, I will once again pack a med kit tailored to handle minor injuries for canines

Okami, maybe you could have someone check for papilloma, since I imagine there will be a lot of water bowl sharing.