Camping with Dogs: Your Ultimate Guide to Canine Camping in 2022

In many ways, dogs are the ultimate camping companions. They’re easy to please, have a nice coat of fur to keep them warm at night and, unlike humans, you won’t catch them complaining about roughing it for a few days. But while it’s a great idea to take your canine on a camping trip, you do have to plan it properly, especially if you’re taking your dog camping for the first time. Read on to find out everything you need to know about taking dogs camping…
Stephanie Laming - Licensed Insurance Representative of 11 years & Dog Mum to 5 year old Tina
October 6, 2022
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6
min read

8 Tips for Camping with Dogs

Follow these 8 tips for camping with dogs to make sure you and your favorite furfriend are prepared for a dog camping trip. 

Have a Big Enough Tent

When camping with a dog, space is important, particularly for bigger dogs. This could be especially important in the event that there are any rainy days or any other situations that would require yourself and your doggo to hang out in your tent for a while. It’s best to count medium and large breeds as an extra person when buying a tent so you can make sure there’s enough room. 

Bring Plenty of Food 

You may need to measure out the right amount of kibble to make sure it lasts for your entire camping trip. It’s also always a good idea to bring a bit extra just in case. Make sure that you don’t leave your dog’s food lying around, as this may attract insects or other unwanted animals, and that you bring an airtight container to keep Fido’s food in. 

Keep a First Aid Kit

A properly prepared camping trip, whether for humans or dogs, will include a fully stocked first aid kit. It’s recommended that you bring some stuff along especially for your dog. This would include vet wrap (or self-cling bandaging tape) for wounds, an antihistamine such as Benadryl for allergies, and hydrogen peroxide, which you will need if your dog swallows anything harmful and needs to vomit. 

Things can go wrong out in the woods, so it’s also recommended that you take out pet insurance for your pup, to provide you with peace of mind when you’re out on the trail. Click here to compare quotes from multiple insurance companies and choose the right plan for you.

Don’t Forget The Leash 

Leash etiquette is essential when learning how to camp with a dog. While some campsites have an off-leash area, most will expect you to keep your furfriend on a leash of less than six feet long at all times, and it’s not hard to understand why. There will be plenty of temptations, from your camping neighbor’s barbeque to the woodland critters that may cause your hound’s hunting instincts to kick in. Make sure that your dog is well trained and used to being on a leash. If they aren’t, bringing them to a public campsite may not be the best idea.   

Consider a Pet-Safe Insect Repellent 

When you’re camping, keeping the bugs at bay is a must. However, the insect repellents you’d usually bring along for a camping trip may not be suitable for pets. Make sure you choose a brand that’s safe for yourself, your best fur-friend, and the earth.   

Camp in the Yard First  

It may be best to have a trial run to make sure your furbaby responds well to the conditions of camping. You can set up a tent in the yard and try your best to act exactly as you would on a camping trip, including keeping your dog on a leash. Inviting some family or friends over to simulate the social aspect of camping won’t only increase the fun, it will also help prepare your dog for the real deal.

Check Campsite Regulations Ahead of Time 

Different campsites have different rules, and you will need to make sure you are happy with them before you pack your tent and bags. 

Many campsites insist on your dog remaining leashed while they are at the venue, with some stipulating a leash of six feet or shorter so that your canine can be easily controlled. Retractable leashes may not be permitted at campsites, so it’s best to pack a shorter one as well. 

Not all campsites will tolerate aggression or excessive barking, so if your dog is prone to either behavior then camping may not be the best activity for them. If your dog is not well socialized, they may be unable to play peacefully with the other dogs at the campsite. If your pooch might go a bit crazy in the presence of the creatures you may encounter on a camping trip, such as squirrels, it could be a problem at many campsites. Once again, it may be best to invest in a dogsitter and leave your hound at home if this is the case.  

Bring Plenty of Toys

A busy pup is a happy pup, so make sure you bring plenty of toys to keep your fur baby entertained. Toys suitable for the outdoors, such as balls, chew toys, or frisbees are all great ideas.  

Keeping Your Pup Safe

Out in the wild, there will be safety concerns for your favorite fur-friend that there wouldn’t be at home. 

It’s best to make sure you bring your pet’s medical records along, make sure you know where the nearest vet is, and pack a recent picture of your pup in the unfortunate event that your doggy gets lost. Also make sure your dog is chipped and has a tag with your number on it, just in case. 

Here are some other dangers you may need to look out for…

Wildlife

As dog lovers, we can’t condone leaving your doggy unattended while you’re camping, especially not tied up. Bring them with you when you hike, and if you do let them off their leash for a bit, make sure you have it close by, because out in nature there are plenty of creatures that your dog will want to chase. While your dog can be a danger to the animals out in the wild, this also works the other way around. Keep a lookout for any animals that could put your dog’s life in danger and make sure you’re properly prepared if any medical attention is needed.  

Paw health

You may need to protect your pup’s paws from any mishap their sensitive paw-pads could encounter, such as broken glass, sharp rocks, pests, or hot paving. A paw protectant is one option, and little doggy booties are another. You may need to allow your best fur-friend to adjust to wearing these before you leave for your trip.  

Pests and poisons 

Look out for any insects or other creatures that could be dangerous for your doggo. It’s also a good idea to check your dog each evening after a day of camping for ticks, and make sure you have something to keep fleas away. 

Not all problems would be caused by living creatures. You will also need to keep a look out for potentially poisonous plants. Some of these will be a problem for your paw-pal if consumed, while others can cause irritation to your dog’s skin.  

Stagnant water is another concern, as this could make your dog sick if they drink it. As we’ve mentioned,  hydrogen peroxide in your first aid kit to induce vomiting if necessary is a must. Contact your veterinarian prior to your trip to get the best recommendations for possible concerns. 

Final Thoughts

With the right preparation, camping with your number 1 doggo can be an amazing experience for both you and your four-legged best friend. 

Some campsites have special dog-friendly amenities and services. These are great options to consider if you want to make sure you and your dog have a great time. 

Make sure you pay attention to the dog camping tips in this post before you embark on a canine camping trip, and have a look online to find the best pet-friendly campsites near you. 

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GoodPaw Pet Services Inc., GoodPaw, offers free advice, product information and other editorial resources that are intended for informative purposes only, and should not be used in place of proper veterinary care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat your pet. If your pet is experiencing any health concerns, contact a licensed veterinarian. GoodPaw assumes no responsibility for action taken based on information given from GoodPaw.com.

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