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How To Camp With A Dog?

February 17, 2023

How To Camp With A Dog?

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Can you really enjoy camping with dogs? Yes, yes you can! Dogs are full of energy and love to be outside. Camping is a great way for your dog to get out into the wilderness and do what they were made to do: run around, sniff new smells, chase squirrels. The best part of camping with dogs is that they are usually very excited to camp, which makes them very eager to please their humans.

Related: 7 Best Dog-friendly Campsites In The United States

But it's important not to forget the basics when introducing your dog to this new experience so they can have fun too! This blog post is going to break down some camping with dogs tips and go over some crucial questions such as: What does a dog need on a camping trip? Is it OK for a dog to sleep in a tent? How old should a dog be to go camping?

Here are 7 tips to keep in mind when camping with dogs in the wilderness:

#1 Know Your Dog

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This is the very first thing you need to do before camping with dogs. You have to make sure that your dog is indeed ready to be taken on a camping trip. You wanting to take your dog along is one thing, but the dog wanting and enjoying it is a totally different scenario that not many pet owners take into consideration.

Here are a few questions for you to answer:

  • Does your dog get excited or tensed too easily?
  • Does he hate being on leash?
  • Does he have any sort of medical problems?
  • Do you find it difficult to restrain your dog when he gets excited?
  • Is your dog a wanderer?
  • Does your dog get easily nervous or aggressive around strangers and other animals?
  • Is your dog a constant barker?

These may seem like common questions for any dog owner; but, when it comes to camping with your dog, these questions are of extreme importance. For any dog, being outdoors will be a completely exciting experience. And if your dog is used to being indoors, this excitement will be on a whole different level. Also, if your dog is a barker, not so good around new people and other animals, wanderer, etc., camping may not be the right outdoor activity for him. In this case, you can plan on a different activity that will be better for his nature.

Related: The Do’s and Don’ts of Taking Your Dog Camping

On the other hand, if your dog isn’t like anything discussed above, he might be a good candidate for camping. However, if he is new to the whole camping experience, it is better to start slow. For instance, start by taking your dog on a few short trips to the outdoors, allowing him to explore the wild, meet new people and wildlife. Gradually, take him on half-day hikes in nature trails close by your home, followed by full day hikes.

camping with dogs

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In addition to prepping you and your dog physically, these experiences will also be a great way to change the mindset of your dog, letting him know that the outdoors is nothing to be worried about. One other thing to practice is putting him in a crate or tying him up. This will help get him ready for the whole campsite experience and he wouldn’t feel insecure or anxious, and he wouldn’t mind if you leave him behind in his crate to attend to some business while camping. As a result, your dog will be both physically and mentally ready to go camping with you.

#2 Before the Camping Trip

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So, you have trained your dog and now he is ready to go on those exciting camping trips with you. What should you do next? Well, before your trip, there are a few things that you need to take care of.


In regards to the age of your dog, most experts agree that a canine should be at least one year old before embarking on any kind of camping trip. At this age, the pup's immune system will be mature enough to handle the stress of travel and exposure to unfamiliar environments, animals, and people. Although older dogs may have an easier time adapting to new surroundings, there's no upper age limit for safely taking a dog camping. As long as your pooch is in good health and up-to-date on all vaccinations, he or she can enjoy the great outdoors with you!

Vaccinations and Medications

camping with dogs

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Next, take your dog to your veterinarian to make sure that he is completely healthy. Also make sure that he is up-to-date on all his vaccinations, especially distemper and rabies. Ask your vet if your dog needs to be vaccinated for infectious diseases like Lyme disease and have it done as well. Discuss appropriate flea and tick medication and apply the same on your dog, and also make sure that he is on heart worm medication to prevent diseases transmitted by mosquito bites.


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Always have a harness or collar with an identification tag around your dog’s neck. Make sure that the tag has a contact number in which you can be reached immediately, not your home or office phone number. For those of you looking for an additional level of protection for your furry friend, just in case he does get lost, microchipping him would be the best option. If your dog already has a microchip, all you need to do is just make sure that all the information is up-to-date. If you are going to add the chip for the first time now, make sure that you register it, so that it easy for anyone to return the dog to you.

