BY Nick Bulanda
Published January 31, 2021
Tips for Camping with a Dog in a Tent
Camping is one of the great joys of life, and having that experience with your dog is something truly special. They can be a calming presence, as well as a source of fun and adventure. No matter what kind of breed they are, there’s no denying that have your dog around has a positive effect on mood. If you want to take your dog camping, you’re not alone. It’s quite common! You just need to make sure you’re fully prepared, as there will be some differences from standard camping trips.
Whether you’re going camping alone and want them nearby, or the entire family is coming along, it’s important to take the right safety measures when camping with a dog in a tent. By taking part in these practices, you’ll both be ensuring the safety of your dog, yourself and everyone around. Take a look at our tips in the list below, and feel free to let us know in the comments if you have any to add!
1. Choose a Dog-Friendly Campground
One of the most important steps to take before camping with a dog in a tent is making sure the campground you choose is right for dogs. Many campgrounds have rules on pets, and it’s definitely going to be worth your time to do some research and find the best option for you. America’s national parks almost always are great for dogs, and you can often find a pretty isolated spot to camp if you know where to look. However, if you do decide to choose a national park as your destination, be aware that not all of these parks allow dogs on all of their hiking trails. Once again, it pays off to do some research.
If you’re unsure whether a given campground allows dogs, go ahead and place a call to their office. Hopefully whoever is working will be able to provide you with some answers. As long as you’re able to find a campground that accommodates camping with a dog in a tent, you’ll be good to go! Just make sure you’re aware of any rules them may have towards pets. Keep browsing the rest of our tips to make sure you’re ready for the entirety of the trip.
2. Pack the Essentials
When bringing your dog along, it’s important to remember to bring along not just the standard camping essentials, but also everything your dog will need! This includes enough food for the whole trip, a leash and/or harness, a water bowl, treats, toys and more. It’s also a good idea to invest in a first aid kit specifically meant for dogs, just in case they happen to hurt themselves a bit. Another good idea is to bring along a stake and a longer lead leash, allowing your dog to roam around for a bit without having to worry about them darting off.
Remember that you want to help your dog stay relaxed, so bring along plenty of toys from home. If they have a dog bed that they love to sleep in, go ahead and bring that. However, you can also find some really great camping beds for dogs. This allows for them to have a comfortable place to sleep in the tent, hopefully ensuring they don’t get stressed out during the night.
3. Keep Them Close
Camping with a dog in a tent is a lot like having a toddler around. You pretty much have to keep your eyes on them at all times, because you never know when they could run off. That’s why it’s important to have your pup on a leash at all times, whether you’re holding it or it’s attached to a stake on the campsite. Many campgrounds have rules pertaining to this aspect of having a pet with you, so it’s worth reading up on. For your dog’s safety, it’s always a good idea to have them securely confined to your camp.
4. Always Have a Bowl of Water
It is always important for both you and your pet to stay well hydrated. It can be easy to forget that when you’re out in the woods camping. However, that does not make it any less important, so always be sure to have plenty of water around. It’s a good idea to keep your dog’s water bowl out at all times, and fill it any time you notice it getting low. Your dog may find themselves a lot more active during camping trips, just like yourself. That makes it even more key to drink water throughout the day. It’s not a bad idea to bring along a massive jug of water and keep it in your vehicle. Keep some ice in the cooler and you’ll always have a refreshing drink of water ready for you and your dog.
5. Know if Your Dog is Ready
Let’s face it, not all dogs are great for camping trips. If your dog deals with anxiety when leaving the house, it is probably not a great idea to take them along. They could stress themselves out and run away, which is even more dangerous when you’re far away from home. Additionally, if your dog is a constant barker, that could pose some problems.
One good way to test if your dog is prepared for a camping trip is to take them camping first out in the backyard, and then spend one night at a campground close to home. This gives both you and your dog a chance to feel things out. By the time your done, you should have a much better idea if the trip together is a good idea. It’s a test that you likely won’t regret!
6. Bring the Right Tent
Another worthy investment is a tent that has plenty of room for both you and your dog. You may also want to find a material that’s resistant to scratching, as some tents may be susceptible to getting torn to shreds by your dog. If you’re camping with the whole family plus your dog, you may need to upgrade to another size up to fit them. It all just depends on what kind of equipment you are currently working with. We mentioned this briefly before, but it’s a good idea to bring along or purchase a dog camping bed. This will help ensure they get the comfort and warmth they need at night, and should make for a better time for everyone there.
7. Invest in Some Dog Camping Gear
If you plan on hiking or doing other activities with your dog, you could always pick up some new gear. A harness is a great idea if you don’t already own one. As long as you find one that fits right, it’s much more comfortable for your dog than a standard leash, especially on hikes. An adjustable dog leash can also be very useful it’s it is something you don’t already own. That allows you to let your dog explore as much as you’re comfortable with, and you can rein them in when you need to. Depending on where you’re camping, it may also be a good move to pick up some thermal wear, especially for smaller dogs. They may need some help keeping warm if you’re going somewhere cold!
8. Use ID Tags when Camping with a Dog in a Tent
It’s something that nobody wants to happen, but it does from time to time. If your dog escapes, you want to make sure that they have some form of identification on them. Most importantly, your name and phone number should be able to be identified if your dog is found by someone. This may vastly increase the chances of you getting them back, and quickly if you are lucky. However, we recommend taking every possible precaution to prevent this from happening. It’s just always better to be safe than sorry.
No one can deny that camping with a dog in a tent is a special life experience. As long as you come fully prepared, we can’t recommend it enough. If you are here doing the research, you’re already on track to have a fantastic time. We hope you found our advice useful, and we encourage you to check out the rest of our site for more camping tips! At Campr Click, we have a passion for outdoor recreation. You probably feel the same way, and there’s nothing like sharing our experiences. Chime in down in the comments and let us know if you have any advice for camping with dogs, or tell us about your own personal experience!