Tips for camping with dogs

How to have a great camping trip with your dog

Camping and spending quality time outdoors is a great way to relax and get some fresh air. But you know what would make it even better? Bringing your furry friend along for the fun. To ensure that both you and your pooch have a great time, take a look through some tips to help prepare you for anything that may come your way during your adventure.


Things to consider for your trip


Find a dog-friendly campsite

For starters, you’ll want to find a pet-friendly campsite. Not all campsites allow guests to bring animals, so it’s best to verify with management ahead of time. Information can often be found online, or you can call the campsite directly. The Cultus Lake Provincial Park in Brish Columbia is known for being a popular place for camping with dogs.


Look through your campsite’s rules

If your campsite is pet-friendly, it can’t hurt to give the site’s pet rules a once-over before you go. It may have specific pet policies around pet fees, dogs being on a leash, or only allowing certain dog breeds and sizes on the premises.


Remember to clean up after your pet

A good rule of thumb when spending time in nature is to leave no trace – as in, you should clean up after yourself and your furry friend. Always bring plenty of bags to pick up your dog’s waste and toss any packaging from food or treats.


Keep your eyes open for trash cans

While you might not have a designated trash can at your individual campsite, the campground itself will definitely have other cans you can use. Once you arrive, locate the one closest to your site so you know exactly where to throw away your pet’s waste.


Securely store your food

This is a big one: Be sure to securely store both human and pet food to avoid attracting any unwanted creatures. The last thing you want is for a predator to stop for a snack at your site.


Double check your packing list

Camping with dogs requires packing plenty of food, water, bowls, a leash, booties (to protect your dog’s feet), a coat (for cooler temps), a cooling collar and a first-aid kit.


Bring a big, comfy tent

Snuggle up with your pup under the stars with a tent that has enough room for both of you to sleep comfortably.


Research nearby hiking trails

Would it really be camping if you didn’t go for a scenic hike with your pup? Campsites often have many hiking trails nearby, so look for one that is dog-friendly and embark on a relaxing walk for an hour or two. For inspo, check out Jasper National Park in Alberta which has many different trails in the vicinity.


Decide which route to take

To keep your pet from getting overworked, seek out a hiking trail that is an appropriate difficulty level for both of you. If they aren’t used to hiking, we’d steer clear of more challenging hikes to avoid exhaustion or injury. You can also check out the trail’s rating before you set off on your adventure to see what others thought of the hike.


Chaperone your pup

Make sure to have eyes on your dog at all times when you bring them camping. While camping is a fun and enjoyable experience, there are new hazards that your pet may be exposed to, such as wildlife. Watching them diligently will help keep them as safe as possible.


Keep your dog on a leash

Keeping your dog on a leash as often as possible will make it easier for you to have control and can help prevent any dangerous situations.


Visit the vet before you go

It can’t hurt to check in with your vet and explain that you plan on bringing your dog camping. Remember to ask your vet if your pet has any special needs or if there are things that you should keep in mind during your trip. For example, some breeds are particularly prone to overheating, and your vet can coach you on how to best keep your furry friend cool during warm days.


Check that your pet’s vaccinations and treatments are up to date

While you’re at the vet, check to see if your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. This is a good opportunity to get them any shots or treatments that your dog may need before spending an extended period in nature. When exposed to new wildlife, it’s always best to play it safe.


Bring plenty of toys

While there is plenty to do while camping, it also comes with plenty of downtime. To make sure that both you and your pet stay entertained during your trip, pack a few of their favorite toys. Toys will also help you take advantage of the open space that is sure to be near your campground, so your pooch can stretch their legs while chasing a tennis ball.


Have a trial run

If you have never gone camping with dogs, you may not want your first trip to be a seven-day-long sojourn. If it’s your first time being away with them, there’s a chance you may forget an important item or two. Instead, make your first trip a short one, and opt for somewhere that is not too far from home.


Watch out for wildlife

As you’ll be spending time in nature, there’s a fair chance that you will come across some wildlife. Keep an eye and an ear out for other animals and foreign plants, and make sure to do a tick check on your pup after you return home.


Brush up on your pet’s training

To help you and your dog stay safe, make sure that your pooch is properly trained before taking them camping. Commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come” will end up being quite important in preventing potentially dangerous situations. Making sure that your dog is trained will also help you be respectful of the surrounding area – we are all guests that are spending time in the home of these species.


How to find campgrounds and RVs on KAYAK

To easily find a nice campground or RV for you to stay at during your trip, kick off a search on KAYAK. Simply apply the “unique stays” filter to see RVs, campgrounds, holiday parks and other stays to match your trip.

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