Tips for Camping with dogs this summer
Camping with dogs and hiking are fun summer activities for the whole family.
These tips can help ensure that your dog is set for his or her summer trips!
Don't forget to download our printable checklist at the end of this post!
I've made a list of all the essentials you'll need to bring for a safe and happy camping trip.
Food and Food Accessories
Make sure to bring extra food and treats for your pup if you plan on going hiking or doing any rigorous activity. Long hikes can be tiring for both you and your pup, and there’s nothing better for your dog than a refreshing bowl of water and small meal when you get back to camp!
The Vittles Vault Travel-Tainer (pictured above) is ideal for treat storage or a few days of food. The container holds half a gallon of water, or approximately 6 cups of dry kibble. It has a convenient carrying handle that can be removed to reveal two 3-cup bowls.
We recommend using one for food and one for water. Or, if you have multiple dogs with you, they can each have their own food or water bowl!
The Vittles Vault SoftStore (pictured below) is ideal for travel. You can fill it up with food, and as your pup eats their food, the container gets smaller to save space. This makes it perfect for camping!
Remember: store your food away from direct sunlight. Try to keep your pet's food in a cool area to keep it as fresh as possible.
Leash & Harness
I really love this leash and collar combo from Mattie and Margot. These items are handcrafted from durable, premium materials, and they're pretty cute, too!
You might also want a long, flexible leash so your dog can explore a bit while still being under your control. Be mindful of rattlesnakes and other dangerous critters that can come out and bite!
Dog Bed (or Sleeping Bag)
This sleeping bag made especially for dogs by Hurtta Performance is so adorable and practical! This "Outback Dreamer" is well-insulated to keep your dog warm during those chilly summer nights.
With all the new smells and activities, your dog may not need extra stimulation, but it's better to have extra toys on hand just in case. You can bring your pup's tried and true favorites, but my recommendation is to bring heavy duty ropes and balls that you don't mind getting dirty.
Plan on your dog getting dirty! Bring an extra towel (or two or three) to wipe off dirt and mud. Microfiber towels are always a good bet. Plus, I like to bring moistened wipes to really get the dirt off. There are a lot of pet wipes on the market, but I found that you can get the same quality for a fraction of the price if you buy baby wipes instead.
Light-up Collar to Wear at Night
This LED dog collar from Niteize is perfect to keep your dog visible in the darkest nights.
Paw Protection Booties
Protect your dog's paws from heat and rough terrain. These booties from Ruff Wear provide traction and protection from high temperatures for your dog's precious little paws!
As a rule of thumb, if the ground is too hot or rough for your feet, it's going to be at least slightly uncomfortable for your pup as well.
Hiking Backpacks, or Dog Packs, are a necessity for long hikes when camping with dogs. You can fill your dog's backpack with treats, a collapsible water bowl, and even an extra bottle of water. Just make sure your dog is carrying no more than 25% of their body weight in their pack.
Don't forget to bring some biodegradable poop bags to clean up pup's messes!
First Aid Kit
This pre made medical kit for your dogs from REI is perfect for camping. It has everything you need to handle any health snafus, and it comes in a convenient, easy-to-carry bag.
Alternatively, you can make your own with these supplies:
- Dressings and bandages such as gauze and medical tape
- Tweezers to remove splinters, thorns and foxtails
- Insect repellent
- Tick remover
Tip: If you decide to make your own first aid kit, store it in a labeled bag or even a large makeup bag to keep everything organized and in one place.
Waterless Dog Shampoo
If your dog gets extra smelly and bath time is out of the question, try a waterless dog shampoo. It's a foam that you can put on your dog's coat and it requires no washing. Now that I think about this, maybe I should use something like this at home, too!
Bonus Tip: Avoid Major Messes
An empty plastic laundry basket is a perfect solution if your dog's toys and bed are getting a little extra dirty from laying around in the dirt!
You can download and print this dog camping checklist so you'll never forget to bring anything!
Do you have other essentials you absolutely must bring when you're camping with dogs? If so, please share below.