Tips For Camping With A Dog

You’ve decided to go on a camping trip this summer, but you can’t go without your dog. Camping with a dog can be difficult given the right tools, but it is certainly possible. You just need to camp smart. To make sure you have everything you need on your camping trip, check out our list of tips for camping with a dog.

Can you imagine the perfect camping trip? It’s your favorite warm weather, a canvas tent, and the woods.   And then there is a dog! This post is going to give you some great tips of how to have a fun and exciting camping trip with your pup!

We can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend than hanging out with your dog and enjoying the great outdoors. But if you’re new to camping or simply want to make sure you do it right, here are some tips for camping with your dog:

  1. Dogs need vaccinations against common diseases like rabies, distemper, parvo virus and kennel cough. Make sure that your dog is up-to-date on these vaccinations before going out into the woods.
  2. Your dog will probably try to eat everything in sight when he’s out of the house, so make sure that he’s on a leash at all times while you’re camping. This will help keep him away from things he shouldn’t be eating (like poison ivy) as well as help prevent him from running away if he gets frightened by something (like a bear).
  3. Bring along plenty of water for both yourself and your dog. Dogs can get thirsty too! If they get dehydrated they might suffer from heat exhaustion or even heat stroke if left untreated long enough during hot summer days without shade or air conditioning systems nearby at home

Camping is a great way to get away from it all, but if you’re traveling with your dog, you might want to take a few extra precautions.

A dog can get dehydrated quickly in hot weather, so make sure they have access to water at all times. You can also add Pedialyte or Gatorade to their water to help with dehydration, but make sure not to give them too much at once—it’s better for their stomach if they drink a little bit at a time throughout the day.

Also make sure that your dog has some shade—they don’t sweat like humans do, and can become overheated quickly. If possible, try setting up camp near some trees where your dog can find shelter from the sun.

If you’re camping in bear country (which means pretty much everywhere), keep food sealed up in a bear-proof container. Don’t leave any food out where it could attract wild animals—even if it’s just for a minute!

Make sure that all of your gear is secured properly when camping with dogs. It’s easy for them to chew through straps or break into coolers and bags where food might be stored; make sure everything is tightly closed and locked down before going out on

Tips For Camping With A Dog

When it comes to camping, we are a family divided. On the one hand, Teddy, our 1.5-year-old rescue dog, and I love the great outdoors, bug bites, sleeping on a slightly deflated air-mattress and all. On the other hand, my partner and our 10-year-old dog, Bear, prefer the air-conditioning and high thread-count sheets that come with a luxury hotel stay. 

Recently, due to COVID-19 and uncertainty around the safety of travel, I’ve talked my partner into enjoying more of the great outdoors and taking our dogs on nearby camping trips

It appears we aren’t alone. According to a recently released COVID-19 edition of the annual North American Camping Report, camping has not only increased in popularity this year, but advanced deposits for September and October are now outpacing 2019 among more than 500 KOA campgrounds across the country.

However, if you plan to camp with your dogs for the first time, there’s a lot you need to consider. 

“Camping with your furry family members is a lot of fun, but being prepared will make the experience even more enjoyable and allow you to focus on making memories rather than scrambling to find items you may have forgotten to bring,” says Renee Klenert, who volunteers for New York-based non-profit Pug Squad and helps organize an annual weekend camping event called Pug Camp.

Of course, before you make any travel plans, be sure to read up on CDC guidelines, as well and local and state guidelines where your specific campsite is. We always recommend practicing safe social distancing, hand washing, and wearing a mask in any common areas you encounter. It’s also worth noting that while camping does seem to provide a safe alternative to staying in a hotel or resort right now, you should still exercise caution in comfort areas and other communal camping spots.

Read on for expert advice on what to know before you go camping with your dog, plus the best dog-friendly campsites and great camping gear for pets.

What to consider when camping with a dog

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Make sure where you’re headed is pet-friendly

This may seem obvious, but some people wrongly assume that because it’s outdoors, campsites are all pet-friendly. While every campsite operates differently, many require you to keep your pets leashed at all times among other rules and regulations.

Be sure to do your research to find pet-friendly campgrounds. It doesn’t hurt to call ahead and double check either. Klenert also recommends checking on things like additional fees that might apply if you bring a pet, as well as how many dogs are allowed in each cabin or campsite. 

Get your dog up to date on vaccines

“The first thing you should do is research each camp’s specific pet policies and know if they require you to bring vet records that show your dog has the required vaccinations,” Klenert said. “It’s always a good idea to have a copy of these in your glove compartment.” 

Vet and expert Dr. Karie Johnson agrees. “All dogs should be up to date on their distemper, parvovirus, rabies and adenovirus vaccines,” she says. “These can be transferred from wildlife or from the environment.” 

If you plan to camp in a wooded area, Dr. Johnson also suggests being up to date on leptospirosis and/or Lyme vaccines. “Have your dog on heartworm as well as flea/tick prevention to keep them safe from bugs as well,” she adds. 

Be a good neighbor 

This one should go without saying, but it needs to be said anyway, and it’s extra important when bringing pets. 

