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Tips for Tent Camping With Dogs

Photo by RossHelen via iStock

Tent camping with dogs is one of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors with your furry friends. However, it can also be a daunting task – not only do you have to make sure you take everything you need, but you also have to account for your dog’s needs.

That’s why we’ve compiled some tips and tricks to help you have a successful and enjoyable camping trip with your pups…

Below are just a few things to think about as you prepare for the camping season with your best four-legged buddy!

Table of Contents

Preparing for Tent Camping with Dogs

Dog in packed car

Photo by ArtistGNDphotography via iStock

Before you hit the road, make sure you have everything you need for a successful camping trip. As mentioned above, this can be a bit of a tough task since you have to pack for yourself and your pooch.

Making a camping checklist is a great way to ensure you get everything you need prior to departure. It’s also a document that you can adjust as you take more trips with your dog – you can add things you forgot and omit things you don’t need.

I keep a camping checklist on my phone, that way I can adjust it on the fly and tick things off the list as I go. It’s a quick and simple solution for getting yourself ready to go tent camping with dogs.

How To Camp With A Dog

Photo by FatCamera via iStock

Here’s a few must-have items to include on your checklist:

  • Check the campground’s pet policy: Some campgrounds have specific rules about pets, so make sure to check the pet policy before you book your site.
  • Pack a first aid kit: Accidents can happen, so it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand for both you and your furry friends.
  • Update your dog’s vaccinations: Make sure your dog is up-to-date on all of their vaccinations, and bring their vaccination records with you just in case.
  • Get your dog microchipped if they aren’t already: In case your dog gets lost, a microchip can help ensure that they are returned to you.
  • Find local vets: Do a quick Google search to find veterinarians close to your camping location, just in case something happens and your dog needs medical attention.

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Choosing the Right Tent for Camping with Dogs

Looking out a tent door at a woman camping with a dog

Photo by Solovyova via iStock

Choosing the right tent is crucial when camping with dogs. After all, you want to be comfortable, but you also want your dog to be comfortable!

This doesn’t mean that you need to invest in some palatial tent that’s the size of your living room at home, either. You just need enough space for you and your dog to move around inside, which many two-person tents do just fine! Chances are your dog will snuggle up beside you anyway!

Use Your Dog as Security

Photo by AngelaBuserPhoto via iStock

Here are some things to consider when selecting a tent for camping with dogs:

  • Size: You want to make sure your tent is big enough to accommodate both you and your dog comfortably. A two-person tent is usually enough for one or two small dogs and you, while larger dogs may require a bigger tent.
  • Durability: Dogs can be rough on gear, so look for a tent made from durable materials that can withstand heavy use from your four-legged friend.
  • Gear Storage: Look for a tent with a gear loft, wall pockets, or both, so you have plenty of options for storing your gear and your dog’s stuff, too.
  • Vestibule: A tent with a vestibule is great for setting up a “staging area.” It gives you some protected space to take off and put on your shoes and is a good spot to wipe your dog’s paws before going into the tent.
  • Ventilation: Dogs can generate a lot of heat, so look for a tent with plenty of ventilation to keep everyone cool and comfortable.
  • Multiple Doors: Having multiple doors makes it much easier for you and your dog to get into and out of the tent.

Setting Up Camp with Dogs

camp with a dog

Photo by AleksandarNakic via iStock

Once you arrive at the campsite, it’s time to set up camp. In addition to getting your tent ready to go, a camp kitchen setup, and a place to lounge around the fire, you also need to tend to the task of getting camp ready and safe for your pooch.

For starters, keep your dog on a leash or a lead secured to a tree or another immovable object. Even if your dog is well-behaved, it’s important to keep them on a leash at all times to prevent them from wandering off and getting lost.

Camping With Your Dog Can You Even Bring It

Photo by ArtistGNDphotography via iStock

Next, set up your dog’s sleeping area. Dogs should have their own sleeping area inside the tent. This can be a dog bed or a blanket, but make sure it’s comfortable and familiar to them.

Secure your campsite, too. Dogs can be curious and may try to explore the campsite, so make sure to secure your food and trash to prevent them from getting into it.

You also need a place to protect your dog from inclement weather. While you and your dog can go into your tent for shelter, having an awning to protect an outdoor living area is often more comfortable.

