Are you getting ready for your next camping trip and planning on taking your dog along with you? Well, then I’m glad you stopped by because I have some great travel tips for camping with dogs.
I want to help make your trip easier for you before you get on your way. I sure could have used this guide long ago.
Every year, millions of people pack up and trade the comfort of soft beds and indoor plumbing for the great outdoors’ experience.
We love the outdoors, so why shouldn’t we share that love of camping with our dogs? After all, they are descendants of the mighty wolf. Right?
Many of us go camping with a group of friends, so why not bring along our furry friends as well?
Finding a sitter or a place that can board your pup can be a hassle and sometimes pretty pricey and not to mention that they would be sad if we left them.
But by adding a few extra steps to your camping checklist.
You and your dog can be ready for a safe and fantastic camping trip.
Speaking of Checklists, I created a printable Dog Camping Checklist..you can download it for free. Keep scrolling down and you will see it.
*Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, meaning I earn a commission if you use those links at no cost to you. I always only recommend brands I trust and ones I think you’ll love.
How To Find Dog-Friendly Campgrounds
Before arriving at the campground, it’s important to do research beforehand to see if they allow pets.
There are many ways to figure out if the campground is a good fit for you and your pup. First, a quick internet search of the campground should direct you to the campground’s website. There, it should list if it’s a pet-friendly campground.
Another website such as reserveamerica.com allows you to see if the campground you’re interested in is pet-friendly and you’ll also be able to reserve that campground all in one convenient place!
You can also call the campground directly to ask if you rather speak to someone.
Depending on where you plan to camp, you can also request a visitor’s guide from the state’s visitation department.
The guides generally lists all the campsites in that area as well as if they’re pet-friendly.
It’s crucial to find out if the campground allows pets before you arrive because if you don’t, you may not be allowed to stay.
How Do I Keep My Dog Safe While Camping
Once you have found the perfect campsite to cater to you and your dog, it’s time to start prepping for your journey.
This includes making sure that everyone going on the trip, especially your canine companion, stays safe.
- Before leaving, make sure to check in with their vet to ensure all their vaccinations are up to date and discuss the best option for parasite-prevention. When in the woods, both you and your dog could likely get bit by ticks or other parasites, so it’s essential to have a plan of ways to prevent this before you arrive.
- Something else to make sure is pet safe before you arrive at the campground is the car, truck, or RV. Like people dogs should wear seatbelts or be in their crate. If using your crate it’s best to use a plastic crate or wire crate ( I prefer a wire crate as it has more airflow – check out my post on best dog crates.) that has sturdy walls.
- The safest spot to then put the crate is behind the driver’s seat or front passenger seat if it can fit for an extra cushion that will make it harder for the crate to move around.
- When you arrive at the campground, it’s a must to keep your dog leashed or on a dog run at all times. This protects your pet from other wildlife, people, and potentially harmful plants.
- Make sure to keep food and trash in secure containers and in a safe location (inside your car is usually a good spot) so that potential predators cannot get to it.
- It’s also helpful for your pup to know basic commands such as sit, stay, and come so that if they manage to get loose, they won’t wander too far away from you. It might be a good idea to freshen up on those training skills be you leave.
- Regardless of the time of year, the camping trip is, always have lots of water to avoid dehydration. This goes for everyone on the trip.
- Bring clothes for your pup. Yes, I know this might sound a little silly, but having a jacket for cold days to keep them warm or shoes to keep their paws from burning on the hot summer ground can help keep your dog safe.
- Have your dog wear a reflective bandana when out walking for your dog’s safety. Take a look at a post I wrote on dog bandanas that shows you one that would be perfect for camping with your dog.
- Lastly, never leave your dog by themselves. The camping trip is for everyone. Not only is it safer to stay together, but it allows for lots of family bonding.
Ways To Make Your Campsite Dog Friendly
When at the campsite, make it as dog friendly as possible.
This starts with finding a relatively flat area with no large rocks and sticks, if possible.
That’s where you can set up the outside “pup zone” (That’s what I like to call it LOL..)
You’ll need a blanket, dog pen, water, food bowls, and toys so your dog can relax and enjoy their vacation.
It’s also good to set up a cable and leash between trees so that your beloved dog can run around while still being safe.
Remember, These items should be far from potential dangers such as the fire pit and heavily wooded areas.
Best Place For My Dog To Sleep While Camping
Like humans, your pup needs to have a cozy place to sleep while camping. This includes someplace that’s not outside to protect them from both the elements and predators. A tent, camper, RV, or the car is a comfy place for your dog to sleep.
If your housing of choice during camping is a tent.
Put a thick blanket or other covering along the bottom so that the nails of your dog don’t accidentally rip or damage your tent.
Co-sleeping with your beloved dog is also a good way to keep both of you warm and provide maximum snuggles.
There are also specific items such as raised dog beds, dog sleeping bags, or a camping dog bed. They’re designed to make sure your pup is as comfortable or even more comfortable than you for that matter.
While preparing to leave to go camping with dogs in the great outdoors, you may ask yourself, what do I need to pack?
Don’t worry, I got you covered.
What To Bring Camping For My Dog
Here are 12 must-have dog camping gear to pack to ensure the best camping trip for you and your dog:
- Water and portable/collapsible water bowl– Just like people, dogs need to drink. Often. A portable water bowl and plenty of water are a staple in outdoor dog items so they can keep hydrated.
- Dog food, snacks, and food bowl– Make sure you bring their favorites, so while you are enjoying your freshly roasted s’ more, they can enjoy a special treat of their own.
- Poop bags and shovel– The shovel and poop bags make it very convenient to pick up after your dog. It’s required by law and its the polite thing to do.
- Dog first aid kit– You can buy or make your own. Be sure to include a pet first aid guide, so you know what the heck you’re doing to help your dog. and all the supplies such as saline solution, antiseptic, gauze, heavy-duty bandages, a multitool with tweezers, antibiotic ointment, tick removal tool, blood clotting powder, and cotton swabs.
- Towel– To dry your dog if they get wet or cool them down when they get too warm.
- Dog brush/comb– A dog brush or comb is a good way to remove burrs and other pesky fauna and potentially harmful insects, so they stay clean.
- LED collar or safety light– These are helpful to keep track of your dog after sunset while looking fashionable at the same time.
- ID tags and Important information– This is helpful in case they get lost or for other reasons. Make sure to always carry a book of emergency info. This includes your vet record of recent vaccinations (most campgrounds require to see them) along with your vet’s phone number and your name, number, and address.
- Extra leash– Just in case something happens to the first one.
- Paper towel– These are helpful to clean up after your dog wherever they happen to go. They are especially useful in the car.
- Travel Dog Bed– These are easy to pack and ensure that your dog will have a comfy night sleep.
- Dog Toys– Make sure to bring your dog’s favorite outside toys to keep them busy and happy.
Before you read on be sure to Pin this image to your favorite Pinterest board to save for later!
Final Thoughts: On Camping With Dogs Tips
Not only is camping with dogs a perfect time to bond and make memories, but it also allows your dog to get in touch with his or her wild side.
With just a few extra steps to your regular camping routine, you and your pup are ready for your next adventure.
Finding the campground that is most suited for you, packing essential items, and ensuring all aspects of your trip are dog friendly, can lead to an unforgettable trip with your canine best friend.
P.S. It would make me so happy to hear about how your dog did on the camping trip. So leave me a comment when you get back. 🙂
Have a pawsome day!