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Dog-friendly Camping Tips: Exploring the Great Outdoors with Your Furry Sidekick

By Lea Jaratz

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Camping with your dog is a great way to bond, away from the stresses and responsibilities of everyday life. Whether you’re into hiking and adventuring or glamping in an RV, camping with your dog is an excellent way to reduce stress and reenergize. If you’re new to taking your dog camping, keep reading to get some tips for making the most of your getaway.

Should I take my dog camping?

Most dogs love the idea of spending extra time with their people in a place with plenty of sticks to chew and dirt to dig in, but taking your dog camping is not always the right move. Consider the following scenarios and ask yourself if your dog might be happier with another arrangement:

  • You plan to do sightseeing or activities for a long part of the day and your dog cannot accompany you
  • Your plans include long hikes or other strenuous activities that your dog might not be up for
  • Your dog is not well socialized around other people or pets and may be stressed, noisy, or aggressive

It’s okay if you have to leave your dog with a pet sitter or at a doggie daycare while you’re gone. They’ll still be happy to see you when you get back. Promise.

Dog-friendly Campsites

Before you hitch up the trailer, you’ll want to find a campsite that allows dogs.  You’ll have lots of options, everywhere from state parks, to KOA parks, to Disney resort campgrounds, and sites like BringFido have compiled a great search list of dog-friendly campsites.

But not all campgrounds accept all pets equally. Many have limits on the size or number of dogs, and some have breed-specific restrictions. You’ll want to find out if the facility has a pet deposit or fee and find out what rules and regulations apply. Most places have at least some leash and noise policies, so make sure you and your dog are up to the task of being a good campsite neighbor.

Dog Camping Supplies

I have to have a checklist whenever I’m packing, and taking my dog is no different. Here is an easy, must-have checklist for camping with your dog:

  • Food (in an airtight container)
  • Water
  • Food and water bowls
  • Collar, ID tags, leash
  • Bed or blanket for them to lie on
  • First Aid kit
  • Poop bags

Bonus items:

  • Cooler for water
  • Tie-down hardware
  • Treats
  • Toys
  • Extra towels
  • Outerwear, such as dog coat or rain jacket

How to Camp with a Dog

Everyone’s ideal camping trip looks a little different. Some are more bonfires and cold beverage sorts of people. Others are into long-distance hiking and getting to be one with nature. Before you take your dog camping, consider what activities they would enjoy and what they’re up for. Including a stop at a dog-friendly beach or dog park might help you wear your dog out so that you can relax a bit more later. Setting your dog up for success by making sure they are calm and quiet is the best way to make the camping trip a good time for everyone.

If you’re looking to get adventurous, we have some tips for hiking with your dog to get you off on the right foot (or paw).

We hope you have a fantastic time bonding with your dog next to a roaring campfire, under a starry sky. Having your best friend along just makes a good camping trip even better.

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