The DOs and DONTs of Camping with Your Dog

The DOs and DONTs of Camping with Your Dog

camping with dogs

We’re finally in camping season.  I love camping! Well I love being in nature all day and sleeping in a cabin or someplace that isn’t a tent at night, but I know there are a lot of people that love tent camping too.

Bringing your furry one along camping (or glamping) is a great bonding experience. But before you pack up and hit the road, look over my DOs and DONTs of camping with your dog.

What to do when camping with a dog 

  • First, decide if your dog will enjoy camping. Not all will enjoy it. My dog Bella has gone beach camping, and we did that in a tent!, and she had a great time. She’s generally comfortable in new places, curious about new smells and situations, and usually will go with the flow. If your dog would rather stay home, let them!

  • Choose a pet-friendly destination. We went camping at Leo Carillo State Park which is nice because it has the beach which is dog friendly and theres some hiking too. Table Mountain in the Angeles National Forrest looks to be a good option too. There’s hiking and biking opportunities and it look like a beautiful area for a picturesque drive. Crystal Lake Recreation Area in the Angeles National Forrest looks good too with options for hiking, biking fishing and more. Make sure to read up or call the location to confirm any details.

  • Make sure you know all the rules or regulations in the area. Is your dog’s breed or size allowed? National and state parks often have restrictions to follow to keep your pet and wildlife and habitats safe! Always follow them.

  • Pack the right gear. When I venture out with Bella, I always bring booties for hiking incase there are foxtails. Other things you might need include pet sun screen, tick & flea treatment, and a reflective vest.

  • Bring the comforts for you and your furry! Bella absolutely loves her toys. Bring your dog’s bed, blanket, sleeping pad, crate, favorite toys and/or treats. Not exactly comforts—but any medications or calming aids (run it by your vet first) are good ideas too. Licks is my go to for that, I’ve used this for years with great results.

  • We all need to eat. Don’t forget a portable bowls, water and food.

  • Avoid attracting other animals. Make sure to follow all of your campsites rules for food storage so you are less likely to attract new and possibly unfriendly visitors like bears and raccoons. The campsite website usually has this info handy other wise make sure to call and ask so you are prepared before arriving.

What not to do when camping with a dog 

  • Don’t leave your dog unattended. Your dog is your buddy on the trip. Leaving them cooped up in the camper or cabin is no fun (and could be dangerous).

  • Don’t leave their ‘business’ laying around. Pick up after your dog regularly and properly dispose of the waste. A great thing to have is a poop bag holder that attaches to your leash. It is so handy to just pick up the poop, tie the bag and slide it on the bone then be hands free till you find a proper place to dispose.

  • Don’t expect your dog to be okay the entire trip. Just like us humans, pets have their triggers and ‘off’ days. Be understanding and prepare to handle any stressors.

  • Don’t forget to practice before you get there. If this is all new to your pup it’s a good idea to get them used to as many new things as you can before the trip. Maybe thats sleeping in the tent in your living room to practice, or working on recall in some new places, or maybe taking some day camping trips to the place you will be going.

  • Don’t forget your pet emergency kit. Fill this up with everything you may need if your pet is lost or hurt: — medical records, vaccination records, pet first aid kit, current photos, extra medications, extra leash and harness, paw protectors. Here’s a great resource on what emergency items to pack for your emergency kit.


Did I miss something? Tell me what else all dog parents need to do or not do when camping.


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