Are You A Pet-Friendly Campground?

Campers who travel with their four-legged family members are looking for pet-friendly campgrounds and parks. Are you one of them?  It isn’t necessarily easy to be one, though, as special accommodations need to be made for pets. Humans traveling with animals create a new set of issues that you must deal with.  But more and more RV’s are arriving loaded with people and their pets, so it’s a service you should consider.

Traveling … and camping … with pets can be tricky, as the pets should never be left unattended in a hot car, RV, or camper.  And you don’t want pets left alone outside the camper or tent, even if … or maybe especially … when they are on a leash.  Nothing annoys other campers more than a lonely, barking dog.

If you have decided to be a “pet friendly” campground, then you need to promote it so you can attract those travelers to justify your investment in the needed accommodations. Finding a campground that not only accepts pets but also offers entertainment and recreation for them is often very difficult for campers to come by.  So make sure you promote the service on your Facebook page, e-newsletters and other travel guides.

The AAA (American Automobile Assn.) has published a book titled Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA Pet Book.  It includes a list of over 14,000 pet-friendly and AAA approved hotels, campgrounds, restaurants and other facilities.  If you are affiliated with the AAA you should get listed in this directory.  You can get a copy from your local AAA office, or on Amazon.com or from Barnes & Noble Bookstores.

There are a number of other books and directories, and web sites of course. For example, the American Veterinary Medical Association (www.avma.org) offers much information on pet care and health issues when traveling. Once on the web site search “Traveling with your pet.”

Pet Friendly Campgrounds ( http://petfriendlytravel.com/campgrounds ) is a searchable web site that campers can use to find campgrounds and parks that welcome pets.  The KOA Campground system has a blog site called KOA Pet Camping Musts Blog (  http://blog.koa.com/pet-camping-musts/ ) that includes a list of suggested rules for pet owners. And it lets campers and owners write comments and other suggestions.

Most campgrounds that welcome customers with pets have a set of rules regarding pet behavior.  Do you have a set of rules? Have you written them down so pets and campers know what they are?  It’s a good idea to have your rules printed and available to all campers. Give a copy to each camper with a pet when they check in.  That way everyone knows what is expected of them.  We’ve compiled a list of suggested rules:  Tips For Camping With Pets 2018   It may not be all-inclusive, and some suggestions may not apply to your campground. So feel free to revise it as needed. Then print it on your campground’s letterhead and make it available to your customers.

One big issue with pets is their waste.  You must require campers to pick up after their pets. But then you should make it as easy as possible to comply with the rule. Providing the bags and disposal system for waste is a great way to assure campers that their pets are welcome, and significantly improves the cleanliness of the campground.  We can provide our Pilot Rock Pet Waste Collection Station.  It includes a collection bag dispenser, a waste collection receptacle, signage and a mounting post.  Several of these Pet Waste Stations located around your campground with make it easy for your customers to pick up after their pet. A complete Station helps keep pet waste segregated from the other trash or recyclables you collect in your campground.

If you allow the pet waste in your regular trash receptacles, then you can simply provide several of the bag dispensers near campsites and along sidewalks so waste pick up bags are always convenient. Pet owners can grab a bag and dispose of the waste in any convenient receptacle.  You could even sell pick up bags in your camp store. Travelers with pets always need these bags.

B3001CN6PNAnother great way to welcome campers and their pets to your campground is to set up a safe pet play area with secure fencing and adequate space for frolicking and exercise.  The main purpose of these “bark parks” is to provide dogs a place to run off-leash. But many such facilities also include “obstacles” for dogs to run over, under, around and through. These site amenities can be added gradually as your budget permits.  Since dogs in the bark park should be accompanied by their owner, supplying a picnic table or bench for the humans to sit and watch their pets romp and play is a necessity.  Pilot Rock offers many “Pet Park” products to help every camper—and every pet—have a satisfying camping experience.  Sometimes they can serve a dual purpose. For example, the Pilot Rock RBF   Recycled Plastic Bench is a flat bench that provides seating for the owners. But it can also be an “obstacle” for dogs to jump on, jump over, run around or run under. A picnic table can provide a higher surface for people to keep their drinks away from the animals. And be sure to have waste collection equipment inside the bark parks. Check out these products and more at www.pilotrock.com!

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