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Fetch The Sun's Essential Guide to Camping With Your Dog

Updated: May 21

Little dog going into a tent at a campground

Embrace Mother Nature's wonders with your dog by going on an outdoor camping adventure! Camping with your dog is an experience like no other and an ideal way to spend time and create memories together. But before heading out into the wilderness, however, it's essential to be prepared! Make sure to obtain all the necessary supplies in advance and bring enough food, snacks, and water for you and your dog.

Always consult your physician and veterinarian before any strenuous and/or high-risk activities. This content is not medical advice and should not replace consultation with a physician or veterinarian.


The Many Benefits of Camping With Your Dog

Being in the beauty of nature together is something that's truly incredible. If you choose to go camping with your dog, you're more-than-likely to gain much more than memorable moments, because there are serious benefits to having your pup by your side!

Physical Exercise

-Camp set up -Hikes up hilly terrain -Run along trails

Mental Stimulation

-Camping requires us to be fully present and put our devices down for a moment -Explore new places -Breathe in fresh air -Enjoy the silence and sounds of nature

Bonding with your dog

-Enjoy one-on-one time -Camping fosters people-to-pet relationships


-Meet new people and dogs

Reduce Stress

-Being out in nature has been shown to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation -Peaceful surroundings of a camping trip can have a calming effect on both you and your dog


Preparation Tips for Camping With Your Dog

Small dog in a tent

It's important to research and choose the right campground for you and your dog. Unfortunately, not all campgrounds are dog-friendly, so you'll need to find one that welcomes both you and your pup. Properly packing the required supplies for your dog is essential for a successful camping trip. Along with your own camping gear, don't forget to include items specifically for your dog. When exploring nature with your dog, safety should be a top priority and you should also check the weather and terrain when planning your dates. It's also essential to train your dog before going on a camping trip as basic obedience training will come in handy when navigating the campground. In this chapter, we will cover all of these topics.

Recommended Gear for Camping With Your Dog

Aside from the basic camping gear such as a tent, sleeping bag, and cooking supplies, there are specific items that you will need for your dog. Here's a short list of essential gear to consider packing before you and your pup head out the door.

This is by means an exhaustive list and every dog will have different needs.

Collar with identification tags

Leash and harness

Poop bags

First aid kit

Comfortable bed and/or blanket

Food, water, and snacks

Toys and treats

Cell phone

Dog's medication (if applicable)

Tick, mosquito, and flea prevention


Find Dog Friendly Campgrounds

Dog hanging out at a campground

When planning for a camping trip, location is key. Look for dog-friendly campsites that will welcome your pup(s). Many national parks and campgrounds allow dogs, but it's always best to check beforehand and almost every campground (public and private) have websites that usually tell you on the homepage if they're pet friendly.

If the campground is dog-friendly, keep in mind any specific rules and regulations regarding them within the campgrounds, such as leash laws, size restrictions, and quiet hours. Before heading out, make sure to research the area for any potential hazards or restrictions that may affect your dog's safety and enjoyment.

In addition to using the campgrounds' websites to see if they're dog friendly, there are other sites that will show you all dog-friendly campsites and trails within a predefined radius. BringFido is an amazing resource that allows you to filter your search for campgrounds that welcome dogs and provide important information such as amenities, restrictions, and reviews from other pet owners (super important to read what others are saying). Lastly, don't be afraid to ask the campground or park officials about their pet policies and recommendations. They can provide valuable information and even suggest specific areas within the park that are suitable for dogs. Remember, the more prepared you are, the better your camping trip will be!

If you're in, or going to the Southern California area, check out our blog on dog-friendly campgrounds in San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles. The link is in the Learn More section below.

Safety Tips and Considerations When Camping With Your Dog

Bring enough water for your dog: It's crucial to keep your dog hydrated while camping, especially if you plan on doing any physical activities. Bring enough water for both yourself and your pup.

Keep an eye on the weather: Be aware of any potential weather changes and plan accordingly. Extreme temperatures, thunderstorms, or heavy rain can affect your dog's safety and comfort.

Always keep your dog on a leash: Even the most well-behaved dogs can get excited or distracted in new environments. Keeping them leashed can help prevent them from wandering off, getting into dangerous situations, or disturbing other campers.

Watch out for wildlife: While camping, you and your dog may encounter various types of wildlife. Make sure to keep a safe distance and never let your dog chase or approach wild animals. This can be dangerous for you, your dog, and the wildlife.

Be considerate of other campers: Some people may not be comfortable around dogs, so it's important to respect their space and follow campground rules regarding pets. Also, make sure to clean up after your dog and properly dispose of waste.

Consider your dog's behavior: Before taking your dog on a camping trip, make sure they are well-behaved and obedient. If your dog tends to be aggressive or have behavioral issues, it's best to leave them at home for their safety and the safety of others.

Before venturing into the great outdoors, ensure that your dog is up to date on all vaccinations and get the ok from their vet.

Beware of toxic plants: Some plants, such as poison ivy, poison oak, and cacti, can be harmful to dogs. Keep an eye out for these plants and steer your dog away from them.

Make sure to have a backup plan in case of any emergencies with your dog. This includes having a first aid kit, emergency contacts, and nearby veterinary clinics.

