Camping With Dogs 101: (A Must Read) If You’re Taking Your Pup Camping

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Why Camping With Dogs Can Be Healthy For You And Your Pup

Camping with a dog or multiple dogs either in your tent or RV can be an amazing experience for everyone.

We have written a guide that will help answer questions and concerns you may have.


You and your dog will become more confident as you get your dog out of the daily routine of home and more accustomed to being in different environments. 

Because this will make them more comfortable, it will allow you to have more confidence in their behavior for future adventures which is huge in my opinion.

With your new-found confidence in your dog, you will strengthen your relationship with them…..not to say it won’t be a little stressful at first, but worth it over time if you’re consistent with getting them exposed to different environments.

We go camping and boating with our French Bulldog and she is so happy and well behaved because she has become familiar with these activities making her more enjoyable with us and our children.

How Do You Camp With A Dog?

Don’t Leave Your Dog Unattended If Certain Things Apply

If your dog gets anxious and barks when you leave, then it might be best to take them with you when you leave the campsite.

There are a lot of pet-friendly shops and beaches to make this a great option. If you leave your dog back at the campsite, make sure they are in air conditioning or a nice shady spot in hot weather.

Also, I would not recommend leaving them for long periods of time and make sure they have access to water that can’t be knocked over easily.

Keep Your Dog Secured At The Camping Spot

When you’re at a campground, you should always have your dog tied up or in a space that they are not able to wander too far. 

Other people in the campground will not appreciate your dog wandering around and messing with other dogs or children. It simply isn’t responsible for you to let this happen so keep them on a lead that isn’t too long.

Have Bags Handy

Where we mostly camp they have a spot called poop hill where we take our dog in the morning and evenings. Even though we do this,  we still always have bags on us just in case she has to go while on the walks.

Nothing will make a fellow camper more upset than seeing a dog poop and the owner ignoring it and walking away…not cool.


Even if your dog doesn’t sleep with you at home, it is best for your dog to be next to you when camping. It’s a new place and they will sleep better when they are near you.

I would never recommend keeping your dog outside away from you during the night.

Pack Comfort Items

Since your going away from home, bring some comforts from home with you. Bring your dog’s favorite toys and bones. This will keep them occupied with things that are familiar to them when in an unfamiliar place.

What Do You Do With Your Dog While Camping?

Well…Have Fun And Make It Enjoyable

This should be a time of fun and relaxation. Try and make this a fun experience for you and your dog because that’s what this is all about right?

Going to the beach? Find one that is dog-friendly and take them with you so they can spend the day playing in the water and hanging out. 

Just make sure you have a shelter or a shady spot for your dog to get out of the sun.

Camping Dog

Things To Consider 

Is Your Dog a Barker?

If your dog likes to bark at anything including his own shadow, it might not be a great choice to bring your dog to a campground.

That’s not to say you can take them camping, but you need to respect fellow campers and follow the rules of the campground.

Most campgrounds will not tolerate a dog who is constantly barking so keep that in mind.

Is Your Dog Aggressive?

The quickest way to get a kicked out of a campground is if your dog attacks another dog or worse yet a person or child.

An aggressive dog has no place in a camping situation where people or other animals are at risk of being injured. 

Will Your Dog Come When You Call Them?

Listen, we have a French Bulldog that can be a bit stubborn at times but as she matured over the last two years (she is 2 ½ years old now) and is not a runner like she once was. I had to spend time with her off-leash at home to teach her to come to me when called.

That said, it was in the familiar yard of our home and not in a strange space with unique smells and attractions. This is just something that you need to keep in mind if they happen to get loose when camping.

Does Your Dog Hate Being On A Leash?

If your dog will not tolerate being on a leash or tied up, you may struggle to bring them camping with you.

I have seen small dogs in a corral type enclosure but most are tied up on a camping lot. If your dog does not do well secured to a line then you may have some challenges when camping with your pup.

What Activities Are You Planning?

Are you going to be chilling out at your camper or tent most of the time or taking 5-mile hikes in 90-degree weather?

We like to take our boat out and find dog-friendly beaches so our dog is usually with all the time.

We find most places where we live (in northern Michigan) are pet-friendly including most shops and some outdoor restaurants.

What To Bring When Camping With Dogs?


  • Choose a campsite that allows dogs
  • Make sure ID with phone number is on your dog collar 
  • Locate a vet near to the campsite
  • Apply a flea and tick preventative to your dog
  • Bring tie-downs or crate 
  • Treats and food
  • Bowls for water and food
  • Toys and bones 
  • Shelter for the beach or sunny lots
  • Dog bed or blankets
  • Leash and collar
  • Dog life jacket if going on a boat or swimming in deep water

Final Thoughts

Camping with your dog can be an amazing experience for you and your pup, but there are things we covered in this article that you need to be conscious of in order to get the most out of the trip.

If you can avoid most of the potential issues that may arise when having a dog with you on a family camping trip it can be an amazing experience! Try it out and learn from it in order to improve it for next time.

Let loose and treasure the adventure...happy trails!

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