Best Gear for Camping With Dogs: 9 Must Have Camping Products

Camping with dogs is a fantastic way to relax, unwind and unplug for a while. Spending time in nature with your best furry companion can be soothing for the soul and great for your bond. Dogs enjoy discovering new places and sniffing out new areas, which makes camping the perfect activity for physical and mental stimulation. In order to have a successful camping trip with your dog, you’ll want to be prepared. Let’s start with 9 must have products for camping with a dog.

9 Must Have Products for Camping With a Dog

Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned camper, it’s never good to set up camp at your destination only to realize you forgot something. Of course when you’re enjoying an adventure with your dog they are at the forefront of your priority list. Before heading out, be sure you double check this dog camping checklist to make sure you have all the necessities for your pup!

Two Sets of ID Tags

Losing your dog on a hiking or camping trip is a pet parent’s worst nightmare. Before even getting to your campsite, equip your dog with updated ID tags and microchip information. But one current set of ID tags isn’t enough. Bring a spare set in case they get ripped off or lost. When you’re out in the wilderness almost anything can possibly cause your dog’s ID tags or collar to end up as a part of the mountains. Although it may be cool for people to come across the ancient artifact in 300 years, it’s not ideal for you and your dog.

You may also want to consider a special set of tags for your camping trip. Purchase tags made from a durable material, and engrave them with information like the make and model of your vehicle plus license plate number. This way if your dog gets lost around the campsite area, someone can return the dog to the car.

Extra Leash and Collar

Much like you need two sets of ID tags when camping with your dog, you’ll also want to pack an extra leash and collar or harness. These basic but necessary items can be lost in the fray, broken from the trees, sucked into a river or just disappear among your campsite. Have extras handy in a safe place where they are easily accessible. Plus you never know when you come across a stray dog who needs help finding their way home. You’ll be prepared with an extra leash and collar.

Collapsible Dog Bowls

When camping with your dog, the list of must-haves can seem to become endless. Your car will fill up quickly. That’s where collapsible dog bowls come in handy. Collapsible bowls for your pup’s food and water don’t take up much space and they can easily be handled on a hike or kayak down the river. They are also easy to clean and durable for rougher conditions.

Portable Dog Cot

When camping with your dog, comfort is not just important for you – your dog deserves to be comfortable too! It’s especially necessary if you have a senior dog, or the conditions are wet and extremely cold. A cot is great to put inside your tent so your dog doesn’t have to sleep on the ground but you can also use it during the day so your pup can lounge in the sun. The Carlson Elevated Pet Cot collapses for easy travel and storage. It also comes with a convenient carrying case. The Carlson portable cot isn’t stiff, making it an excellent choice for senior dogs or pups with joint discomfort.

Dog Sleeping Bag

Don’t forget your dog’s sleeping bag! A dog sleeping bag will ensure your dog is feeling secure and warm for those chilly nights. Plop it on your dog’s cot, and they will be camping in luxury. A sleeping bag will also protect your dog from bugs. Pick up the Ruffwear Highlands Sleeping Bag for Dogs for maximum insulation, warmth and comfort. Of course it won’t hurt to pack extra blankets for a super cozy experience!

Microfiber Dog Towel

If your dog enjoys swimming, digging in mud or laying in dirt, a microfiber dog towel is a must-have for your camping trip. You need to dry off your dog if they get wet so they don’t get cold or sick. If you want your dog to snuggle in your sleeping bag or on your lap for a bonfire, wipe them free of dirt or mud beforehand. A microfiber dog towel will soak up any water or gunk more effectively than a regular towel. The PackTowl Luxe Microfiber Towel is a great option for camping with dogs. It feels softer than a traditional microfiber towel and it soaks up to five times its weight in water. It is available in a variety of sizes and colors.

Dog First Aid Kit

At the top of your packing list for camping with dogs should be a first aid kit. You can choose to purchase a premade dog first aid kit, like this 45 piece FDA approved pet aid bag, or you can build your own. And don’t forget to pack first aid items for yourself.

Long Line

A long line is basically a super long leash. You can attach it to your dog and secure it to your campsite so your dog will be able to enjoy the general area around your tent without going too far. Long lines are also great for kayaking in case your dog falls in the water and you can pull them back in. Long lines are available in a variety of lengths up to 200ft! Just make sure the one you choose is secure enough for your dog. A simple cotton long line may be great for a Chihuahua, but not so effective for a Border Collie who likes to challenge boundaries. This Signature K9 Biothane military grade long line is secure, strong and comfortable.