Training Tips for Camping With Your Dog

Dog being well behaved and sitting on a chair looking into the woods

Training your dog before taking them on a camping trip is essential. A well-trained dog will be better prepared to handle the potential distractions and new experiences that come with camping. This includes teaching basic commands such as sit, stay, and come when called. Also, socialization beforehand is important - ensuring that your dog is comfortable and happy around other people and dogs in new environments is also of utmost importance for an enjoyable and successful camping experience.

Make sure you're continuing to use positive reinforcemnet training, bring along plenty of treats as rewards for good behavior and lots of toys for playtime with you or for other four-legged buddies you meet along the way. When camping with your dog, it’s important to be consistent and patient with their training so that they are well-behaved in new environments.

Additionally, you should familiarize your dog with the camping gear you'll be using befirehand. Before heading out, introduce your pup to the tents, sleeping bags/blankets/dog beds, and any other gear. This will help them get used to these items and reduce any potential anxiety or discomfort when using them during the trip.

Be mindful of noise levels. Campgrounds can get crowded and noisy, which may be overwhelming for some dogs. If your dog is sensitive to loud noises, such as fireworks or thunderstorms, consider using calming treats to help keep them calm and relaxed.

You can even do a trail run by practicing in your backyard. Before going on a longer camping trip, consider practicing with a shorter trip in your own backyard. This will help identify any potential issues or concerns and allow you to make necessary adjustments before heading out into the wilderness.


Things To Do When Camping With Your Dog

Dog sitting by a campfire

Exploring nature and enjoying outdoor activities with your dog is a fantastic way to make the most of your camping trip. I know it's hard, but try to resist the urge to constantly pick up your phone, or go on your laptop. Luckily, many dog-friendly campgrounds offer scenic trails where you can both immerse yourselves in nature on the trails.

Two large Huskies standing on a log

WATER ACTIVITIES: Nothing beats the thrill of swimming and boating amidst nature's beauty. If you're lucky enough to find yourself at a campground near water, consider taking a dip in freshwater lakes or hop on a boat (if available) for some fun. It's not just a great way to beat the heat, but your dog will also enjoy cooling off. Remember to bring a secure life jacket for your dog to ensure their safety.

GEOCACHING: Download the Geocaching app. This treasure hunt adds an element of mystery to your trip. Imagine the thrill of finding hidden treasures around your campsite with your dog by your side.

CAMPFIRES: The campfire is the perfect place to unwind and bond with your dog. Make sure they have a cozy cushioned area to relax in, and don't forget to sprinkle some treats to add to their adventure!

Some other fun things to do include playing frisbee or fetch, teaching your dog new tricks, and taking scenic hikes with them by your side. Don't forget to bring along some dog-friendly toys and games to keep them entertained during downtime at the campsite.


Try Camping With Your Dog Today

We hope we've given you a better idea of what it takes to plan a camping trip with your dog. Remember, the most important thing is that both you and your pup have an enjoyable time in nature! If you follow these tips and do your research on dog-friendly campgrounds ahead of time, you two will be ready for an unforgettable journey into the wild. Happy camping!

Learn More

Live in Southern California, or planning a visit? If so, check out our article on some dog-friendly campsites in and around San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

Heading to Sedona, check out our blog post on Manzanita Campground.

Be the Best Dressed at the Campsite

A couple and their dog wearing matching teal camping shirts by Fetch The Sun

Check out our line ot teal, Tails on the Trails, hiking shirts. Made from 100% organic cotton, these tees are made for the great outdoors but perfect for everyday wear.

  • Sizes for women, men, and dogs

  • Easy care, machine washable

  • All sales support animal rescue

Frequently Asked Questions About Camping With Your Dog

Q: Are all campgrounds dog-friendly?

A: No, not all campgrounds allow dogs. It's important to research and confirm that the campground you plan on visiting is pet-friendly before making reservations.

Q: How do I know if my dog can handle camping?

A: Your dog should be well-behaved, obedient, and comfortable around other people and dogs before taking them on a camping trip. If your dog has behavioral issues or is easily overwhelmed by new environments, it's best to leave them at home.

Q: Can I take my dog hiking with me?

A: Yes, many campgrounds have scenic hiking trails nearby that are perfect for exploring with your dog. Just make sure to follow proper trail etiquette and keep your pup on a leash to ensure their safety and the safety of other hikers.

Q: What should I do if my dog gets injured while camping?

A: It's always a good idea to have a first aid kit specifically for your dog on hand. If your dog suffers from any injuries, it's best to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. In case of emergencies, make sure you have the contact information for a local veterinarian in the area you are camping. 

Q: Can I take my dog boating?

A: Yes, but it's essential to have proper safety measures in place. Make sure your dog has a secure life jacket and keep an eye on them while out on the water. Some dogs may not enjoy boating, so it's best to test the waters (literally!) with shorter trips before planning a longer excursion. 


Check Out Our Full Adventure Guide

Pug on a skateboard

We hope this chapter on camping has been benefical to you! Check out our Adventure Guide for more topics related to enjoying the great outdoors with our best furry buds! From hiking, to swimming, to surfing, we cover it all.


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