Related: Methods Of Identifying Your Dog

#3 Campground Selection

camping with dogs

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The next step is to make sure that the camping area or campground you select allows dogs. When selecting a campsite, it's important to consider several factors such as safety, amenities, and pet policies. Safety is key, so make sure the campsite you select has plenty of open space and is well-lit at night. It’s also important to look for sites that have plenty of shade and activities nearby to keep your pup active and happy.

Amenities like restrooms, playgrounds, hiking trails, water fountains, garbage cans, and dog runs are also worth considering - even if you're bringing your own supplies. Some sites may even include dog-friendly cabins or lodges for those wanting a bit more comfort. Additionally, be sure to check the rules of each site about pet policies before you arrive - some parks might not allow dogs in certain areas or require them to be on a leash at all times.

Make sure you take the time to research each campsite thoroughly before booking so that your furry friends can enjoy the experience just as much as you do! Once you choose a campground, learn about their regulations for pets within the site.

Related: The 7 Best Dog-friendly Campsites in the U.S.

#4 Camping with dogs packing checklist

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Here's our camping with dogs checklist to help you pack all the essentials for the trip:

- Food & Water Bowls: Don't forget to bring along water and food bowls—one for each pup—to make sure they stay well hydrated and fed throughout your trip. Look for durable, lightweight, and preferably waterproof or collapsible products that won't take up too much space in your car or tent.

- Dog Leashes & Harnesses: Make sure you have several leashes for different activities, like longer ones for walking trails and shorter ones for around the campsite. If you have a dog who loves to pull on the leash, you may want to consider bringing a comfortable harness along too.

- Dog Beds & Blankets: Yes, it is perfectly fine and enjoyable for a dog to sleep in a tent. As long as the dog has plenty of room to move around, is comfortable and doesn’t feel confined, camping with a canine companion can be a great experience. Additionally, it is recommended to bring their go-to bed or blanket from home so they can feel safe and secure or choose compact beds or blankets specifically designed for camping with dogs that are easy to carry around and keep clean during your trip.

- Toys & Treats: Even though you will be out in nature exploring, some playtime can be fun as long as it doesn't disturb wildlife around you! Bringing a few of their favorite toys can also help keep them occupied while also rewarding them with treats when needed—just remember to store them away from other food items to avoid any unwanted critters!

- Pet First Aid Kit: Make sure you are prepared for any minor emergencies by having an emergency kit specifically for your pets stocked with bandages, gauze pads, antibacterial ointment, tweezers/scissors, ice/heat packs, tick removal tools, as well as any medications that may be needed such as flea/tick preventatives or wound creams.

- Collar & Tags: Always make sure your pup is wearing a collar with current identification tags when going outdoors (even if they’re on a leash!). That way if there is ever an emergency situation where they happen to escape away from camp the right people can be notified quickly.

- Poop Bags & Garbage Bags: Cleanliness is key when camping so don’t forget to bring along enough poop bags and garbage bags so that you always have an easy way of disposing of any waste while out in nature! This helps keep campgrounds and trails maintained properly while ensuring that everyone has a pleasant experience—including all the furry creatures in attendance!

Related: Camping With Your Dog | A Checklist

#5 Campground Etiquette

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Once you reach your campsite with your little companion, be sure to be considerate to your fellow campers at all times. Always keep your dog out of others’ campsites; if he listens to your command, you may not have to tie him up; if not, you may have to use the leash. Keeping your dog leashed also helps in keeping him safe.

Never leave your dog unsupervised. Make sure that he doesn’t bark, because this can be a huge disturbance not just to your neighbors, but also to the wildlife. Most pet-friendly campgrounds have specific on-leash and off-leash areas; remember to follow those rules without fail. Always clean up after your dog, no matter where, and discard the waste in the right trash containers.

Related: Dog Camping Etiquette

It is extremely vital to keep your dog properly hydrated, as this helps prevent overheating. Even during the travel to reach your campground, or during hikes, take sufficient water breaks, and always give him only the water that you have packed, and not from a puddle or pond.

Related: Tips For Keeping Your Dog Hydrated

At nights, make sure that your friend is warm and comfortable. Lay a tarp or any other layer below his bedding or pillow to prevent him from getting cold from any moisture. Use extra blankets to cover him, if needed.

Related: 6 Tips to Keep Your Dog Warm while Camping

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That’s about it! You no longer have to hesitate or feel discouraged about taking your dog camping with you. Just remember these tips and have a blast!

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