Our dog, Katmai, is definitely an integral part of the family (even though he has admittedly been knocked down the totem pole a little bit with each child born) and comes on most of our adventures with us. The only exception to that is when we are playing in the Park and he isn’t allowed due to Yellowstone rules. While he is certainly slowing down and has to be lifted in and out of the truck, he is happiest when he is with us and we are outside (can you blame him?)
I am going to shamefully admit that sometimes I just cannot handle one more thing – that could mean the dog hair, the tripping over 100 pounds of lab in the camper or just one more someone needing me. Life as a busy mom, I guess. This past weekend I spent some time just watching the dog and kids interacting while camping and was reminded once again about why I love having him. It got me thinking and asking around why others adventure with their dogs….
Top Reasons Why Having a Dog while Camping/Outdoor Adventuring makes life easier:
- You don’t worry about any food scraps being left around and attracting bears. A clean camp is a safe camp!
- The kids and dogs could throw/chase sticks all day long (and therefore completely wear each other out)
- They provide a little protection by letting you know if there are other animals in camp
- Companionship and warmth!
Some great insights from others about why they adventure with their dogs!
“I am not one of those people that really thinks dogs are the same as children but you take your kids with you because you want them to have the same experiences and lifestyle that you do. Some people leave their kids at home right (I have those friends that meet us solo to camp w/o the family) others always leave the dog at home because it’s too hard. And then the more you leave the dog at home the harder it gets to ever take them. ANd then you don’t want to go anywhere because it’s too hard to get someone to take care of the dog…vicious cycle. Same as kids, if you don’t start camping with them until they are older or rarely camp with them it’s hard to start. We just want everyone to bond together in all aspects of our life…home or elsewhere. It’s also just really good for the dog to be out running in nature, exploring new areas, and being a playmate for kids. To be honest I think it’s hard to camp with a dog sometimes but even harder to deal in the long term with a dog that doesn’t fit our lifestyle.” – Jen of Velomom.com
“We have two Shih Tzu’s…so they are kind of high maintenance dogs because of their hair but we still take them on day hikes. I still haven’t mastered taking them on all of their hikes because sometimes I can’t fathom having our screaming kids and dogs driving us crazy some times. But then when I see my little ferocious dog protecting his family from the “vicious” cow, I love it.” – Melissa of Chasqui Mom
“Although a dog adds a bit more complexity to your adventure, the payoff is in seeing the sheer joy your pup experiences when out in nature and in all the little extras your dog encourages you to see. Plus, who can say no to those puppy dog eyes?” – Nancy of Family On Bikes
“There’s just something about seeing a part of your dog come alive that you don’t see in the city. It lets them express the wild part of their nature, which makes them much calmer at home…for a couple days, anyway. And the kids love following the dog to see what she’s tracking by smell.” – Ken of Big Grey Rocks
“The only ones I know that enjoy powder skiing more than me are my dogs. They go bizirk every time we drive over Teton Pass. My puppy was my adventure buddy before my husband and daughter arrived. (My husband and I each brought one dog to the family – and incidentally our first date was taking our dogs to the dog park together). Now we all adventure together as a family – Mom, Dad, Toddler and two big pups.” – Amy of Garage Grown Gear
“Kai went on his first backpacking trip this summer. He carried his own food. He kept my feet warm at night. But why do I love bringing him? Well, it is sort of like with the kids. Sure it is one more thing that takes time and energy, but at the end of the day he is smiling when he is out adventuring with us. And it makes me smile too.” Alyssa of The Kid Project
Dublin Dog Koa Collars:
We recently were given a couple Koa Collars from Dublin Dog to try on Katmai. Years ago we switched to him just wearing a chain because we were sick of the stink and nastiness of most collars for a dog that spends a lot of time wet and muddy while out playing. I was skeptical anything could be different, but took a chance. These ones win hands-down.
- Made in the U.S.
- 1200 pounds of pull strength
- No odors or smells
- Great designs and colors
- Extremely durable (absolutely no sign of wear after five weeks of wearing, pulling, playing and mucking up!)
A few of the designs it is available in (aren’t those “Trout” ones awesome?!??!)
Win a Koa Collar from Dublin Dog:
Dublin Dog has offered the chance for one of you to win a Koa Collar of your own. As usual, please use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter to win. The winner will be emailed and announced on this post in the Rafflecopter Widget. Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com so I can help! Sorry, this giveaway is open to the U.S. only.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Dublin Dog generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. You can find my full disclosure here.
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