Summer is here! And for a lot of us, that means getting out into the outdoors, going camping, and having fun with our best friend. If you’re looking for some new experiences and hoping to include Fido in your vacation plans, these six camps are perfect for the outdoorsy dog lover!
Lake George, New York
Located in the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York, this camp hosts dogs and their owners June 23-June 27 and September 14-17. This outdoor estate includes activities such as agility, canine CPR, Rally, Obedience, and DOGA (dog yoga). Experience the 300-acre resort as you bond closer with your four-legged friend. Owners can “Ask the Trainer” or attend seminars hosted by skilled veterinarians.
Berkshires, Massachusetts and Blue Ridge, Georgia
This countryside four-day camp allows you and your canine to socialize in activities like arts and crafts, canine massages, and water-sports. The camp plans to host Camp Berkshires from August 30-September 2 and Camp Blue Ridge from October 17-20 of this year. Owners can teach their dogs freestyle tricks, lead them through agility courses, or even take them canoeing. After the fair share of outdoor activities, owners can choose to participate in dog portraits or attend nutrition classes.
Highland Park, Illinois
Founded in 2000 by two long-time friends, this camp offers more than just one session a year. Camp Dogwood has a spring, fall, and winter camp. This year’s next session is October 3-6 with an extended camp starting on October 2. The camp is located near the Wisconsin Dells and the Lake Delton area. “We make one guarantee after Spring & Fall Camp – a tired dog…and person,” the website notes. Owners and companions can look to participate in activities from canine core conditioning, agility courses, and night howl campfires — campfires that allow past alumni to welcome new guests.
St. Helen, Michigan
This camp prides itself on giving your canine a task, burning energy, and teaching them to earn merit badges. This year’s dates are in June and July and merit badges range from obedience to community service. Their mission explains that they aim to help dogs and owners socialize and train together,
Lake Wenatchee, Washington
This rustic, off-leash experience is located deep in the Wenatchee National Forest. Owners and their canines will stay in bunked cabins while participating in activities like contests and hiking. “Camp philosophy: do as much or as little as you wish. You’re here to have fun and relax,” the website notes. Guests can also take a day trip to the nearby town of Leavenworth which celebrates Bavarian roots.
Located at the Mountaineer Inn within an eight-acre wooded area, this camp offers several different sessions. This year’s dates range from June until September 1-7 and September 8-14. With the scenery comes a five-mile walking path, gondola rides, and horseback riding. The camp is staffed with trainers to deliver on-site feedback while owners attend training lectures.
Preparing for Dog Camp
Thinking about booking your trip now? Most camps have safety and health rules to make certain that things run smoothly during your stay. Some of the general rules include health documents signed by your veterinarian, Canine Good Citizen (CGC) testing, and water safety rules. Some camp directors need a documented health certificate from your veterinarian stating that your canine is free of a contagious health problem and up-to-date on all vaccinations.
Since you’ll be around other canines and people, good behavior is imperative. Canine Good Citizen testing is a two-part program that influences responsible pet ownership and good manners for dogs. The program also lays the foundation for other AKC activities such as obedience, agility, tracking, and performance events.
In addition, it’s important to note that if the camp has water-sports, your canine is comfortable around water. Water safety can include making sure your pooch knows how to enter and exit the water and ensuring that you can realize when your dog is tired to prevent drowning. Never force a dog into a pool or body of water.
After knowing the ins and outs of CGC and water safety, it’s important to be aware of sun exposure. Sunburn can lead to serious health implications or skin cancer. Dogs, like humans, need sunscreen. Make sure that the sunscreen is appropriate for dogs and take safety precautions by limiting sun exposure.
This article originally appeared on AKC.org.