The Best Guide to Camping with Dogs | Tips & Camping Gears

Camping with your dogs | All you need to know

camp with dogs

The Best Guide to Camping with your Dogs

Whenever you plan on going camping, you will probably want to carry your dog. While most people enjoy the outdoors, they may not be excited about bringing their dog along to sleep outside or even sleep with them inside a tent. However, you can actually bring your dog camping without having too much trouble.

Any camping trip is made better if it includes your best friend. Dogs are an excellent addition to any camping trip because they are great companions and will keep you entertained with their antics all day long. They are also very entertaining at night when you're sitting around the campfire high on happiness after watching your dog chase a chipmunk down the path only to come back with a mouth full of dirt that they proceed to shake everywhere including on you.

dog on leash

Most Public land and developed campground allow dogs on leash and you won't need to worry about them running off or anything like that.

The biggest concern is whether your dog will mind staying with you at the campground while you're out hiking, as opposed to having their own fun sniffing every rock and peeing on every tree in sight. If they can drop into a down stay with no problem then camping with them would be easy as long as they are well-mannered and not prone to barking when left alone for a little bit. Otherwise, you might go camping and find yourself locked inside your car (with them) at night because of complaints from other campers who didn't want to hear them bark.

Keeping Your Dog Safe And Comfortable While Camping

Your dog's safety is just as important as yours while you camp. Being curious creatures, they might not be concerned about the dangers of bears or moose wandering around your campsite while you are sleeping. No matter how well trained your dog is , you should always take precautions to make sure your dog can't wander off while exploring nature during the day. This is especially applicable when spending time in bear country.

If you are camping in hot weather then it's important that you keep your dog cool. Dogs don't sweat like humans do for cooling their bodies down. They only sweat through their paw pads and by panting, which can cause problems if they're left outside too long without shade during warm summer days. Not only will a kiddie pool for them to lounge in help cool them down, but so will a wet bandana or towel around their neck and chest. Avoid harsh soaps when bathing them after they've been in warm weather, as it can irritate their skin and cause dry patches to form.

If the dog has short fur then you should brush them regularly while camping. If your dog is shedding then use this time to get rid of all that excess hair before it builds up on your tent and sleeping bags! Clean out their ears with a cotton swap dipped in hydrogen peroxide to avoid infection, especially if you are planning any adventurous hikes. Lastly, keep an eye on their paws; sand can build up under there which may need cleaning or clipping depending on the breed of dog.

What to bring for your dog while camping?

Just like when you are at home, dogs will usually need their toys. However, it can be fun to take your dogs camping with you! Get them their own little outdoor bed, which is waterproof and washable. There are many types of dog bowls on the market now specifically designed for use in the great outdoors so always bring some water along too. It's also a good idea to bring any medications or supplements that your dog may need as well as an ample supply of their favorite treats, after all, they've earned it.

How can my dog help?

Your pup is sure to get bored of sitting around while you pitch the tent, cook dinner and hang out with your friends after a while. However, they will likely enjoy taking some walks, especially around the immediate area of your camp site, where they can do their business (if needed), explore new sights and smells, and play fetch if you brought along some extra balls or sticks. Make sure your dog always has enough water to drink, even when it's really hot outside; make an effort to ensure that they are not getting too tired

Is my dog safe?

If you camp in bear country, make sure your pup is wearing a collar with a bell on at night. This will allow bears to "hear" where they are before encountering them and thus avoid an encounter if possible, although remember that black bears should not be fed or approached at any time. Some campgrounds also require dogs to be on leashes.

Tips for camping with your dog

Below you will find a list of tips you can use for camping with your dog. Follow the list and camping with your dog will be more enjoyable.