Be courteous to other campers and keep dogs close and on a leash for their safety and the safety of others. Don’t forget there are often wild animals around campsites and unpredictable situations can arise quickly.


Prepare for emergencies

Sometimes bad things happen on vacation, but there are some things you can do ahead of time to avoid potential catastrophes. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but having a pet first aid kit is never a bad idea just in case you’re not close to a vet or pharmacy. 

Dr. Johnson recommends checking the ASPCA list for items that should be out in your first aid kit.

Pack extra food and clean water

Klenert warned me that heat exhaustion can be life threatening to pets, so it’s important to pack extra food and water, especially if you’re going to be spending the bulk of your time outdoors.

And even if you’re headed somewhere with a lake or river nearby, you still need to bring clean water for your pooch. “I highly recommend only allowing your pet to drink filtered water,” says Dr. Johnson. “Otherwise you run the risk of them contracting bacteria or a parasite like giardia. They can get an upset stomach by drinking this water just like we can.” 

Check your dog for ticks 

In addition to having your dog on flea/tick prevention and up to date on Lyme vaccines, checking for ticks is a good habit, especially when you’re in a wooded area. The best way to do this is just to run your hands along your dog’s coat to check for anything suspicious and have a tick removal tool handy in case you need to pluck one out.

“I would suggest checking for ticks after every hike or walk, as well as every night and morning in case you missed one,” says Dr. Johnson. 

Why the need for such frequent checks? “The thing that is hard with tick-borne diseases is that your pet can get one transmitted to them and not show any symptoms for a long period of time. The faster a tick is taken off your pet the less chance of a disease being transmitted to them,” she notes. 

Doctor and Dog

The best dog-friendly campsites

With hundreds of thousands of campsites around the US, there’s no shortage of campsites and accommodation types to choose from for you and your pup. And, if camping with your dog in an RV or tent isn’t your thing, cabins, yurts, airstreams, and glamping options are all great alternatives. 

To get you started here are some of the best dog-friendly campsites across the US.

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, RV Campgrounds

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Set in the Hudson Valley, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Gardiner, New York borders the Wallkill River and is an especially good option for pets and families with young children due to the onsite waterpark, mini-golf, and lazy river among other amenities. The site also offers a variety of accommodations from premium cabins to RVs.

Other pet-friendly options from the same company include Jellystone Park Golden Valley in North Carolina and River Run RV Resort in Granby, Colorado.

Pro tip: These parks can be booked directly through online camping marketplace Campspot, which just teamed up with pet product site Anyone who books a pet-friendly campsite with Campspot gains access to deals and discounts on pet gear.

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) San Francisco North/Petaluma

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With more than 500-campsites across the US offering a range of accommodations from RV sites to glamping, Kampgrounds of America or (KOAs) offer some of the most pet-friendly campsites.

Chief among them is San Francisco North/Petaluma KOA in Petaluma, California. Campers can enjoy the outdoors while still being close to plenty of wineries, breweries, and iconic sites like the Golden Gate Bridge.

Other standout, pet-friendly KOAs include Bowling Green KOA in Kentucky, Tucson/Lazydays KOA Resort in Arizona, and Myrtle Beach KOA Resort South Carolina.

Four Paws Kingdom Campground & Dog Retreat

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Tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 4 Paws Kingdom Campground & Dog Retreat is the first “dog dedicated” campground. This North Carolina retreat has it all, from a fully-fenced in swimming pond to multiple off-leash play parks to a doggie bathhouse complete with grooming station. 

Not far from Rutherfordton, Emberglow Outdoor Resort offers an elevated camping experience for pets and their humans. Accommodation types here range from traditional camping to one-of-a-kind accommodations from treehouses to glamping pods.

Huttopia Southern Maine

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Best for couples or families looking for an upscale getaway, French glamping company Huttopia welcomes dogs of all breeds at all three of their locations. Not far from Kennebunkport, Huttopia Southern Maine offers a variety of dog-friendly accommodations including modern cabins and wood and canvas tents.

The sprawling property is situated near the South Coast of Maine, which is a particularly spectacular option for day trips with four-legged friends. Onsite, there is a heated pool, nature trails, playgrounds, canoes and SUPs, as well as activities for the whole family like ping pong and football.

Castaways RV Resort & Campground

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There are 150 Sun RV Resorts across the US and Canada, all of which are pet-friendly and offer everything from doggie obstacle courses to pet-friendly private beaches. Among the top-rated picks for pets, Castaways in Ocean City, Maryland has a dedicated portion of the beach just for dogs.  

The Resort At Paws Up

the resort at paws up

With a name like The Resort At Paws Up, it should come as no surprise that your four-legged friends are welcome. 

Set on 37,000 acres in Montana’s big sky country, this all-inclusive ranch offers everything from safari-style luxury glamping tents to log homes and cabins. Every August, The Resort at Paws Up transforms into a massive 37,000-acre dog park for their annual Canine Classic.

Throughout the rest of the year, pets are welcome in select accommodations for an additional fee of $50 per night, per pet.

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