The weather is warming up around here so “camping season” is within reach. Here I’ll share with you some basic guidelines to camping with a dog.
- Practice could make perfect.
If this is your dog’s first time camping and you’re worried about how they’ll do in a tent, don’t be afraid to try it out first. Set up a tent in your living room or yard and encourage them to go hang out in it with you for a little bit. Bring some toys and treats and let them know a tent is a positive thing!
- Be aware.
If you’re camping at a campground, make sure you know their rules for dogs. Most places require your dog to be leashed while in the campground. If you’re in the backcountry, the rules are more relaxed, but please try to make sure when choosing a place to camp that it is already a campsite. Follow the “leave no trace” guidelines.
- Be prepared.
Check the weather report, possible wildlife in the area, and if the campground is even open and allows dogs. It’s good to know the possible setbacks or dangers that your pup might face. Bring a doggy first aid kit just to be safe.
- Know your dog.
There are a couple things that fall under this category. For starters, it’s good to know the signs your dog gives to tell if they are too anxious or scared. That can be tricky if this is a new dog, but the more time you spend with them in the outdoors, the faster you catch on to their tails…
(See what I did there? Tails, tells… No? Okay, moving on…)
The second thing is definitely optional, like all of this since you can do whatever you want, but think about deciding if a dog sleeping bag is for your dog. Does your dog have short hair? Do they get cold easily? Do they like to be covered? Are they small enough to fit in it? Dogs get cold too, but that doesn’t mean they want a sleeping bag.
Loki does not like to be in a sleeping bag and doesn’t fit in any that are made for dogs anyway, so that problem was decided quickly for us.
The final one here is to bring something that could feel like home to your dog (besides you), like their favorite toy or treat or pillow.
- Don’t forget the food!
This sounds like a no-brainer, but I’ve actually heard a handful of stories where people forgot to pack dog food when going camping. I always make a list and check it twice 😉
When camping, we always have other activities planned. We don’t just hang out at the campsite all day, so since my dog is active, I always pack more food and water than I’m expecting we’ll need. The more active they are, the more food and water they’ll need.
- Spend time with your dog. Duh.
So now that you have a basic picture in mind of how you’ll go camping with your dog, pack up your stuff and go! Make sure you curl up in a tent with your furry BFF and try to get in some cuddle time while enjoying your night in the great outdoors.
Miranda + Loki