Camping with Your Dog. Things to Know Before You Go.

When it comes to camping in general, there are so many things that are essential to make it a fun and safe camping experience, like a tent, sleeping bag, flashlight, certain foods, and more. Well, when camping with a dog there are a lot of things that are essential for keeping your pup safe and out of danger.

Let’s start with some of the most important things to do before stepping foot on the campgrounds.

  1. Look up the rules and regulations for the campground and local areas
    • Most park websites have rules posted about bringing pets. It’s important to make sure the park even allows dogs in the first place. Not all national and state parks allow dogs, but most do.
  2. Be prepared to take your dog with you everywhere you go in the park
    • Do not plan to leave your dog at the campsite when going on a day hike. Leaving your dog tied up at camp, in your car or tent can be extremely dangerous for your furry friend. Wildlife wanders the camp throughout the day and you don’t want your dog to encounter a skunk or anything that could harm your baby.
  3. Look up weather forecasts to see if it will be safe for your pup
    • If you are traveling to a campsite to Arizona in the middle of the summer, be prepared for heatwaves. Personally, when camping with Maverick, I avoid southern states in the summer (i.e. Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, etc.) due to the dangers of heatwaves.
  4. Is your dog an outdoor dog?
    • When camping with your dog, it’s important to know how your dog will react to being outside 24/7. Some dogs do really well when camping and others tend to make the trip a lot harder. You know your dog better than anyone else so it’s important to consider how well they will behave and react.

After picking a weekend and a park that works for you and your pupper, it’s important to bring some things to keep your pupper safe.

  1. Pet First Aid
    • It is so important to be prepared for the worst when camping with your pup. Packing the right safety supplies can be lifesaving considering the closest vet could be hours away. Make sure you know how to treat your pup for cuts, snake bites (if there are snakes in the area), bug bites, and other incidents that can occur. Now I’m not saying this will happen and I’m not trying to scare you away from camping, but it is so important to be prepared.
  2. Pack the Proper Provisions
    • Make sure to pack a food bowl, water bowl, and enough food for how many days you are camping plus a day or two extra. Your pup will probably be exercising more than normal, so feeding him or her a little extra will help their energy and keep them happy. 
    • Do not leave your dog’s kibble out if they are not eating. This attracts wildlife that wants to nibble on the kibble. Make sure you pack the kibble in an airtight resealable container to prevent wildlife from getting into your things.
  3. Bring Pick-up Bags
    • Leave no-trace is so important for protecting wildlife in the area. I’ve heard so many people say, “but the wildlife does not pick up after themselves, so it does not matter if I do.” That is not true at all. Leaving your pup’s waste can extremely harm the native wildlife. Your dog’s waste contains bacteria and potentially parasites that the wildlife is not normally exposed to. This can contaminate the surrounding soil and water sources which could kill the surrounding wildlife. 
  4. Bring a Tent That Has Enough Space
    • Make sure there is enough room in your tent for you and your pup to share. You don’t want to leave your pup outside the tent at night due to roaming wildlife like skunks, raccoons, or bears if they are in the area.
  5. Miscellaneous Items That Can Make a Big Difference
    • If you are planning on camping somewhere that tends to be a bit warmer, packing a cooling vest can help keep your pet from overheating. 
    • At night an LED collar can be helpful to keep your pupper visible.
    •  A dog bed that keeps your dog comfortable at night, but is lightweight and easy to carry.

Overall, camping with your dog is super fun when you bring the right equipment. You and your pup’s safety is definitely a priority.

Let us know here if you have any other tips and tricks that you use to make your camping trip great!