Dog Jacket

A dog jacket will be especially helpful in cold weather, rain and snow. Hurtta makes a plethora of quality jackets and body suits for dogs. For camping with dogs, the Hurtta Summit Parka is a solid option for dogs of all sizes. It protects against wind, rain and snow. The parka is easy to put on your dog and adjust. Don’t worry – the Hurtta Summit Park is waterproof, and there’s an element of safety with reflective trim.

Waste Bags

Don’t be “that guy.” Bring plenty of waste bags to clean up after your dog. Remember to properly dispose of it after your trip. Don’t leave your dog’s poo for someone else to clean up.

Tips for Camping With Dogs

  • Allow your dog to get used to the gear – If your dog is new to camping, let them check out all of the camping supplies before hitting up the campground. Use positive reinforcement (lots of treats and praise) to get your dog comfortable in their new jacket and sleeping bag. Set up the tent in your home or backyard and treat your dog for going inside of it. If you have any other new items that your dog may not be used to, such as a head lamp, practice at home with those too.
  • Be sure your dog is healthy enough to camp – It’s always a good idea to visit your veterinarian before going on an adventure with your dog. If camping with your dog will include hikes through rough terrain, you will want to be sure your dog is healthy enough to endure it. You may also want to bring vaccination records with you in case there’s an emergency and you have to make your way to a nearby emergency vet.
  • Double check your dog camping checklist – Have you packed all of the necessities? Is there a store you can go to near the campsite if you forgot something? Make your dog camping checklist and check it twice before heading out!
  • Check campground rules and regulations – Some campgrounds don’t allow dogs. Wherever you are going, check all laws, rules and regulations before committing to a spot. You don’t want to show up to a place that won’t allow your dog. Remember that some National Parks don’t allow dogs on specific trails or at all. It’s best to be prepared. Often times the campground website will clearly state if it’s dog-friendly.
  • Bring a stake for that long line – In case there isn’t a secure tree you can secure your dog’s long line to, bring an extra stake for it. And of course you’ll need a tool to secure the stake in the ground.
  • Brings toys and chews for downtime. – If you are relaxing near your tent and enjoying the scenery, your dog may need a little something extra to keep them occupied (assuming they aren’t tuckered out from your activities). Bring toys to play fetch or tug, and pack healthy chews so they can stay busy while you’re cooking or setting up your tent area.
  • Pack dog-friendly bug repellent – Mosquitoes and other bugs may be tempted to eat you and your dog alive when camping. Avoid this by arming yourself with bug repellent and bringing a pet-friendly version for your dog. Camping with your dog can easily become a nightmare if you are being attacked by pests.

Camping With Dogs FAQ

How do I keep my dog warm while camping?

There are several ways to keep your dog warm while camping. The best options are the insulated jacket and sleeping bag mentioned above. Build a cozy campfire for warmth at your campsite, but watch your dog carefully around it. You and your dog will stay warm if you cozy up together in your tent. You can also purchase a wireless portable heating pad!

How do I keep my dog cool while camping?

If you’re camping with your dog during a warmer time of year, you’ll need to keep your dog nice and cool. Bring plenty of water to keep them hydrated, and wipe them down with a cool, damp cloth. You can also wrap a cold bandana around their neck.

If you’re going on a hike or don’t have access to a river or lake for your dog to go swimming, bring a cooling vest like this Jet-Stream High Performance Vest from Ruffwear. All you have to do with the Ruffwear cooling vest is wet it down. The outer layer of the vest reflects heat and the middle layer stores water for evaporative cooling. It’s secure, light and comfortable for even the most intense activities.

Another option for keeping your dog cool while camping is a cooling mat. A cooling mat is great for use at your campground, on your dog’s cot or in the tent. The Arf Pets Self Cooling Mat provides up to 3 hours of cooling at time. Cooling mats are easy to pack and store.

What should be in my pet first aid kit?

Your dog first aid kit should include the following items:

  • Gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Ice pack
  • Disposable gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Cotton balls
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide in case you need to induce vomiting (consult your veterinarian)
  • Oral syringe
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Flashlight
  • Towels
  • Saline eye solution
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Scissors
  • Kid’s Benadryl for allergic reactions
  • Contact information for ASPCA poison control and an emergency veterinarian

When camping with your dog, stay together and have fun! You are sure to make lots of memories, and remember to take photos so you can document your trip. Show up prepared with these dog camping tips, and enjoy your travels. Happy camping!

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