EEZI-AWN DRAGONFLY 180 AWNING

A great option is the Eezi-Awn Dragonfly 180 awning shown above and below. Eezi-Awn is known around the world for its high-quality overlanding and camping gear. Here in the States, you can pick up one of these awnings (and many other Eezi-Awn products) from BTR Outfitters, a family-owned, Texas-based company that’s dedicated to helping you make your camping adventures go off without a hitch.

This awning is super easy to deploy and pack up. It’s lightweight yet strong, thanks to its self-contained aluminum framework. It provides 180 degrees of protection from sun and rain while providing up to 95 sq. ft. of protected space.

eezi-awn dragonfly awning

The awning material is a waterproof 260-gram ripstop canvas, so it’s incredibly durable. The fully-adjustable legs offer stability for windy conditions, and if the wind gets really wild, you can use stakes and guy lines to provide added stability.

You can adjust the height of the awning to any terrain. You can also adjust it up to 92 inches high to give yourself plenty of headroom to stand up and walk around. Put your favorite camp chair and your dog’s favorite bed under the awning and enjoy the great outdoors without getting a sunburn or getting drenched in the rain!

Packing for Tent Camping with Dogs

Man camping with a dog

Photo by PhotoAttractive via iStock

Packing for tent camping with dogs requires a little extra preparation to ensure your dog has everything it needs to be happy, healthy, and safe on your trip.

Dog food and treats are an obvious necessity. Bring enough food and treats for the entire trip, plus a little extra just in case you stay longer.

Bring water and a water bowl, too. Dogs need plenty of water, so bring enough for the entire trip. Don’t forget a collapsible water bowl for hiking and other adventures away from camp.

Bring an extra leash and collar while you’re at it. You don’t want to be in a position where your dog has lost its collar or its leash breaks!

Your dog will appreciate some toys for your trip as well. However, be conscious of the types of toys you bring. Squeaky toys are probably not a good idea as they can be extremely distracting to other campers. Instead, bring things like dog frisbees and tennis balls to entertain your dog.

Campfire Safety with Dogs

tent camping with dogs fire safety

Photo by Solovyova via iStock

Campfires are a staple of any camping trip, but they can be dangerous for dogs…

Keep your dog away from the fire. Dogs can be curious and may try to get too close to the fire, so keep them at a safe distance. Also check for hot spots. After the fire has gone out, make sure to check the area for any hot spots that could burn your dog’s paws.

Don’t let your dog play with firewood, either. Dogs may try to chew on firewood, which can be dangerous for them if they swallow splinters.

If your dog has an outside bed to lounge on near the fire, be sure to put enough space between the fire and the bed. You don’t want embers to spark a fire! Have plenty of water on hand to put out accidental fires. A shovel is a good idea for fire management, too.

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Exploring with Dogs

dog wearing a dog backpack running down a hiking trail in the woods

Photo by FiN85 via iStock

Exploring the outdoors with your dog is one of the best parts of camping. But, you need to plan ahead, be safe, and make smart decisions when you venture away from camp with your dog. Use the following tips as a guide for fun explorations:

  • Stick to designated trails: Dogs can disturb wildlife and damage ecosystems, so stick to designated trails to minimize your impact on the environment.
  • Bring a doggy backpack: If your dog is up for it, a doggy backpack can be a great way to let them carry their own food and water on hikes.
  • Keep your dog on a leash: Even the most well-trained dogs might cause trouble or injure themselves if you let them roam free. Keep your dog on a leash to protect them, the environment, and other campers and dogs.
  • Pack out the poo: If your dog does its business while you’re hiking, pick up its poo and pack it out with you. Don’t be that guy that lets his dog poop everywhere without cleaning it up!

Does It Get Any Better Than Tent Camping With Dogs?

tent camping with dogs is fun

Photo by AleksandarNakic via iStock

I love camping. I love dogs, too. Combining the two into a fun tent camping adventure is a great way to spend a weekend, if you ask me!

As I noted earlier, tent camping with dogs is certainly added work, but when you get to camp, and you have everything you need and everything your dog needs, it’s worth the time and effort.

So, use this guide to get ready for your next adventure with your pooch and enjoy the great outdoors with less stress!

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