7 Tips for Camping with Your Dog for the First Time

This is a guest post from Roger Dutta

If you are planning to go hiking and camping with your dog for the first time, there’s a lot to know.

Camping is an outdoor activity that you can enjoy with your whole family, including your four-legged family members. Most families with dogs would not imagine going camping without them.

Luckily, many camping sites allow you to take your dog with you. While there are some processes involved if you want your dog to accompany you at the camping site, the process is usually straightforward.

Sleeping outdoors introduces new experiences for your dog. Before heading out with your dog, be sure to go through the tips below. They will let you know important information about camping with dogs, and help you in ensuring that you’ve carried all the gear you need for camping with dogs. Read on and learn more.

Camping with Your Dog

1. Practice at Home First

Dogs are sensitive to new experiences and so making sure they will love them is vital for a successful camping experience. Dogs are used to sleeping in a room, on a bed, in a calm and familiar place.

Set up your tent in your house so that your dog can explore. You can encourage them by rewarding them when they approach and get inside.

Once you’re convinced that they are comfortable, you can try a backyard camp out. This will make your dog learn to sleep outside and get familiar with nighttime noises. You’d surely not want your dog to keep growling and barking all night at every sound they hear.

2. Bring a First Aid Kit

You’ll only have a successful trip if you are well prepared. While it’s unlikely that something will go wrong and that someone will get hurt, it is good to have a first aid kit just in case something happens.

Be sure that your first aid kit has both human and dog supplies before going camping, to keep both yourself and your dog well.

3. Treat Your Dog for Ticks and Flies

Campsites are filled with ticks, flies, and mosquitoes that can cause irritation to your dog’s skin and possibly cause diseases. While your dogs should always have tick and flea protection at all times, it is especially crucial when you’re taking them to camp.

In this case, you can use a spot-on flea treatment that spreads throughout their entire body to provide a uniform protection. Flea sprays and other topical preventions often fade and can produce inconsistent results.

4. Stick to Your Dog’s Schedule

It is important to stick to your dog’s schedule during camping. Ensure that the time that you take your dog for a walk, mealtime, and potty breaks is the same as the time you do them at home.

Most dogs know when it’s breakfast time and can even alert you when you’re late for your dinner. Sticking to a schedule that your dog is used to will help create a sense of normalcy, even when in unfamiliar environments.

5. Carry Fresh Water and Food

You and your dog will need to stay hydrated, but it is easier to regulate your own thirst than your dog. You should always have fresh water for your dog.

Dog with Water Bowl
Make sure your dog has access to fresh, clean water

Many popular campsites will provide drinking water, but if you and your dog are camping somewhere without water, you’ll need to park several gallons of water in your vehicle or come with a water filter, if you’re backpacking.

Depending on whether you’re backpacking or car camping, you’ll carry your meal differently. If car camping, you can pack your dog’s food in a resealable container to keep them from getting upset while driving to the camp.

If you’re hiking, you’ll need to measure out the exact amount that you need, and an extra amount if the unlikely happens. After sealing the bag, you can make your dog carry some of the load in a dog pack if they are used to doing so.

Before going to bed, remember to keep your dog’s food in a safe place to avoid attracting wild animals to the site.

6. Update Pet Identification

Your dog can sometimes get out of your sight at the camping site. Ensure that your dog has a tag with your cell number where you can be reached.

If applicable, use your campsite number to create temporary tags. You can also add a microchip or a GPS collar to ensure that your pet is reunited to you.

7. Consider the Weather

While you can go camping at any time of the year, if it’s the first time you’re taking your dog, consider planning it when the weather is favorable. Your dog is likely to enjoy sunshine as opposed to thunderstorms and snow.

A little rain will not, however, cause harm, but you should avoid extreme weather conditions such as extreme cold or heat.

Grand Canyon Woman Sitting with Dog
Camping will be more fun for everyone in favorable weather

Enjoy your first camping trip along with your pup!

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Camping with Your Dog

4 thoughts on “7 Tips for Camping with Your Dog for the First Time”

  1. You’ve listed some really nice tips here. Thanks for sharing. It’s also very important to make your choice of the campsite is dog-friendly. I believe this site already has a lot of those.

  2. All dog lovers love to camping with his or her dog. I am also one of them. I really love my dog so much. Your article inspire me more to go camping with my dog next time. Thanks for sharing with us. I think this article helps everyone.


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