Dog Camping Gear
Camping is not just a hobby anymore. For many of us, it's a way of life! Whether you're a first-time camper or a seasoned adventurer, if you have a dog, they'll love camping even more than you do.
This type of travel is one of the rare times when you don't have to change your plans to accommodate your furry friend. Camping is naturally perfect for canines--as long as you have the proper camping gear.
Camping With Dogs is a Different Experience
From insects to wildlife, dog camping can be dangerous if you're not prepared. Of course, there are the obvious tips, like keeping Fido on a harness at all times.
But there are lots of other things that dog owners can do ahead of time that will make their trip a barking success.
With a Pet, Always Be Prepared
If you're planning on camping with dogs in a tent, camper, or another shelter, this article explains the best camping gear you should purchase before you head out.
Basic Supplies for Road Trips
Planning the right gear for traveling with your dog starts out with some basic supplies. These are the items you'll need to carry with you through any activity you choose, whether it's hiking or sitting by the fireplace relaxing.
A few things are the essentials, like food and water; however, everything you do as a camper needs to be tweaked just a bit.
Upgrading to Camper-Style Supplies
Taking your dog with you into the great outdoors can be ruff if you didn't plan carefully. Use these tips before your next adventure to ensure your dog's comfort and your peace of mind.
You already planned to pack Fido dog food for the trip, but how were you storing it? Be sure to use a tightly sealed, waterproof container to keep bugs and other critters away.
Include a package of lightweight food that can be carried in a backpack if you're hiking.
Don't rely on the campgrounds to provide access to clean water. Bring your own filtered water, either in a water bottle form or gallon jugs.
If you have a camper or cabin on your campsite, having a water bowl for inside and one for outside is helpful. Collapsible dog bowls are ideal for hiking, tenting, and other lightweight camping trip needs.
Leashes are essential for the safety of your pup. Even the best-behaved dog can run off if they're scared or excited.
When you camp, you're going to be surrounded by wildlife. Snakes, bugs, and predators are all dangerous to a dog who is lost and terrified. Keep your pup on a leash attached to a collar or harness at all times.
When you're making your checklist of camping gear for dogs, make sure to add pick-up bags. Yes, you're in nature. No, that doesn't give you the excuse to leave your dog's poo on the ground.
Dogs Love Camping!
Your pet will adore the camping experience, even if you skip out on insulating their food and they end up with pond water. You, on the other hand, might not have the same attitude as your dog.
Instead of ending up frustrated and stressed on your trip, upgrade your basic supplies to make them camping friendly.
Dog Safety 101
We've already touched on the dangers to a pet in the great outdoors. Keeping your pup on a leash is one way to increase their safety. These other tips and gear will add some extra protection.
Safety Gear for Dogs
An excited, hurt, or scared dog might react unexpectedly. Your job as a dog owner is to keep your pup under your control at all times. This isn't because it's campground policy. It's because if your dog leaves your sight, it could end up in danger.
These safety tips and items should go with you everywhere you and Fido go:
A first aid kit
A dog first aid kit is going to be a bit different than a human variety. Both human and canine kits must be water-resistant. From there, the similarities change.
Look for a kit that has gauze, non-stick bandages, and adhesive tape to cover up cuts. Cotton balls, hydrogen peroxide, and an antibiotic ointment or spray help protect your pup from germs.
An extra water bottle and sealed dog food help if you end up lost. Consider keeping some appropriate dog pain meds and instructions for giving them to Fido based on body weight.
Doggy hiking boots
Most dogs hate shoes at first. It's understandable. With a shoe, they can't use their paws to feel the ground, and that's scary.
Still, if you're taking your pup with you on a hike or a walk while you're camping, they need paw protection. The ground is full of things that could poke, bite, or trip your dog.
Hiking boots, like those from Walkee Paws, offer protection from bites and pokes. They give your pup more stability on rough ground, and the additional insulation keeps Fido warm in cold weather.
Dog eyewear is another crucial part of camping safety gear. Road trips that take you to windy, bright, or dusty places are hard on your eyes, but you know how to keep your face sheltered.
Your pet, on the other hand, is stuck dealing with the stinging, blinding sensations. Sunglasses with UV protection for pets go on like goggles and wrap around your dog's head.
A proper dog collar
Your dog's collar must be secure enough that they can't slip through it. However, if it's too tight, it can seriously injure your pup.
Imagine if you're walking through the woods at night and Fido runs off the trail. A quick yank on the collar will get him back to you, but the damage to his throat and larynx may be severe.
Ruffwear makes a slackline leash that attaches to the collar and clips to your belt or a secure post. The way it's designed, your dog can run safely without pulling too tight, and you can deal with the necessities of camp life without Fido attached to your side.
Flea and tick meds
Parasites are a major concern in many parts of the country. Keep your dog safe with preventive medication. Pack tweezers just in case you see a tick on them and remove it as soon as you can.
General Safety Concerns
As you think about the gear you need to purchase for your trip, put the safety of your dog first. You might want to invest in a harness with reflective trim so if your dog does go off the trail or campsite, it's easier to find them.
Cold surfaces can chap your pup's paws and walking through the outdoors is hard on their bodies. But if you're going to be exploring, you need light items that fit in your bag. Don't skimp on the protective boots. They'll be in your bag for a little while, but when Fido's hiking, they'll be on his feet!
Be Safe and Travel Light
Each of these safety gear items must be included when you pack if you're camping with dogs. The good news is that it's easy to find camper-friendly versions that slide in the backpack next to your tent and still keep your bag light.
A campsite isn't going to be a five-star hotel. However, there are ways you can include gear that switches the experience from a "bare bachelor pad" to a comfortable and convenient getaway.
First of all, plan for the weather when you pack. Extreme cold and hot temperatures will require different gear, and the type of lodging you'll be staying in determines how much and what you bring, too.
If you're in a tent, for instance, you're limited on the bags you can have. You'll need those collapsible dishes, for sure. But a cabin or camper gives you more room to spread out and makes it a little easier to bring in modern conveniences.
Camp Cold or Warm
Dogs have fur that helps regulate their body temperatures, but they'll still need a dog bed and sleeping bag. After a full day of hiking and exploring, you'll both be ready to get some solid z's.
Your pet relies on you to shelter them from hot and cold weather with a proper sleeping bag or dog bed. Look for one that is machine washable, but cools your pup down in hot weather or warms them when it's chilly.
Beds made from closed cell foam are lightweight and perfect for camping. In cold weather, a blanket with an integrated pad sleeve keeps Fido extra toasty. If your furry family member sleeps in your bed, be careful not to let them stay on top of the blankets and keep them bundled up on chilly nights.
Stash pockets for storing treats and a clean-up bag, and a leash with a padded handle are bonus features to look for.
Another cool safety feature is the Nite ize Nite Howl LED rechargeable necklace that makes your dog easy to find in the dark. It lights up like a glow-stick, a great tool to prevent your pup from getting lost for too long.
If you're hiking, it's important that you find a bag to carry your gear in that won't be too heavy. If you have a bigger dog, she can keep her own food and water in a cotton or canvas bag. She'll feel proud to be helpful!
Cold or Hot, Pack Right for Your Dog
You know if you plan on staying cozy by the fireplace or heading to the nearest trail on your trip. What you pack should reflect how adventurous you're going to be.
Cold and heat are both equally dangerous to Fido and you. Packing your clothes, food, and safety equipment is something you do without thinking too hard about it. But your dog relies on you to pack them what they'll need.
Whatever explorations you want to bring Fido along on, be sure you pack your stuff to make the experience a safe, enjoyable one!