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Camping can be fun for the whole family, and that includes your dog, as long as you’re properly prepared. Review these tips to make sure you’ve got all the bases covered to keep your dog happy and safe.
Find a dog-friendly campsite
Unfortunately, not all campsites are dog-friendly. Do your research in advance to find a campsite that welcomes furry four-leggers and familiarize yourself with the local rules.
Many campsites require dogs to be leashed at all times. In the supply list below, we recommend bringing a long leash (as well as a hammer to nail the stake into the ground). This will give your dog some freedom while still following the rules.
Tip: If you are hiking to your campsite, be sure to review these tips for hiking with a dog.
Bring the right supplies for a dog
Double-check this dog supply list to be sure you have everything your dog might need.
- Collar or harness with up-to-date ID tag
- Regular leash + long line leash
- Plenty of water
- Travel bowls
- Poo bags
- Extra towels
- Stake and hammer
- Crate (optional)
- First aid kit (recommended)
- Tick removal tool (recommended)
- Life jacket (if swimming)
- Appropriate clothing, if necessary
If your dog wears his own backpack, be sure that it weighs no more than 25% of his body weight.
Check the weather forecast
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst by packing clothing and supplies for the types of weather you might face. Your dog may need extra blankets as well as a sweater, jacket or raincoat. Dog booties can help protect the paws from extreme heat or cold ice and snow.
For hot, sunny days, find a shady spot to set up camp and make sure your dog has a cool place to relax. Never leave your dog alone in a car, tent, or campsite.
Prevent parasites and familiarize yourself with other threats
Pests: It’s a good idea to use flea, tick, and heartworm preventives year-round. Additionally, pack some dog-friendly bug spray to ward off pesky critters.
Parasites: Regularly offer your pup fresh water to prevent him from potentially picking up a parasite like giardia from a puddle or creek.
Wildlife: Be cognizant of the environment in which you plan to camp and what types of threats you could face. These include poisonous plants, bears, snakes, and mountain lions. Develop a plan and be prepared, just in case you encounter one.
Keep hazardous human foods out of reach
Dogs that are normally well-behaved may think they can sneak some human foods when they are in a different setting. Lock away all of your potentially dangerous foods in a sturdy cooler to prevent a pet emergency.
Foods that are dangerous to dogs include: