Tips & Tricks

8 Tips for Camping with Your Dog

full shot woman with cute chihuahua dog

Summer’s sun might be setting, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end!

Picture this: crisp campfire smoke, crackling leaves underfoot, and your dog by your side, tail wagging a million miles a minute. Yep, camping with your pup can be an unforgettable experience.

But before you toss your gear in the car and hit the road, a little prep work goes a long way. We’ve got 8 top tips to make your camping trip a paw-some success story for you and your furry friend!

1. Research and Respect Campground Rules

Before you start packing your tent and marshmallows, it’s crucial to do your homework on potential campsites. Not all campgrounds are created equal when it comes to welcoming our furry friends. Some may have strict no-dog policies, while others might have specific areas where dogs are allowed or prohibited.

To avoid any disappointment or last-minute scrambling, make checking the campground’s pet policies your first priority. Here are a few key things to look out for:

lifestyle people living camping

– Are dogs allowed on the premises?

– Are there restrictions on where dogs can go within the campground?

– Do you need to bring proof of your dog’s license and vaccinations?

– Are there any breed-specific restrictions?

Additionally, it’s wise to research the required vaccinations for the state you’ll be visiting. Different regions may have varying requirements, and it’s essential to ensure your pup is fully protected. For instance, if you’re planning to hike in an area known for its tick population, it might be worth discussing a Lyme disease vaccine with your vet before the trip.

dog vet consultation

2. Pack the Essentials (and Then Some)

Packing for a camping trip with your dog requires a bit more thought than your average weekend getaway. Here’s a comprehensive list of dog-specific items you shouldn’t forget:

– Favorite toys and treats

– Leash and collar with ID tag

Food and water bowls (collapsible ones are great for camping)

– Plenty of fresh water and dog food for the entire trip (plus a little extra)

– Waste bags and a way to dispose of them properly

– Comfortable bed or sleeping pad

– First-aid kit for both you and your dog

– Doggy life jacket if you plan on spending time near water

photo of a black and white dog biting a seahorse toy

Consider the weather conditions you might encounter and pack accordingly. This might mean bringing a cooling mat for hot days, sun protection, or warm sweaters and blankets for chilly nights. Extra towels are always a good idea, especially if your pup loves to splash in streams or lakes.

For longer hikes, you might want to invest in a dog backpack. This allows your furry friend to carry their own water, food, and waste bags, making them feel like they’re contributing to the adventure!

dogs swimming water pet swim

3. Keep Your Pup Close and Supervised

One common rule at many campsites is that dogs cannot be left unsupervised. This means you can’t leave your furry friend tied up at the campsite while you go for a hike or head out for a meal. It’s not just about following rules – it’s also about ensuring your dog’s safety and preventing any disruptions to other campers.

If you’re planning activities that aren’t dog-friendly, consider bringing along a trusted friend or family member who can stay with your dog. Alternatively, if that’s not possible, you might want to reconsider bringing your dog on this particular trip and instead look into pet-sitting options.

Remember, camping is about enjoying time together in nature. Having your dog by your side throughout the adventure will make the experience more fulfilling for both of you.

woman sitting near tent

4. Leash Up for Safety

Even if your dog is typically well-behaved off-leash, it’s important to keep them leashed during your camping trip. Many campsites and hiking trails require dogs to be on a leash, often specifying a maximum length of 6 feet (which is the standard leash length).

Keeping your dog leashed isn’t just about following rules – it’s about safety and respect for others. An off-leash dog might:

– Provoke reactions from leashed dogs

– Encounter wildlife unexpectedly

– Disturb other campers or hikers

If you encounter other dogs on the trail, it’s always a good idea to communicate with their owners. A simple “My dog needs a little extra space” can go a long way in preventing any unwanted interactions.

woman her dog having good time

5. Leave No Trace – Pick Up After Your Pup

Accidents happen, even on camping trips. That’s why it’s super important to always carry waste bags with you. Whenever your pup needs to go, be a responsible pet parent and pick up their waste. Leaving doggy doo behind is bad for the environment and can attract unwanted animals to your campsite.

Being a good camper means more than just picking up after your dog. The “Leave No Trace” principle is all about minimizing your impact on the outdoors. So, pack out all your trash, including leftover food scraps. By keeping the campsite clean, you’re helping to preserve these beautiful natural areas for future campers and their furry companions to enjoy!

happy woman hugging her dog sitting tent

6. Plan Dog-Friendly Activities

While planning your itinerary, keep your dog’s abilities and preferences in mind. Choose hikes or adventures that suit your dog’s fitness level. If your pup is new to hiking, start with shorter, easier trails and work your way up.

Look for dog-friendly swimming areas where your furry friend can cool off and have some fun. Many dogs love splashing around in lakes or gentle streams, but always check the water conditions first and keep an eye out for strong currents or potential hazards.

Remember, the goal is to have fun together. So plan activities that both you and your dog will enjoy. This might include:

– Nature walks and hikes

– Beach or lakeside relaxation

– Frisbee or fetch in open areas

– Stargazing (dogs might not appreciate the stars, but they’ll love cuddling up with you)

dog outdoor pool dog in the water

7. Cozy Up Safely at Night

When it’s time to turn in for the night, make sure your dog is snug and secure with you in your tent or camper. This is crucial for several reasons:

– It prevents your dog from wandering off in unfamiliar surroundings

– It protects your pup from potential wildlife encounters

– It keeps your dog warm and comfortable

Before settling down, make sure your tent or camper is securely closed. If you’re using a tent, consider getting your dog their own sleeping bag or pad for extra comfort. Some companies, like Ruffwear, make specialized sleeping gear for dogs that can make nighttime cozier for your furry friend.

side view child dog playing

8. Secure All Food to Avoid Unwanted Guests

Food storage isn’t just about keeping your snacks fresh on a camping trip – it’s about safety for you and your pup. The yummy smells of your food can be a big attraction for unwanted wildlife like bears, raccoons, or foxes. These guys might wander into your campsite looking for a free meal, which isn’t exactly ideal.

Here are some tips for proper food storage:

– Use bear-resistant containers if you’re in bear country

– Store food in airtight containers and keep them in your vehicle if possible

– Never keep food in your tent

– Clean up all food scraps and dispose of trash properly

– Store your dog’s food as carefully as you store your own

dog park nature with owner

Final Words

With a little planning and preparation, camping with your dog can be a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. These tips will help you ensure a smooth trip but remember to always check specific campground regulations and adjust your plans accordingly. Happy camping!

The Loobani Pet Blog is all about helping pet parents enhance their pups’ health. To learn more about our fancy dog puzzle toys, visit Our clever designs make snack time fun and enriching, giving dogs the mental and physical exercise they need. We strive to provide plenty of enrichment for our furry friends so they can enjoy their healthiest, happiest lives.


About Zelda D.Nelson

As a lifelong dog lover and proud mom to two energetic rescue pups, I know firsthand how important puzzle toys are for providing dogs with much-needed mental and physical stimulation. After over a decade of experience raising well-adjusted, happy dogs, I joined the Loobani Pet team to help other pet parents discover the joy and benefits of dog puzzles. Through my work at Loobani Pet, I've become an expert on the ins and outs of various interactive dog toys. My goal is to simplify the selection process so you can easily pinpoint the perfect puzzles to match your pup's needs and lifestyle. Whether you need a toy to challenge your brainy breed, keep your power chewer occupied, or simply provide some rainy day fun, I've got you covered.