  • Keep your dog on a leash - You should try to have your dog with you at all times while you are out camping. However, you should always keep them on a leash. This is because there are a lot of dangerous things you could come across while camping that would be better off if your dog stayed away from.
  • Get yourself a dog tent - If your dog enjoys sleeping in the tent with you, then this is something you might want to look into. A great thing about these tents for dogs is that they usually have extra insulation and take up less room than a regular style tent would.
  • Prepare some tasty food for them - Make sure you bring along some nice tasty food for your pet. You may not be too hungry during a camping trip, however, making an effort to make your pet happy will go a long way. Try cooking up all their favorite foods before you go.
  • Pack extra snacks - If you know that your dog loves to eat, then pack in some extra food for them. This is because they will probably get hungry after a day or two and want more of their yummy treats. Try packing a few different types of snacks, just incase they don't like one for example.
  • Bring along a bowl - Make sure you bring a bowl with you for the road trip if not before going camping as well. You don't want to be without this when your dog starts getting hungry and thirsty through out the night or day. As I said before make sure to bring plenty of water/food too.
  • Your dog is your companion - You dog is usually your best friend. So, you should always bring them along. Your dog will love it too because they get to run free and explore new territory (plus they'll be by your side where ever you go).
  • Pack all the right gear - Pack everything for your dog as well if they are coming with you on your camping trip. Make sure to pack doggy first aid kits, dog towels, tools like brushes or combs for shedding fur (if needed), leashes (if they're not used to being off leash) , maybe even a muzzle in case of emergencies. If there's anything else that your dog may need don't forget about it.
  • There are risks when camping - Just because you've taken all the correct precautions when camping with dogs doesn't mean that you will be completely safe. There are still animals out there that may attack your pet; for example, if you're camping in the mountains make sure to keep an eye out for bears (even if it's unlikely) and other dangerous wildlife like wolves or coyotes. Other campers may be afraid of dogs, so next time try not to bring Fluffy if everyone else is uncomfortable with him around; take responsibility for your dog's behavior as well. Don't let them bark excessively or chase after anyone who walks by.
  • Don't leave dog poo on the ground - Bring plastic bags in order to pick up their poop. This is not only polite to other campers, but also for the sake of cleanliness; some dogs tend to "mark" their territory on trees or rocks while out in the woods (much like cats will do this on houses), and you don't want that either.
  • Bring your dog's ID tag - If they get lost, this is one of the most important things to bring; it should have your name on it as well as phone numbers, addresses, etc. so if someone finds them they can contact you immediately.
  • Be prepared for emergencies - Just like human beings, dogs are prone to having accidents outside too; be sure to bring extra towels/blankets/paper towels so that if anything does happen it'll be easy for you to clean up.
  • Be aware of dangerous animals - Even though your dog may be very good with you, this does not mean that they can go near another dangerous animal; if you're camping somewhere where there might be bears or mountain lions for example, keep your dog on a leash at all times so they do not hurt themselves trying to chase after them.
  • Pack extra water for your dog - Dogs get thirsty too! When you pack the usual amount of water for yourself, make sure to leave some extra in case Fido needs some too; while you're at it, bring an empty bowl (or two) along with you and clean water to put inside it before putting it back in your bag.
  • Walking is essential - When out in the wilderness, it is important to make sure your dog gets enough exercise. When you go on hikes or even just walks around the campgrounds, make sure to bring some doggie bags with you so that you can clean up after them should they have to go outside of their designated area.
  • Your dog needs a good night's sleep - Letting an animal who has been through enough physical activity during the day not get its rest might seem like a great idea at first since it would be spending time playing with you, but if you are trying to keep your dog alive, getting them tired out enough so that they will spend the night resting is much more important.


Different campgrounds or campsites will all have different sets of regulations and guidelines. Try to find out what the general guidelines are for the campgrounds you will be visiting so that your dog can be prepared. If you are not allowed to have a certain type of animal within the camping area, then it is important to find this out before even considering taking your furry friend with you.


If possible, try to get your dog familiarized with what it will be like outside prior to actually embarking on your trip. This way, when they inevitably do get lost or wander off, they will at least know what kind of terrain they should be trying to avoid in order stay safe. You might also want to go over some basic commands and make sure everyone knows who's in charge before leaving home. Below is a list of items to bring with your dog.

Below is a list of items to bring with your dog.
  • An attachable ID tag
  • Dog food and a bowl
  • A bowl for water
  • Dog first-aid kit
  • A leash
  • Dog treats
  • Stake or tether
  • Outdoor-safe toys
  • A current photo
  • Extra towels
  • Vet/Medical information
  • Dog waste bags
  • Conclusion

    Bringing dogs along on your camping trip can be lots of fun. Just remember to take the time before you leave to prepare your furry friend, and you'll all have an enjoyable trip.

    Camping with dogs can be one of the best ways to really bond with them. Seeing as they're allowed to roam free through open space just like people are, they get a chance to do what comes naturally and exercise their sense of smell. While this is typically good for everyone involved, it's important to keep in mind that dogs need constant care and attention while camping so they don't wander off or get stuck somewhere unreachable. It might also be wise to bring along some food and treats so your pup knows when it's mealtime.

    About Author:

    image of Kevin Pommells

    Hi, I'm Kevin Pommells, a lover of camping and the great outdoors as everyone says nowadays. I'm also a passionate soccer fan and the proud owner of, a website dedicated to helping campers and outdoor enthusiasts make the most of their adventures. With years of experience exploring the wilderness and a deep love for the sport of soccer, I'm always looking for new ways to combine my two passions and share my knowledge with others. Follow me for tips, tricks, and insights on all things camping and outdoor recreation.

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