The Complete Safety Guide for Camping with Dogs

By Bailey Chauner, Redfin

How to Prepare, What to Pack, and Campsite Safety for a Fun Outdoor Adventure with Your Dog

At Redfin, we know that sometimes your home away from home is a tent hidden in the woods. And it wouldn’t feel like your second home without your dog by your side. With summer in full swing, Redfin has compiled the ultimate safety guide for camping with your dog! Camping with your dogs requires a bit of preparation and safety precautions to ensure that you and your dogs can enjoy a safe and fun outdoor adventure – but we’re here to help! We’ve covered important health and safety precautions as well as how to pack the right safety and comfort essentials for your beloved furry family members, and will arm you with important safety tips and information to keep your dogs safe at and around your campsite.

What You’ll Find in This Guide:

  1. Before You Go: Health Checkups and Safety Supplies
  2. Packing for Your Dog
  3. Dog-Safe Best Practices at the Campsite
Camping with Dogs 1
Redfin employee Brittany hanging out with her pup, Rugby / Photo credit: Noelle Marchesini

 

Before You Go: Health Checkups and Safety Supplies

This section covers all the know-before-you-go information that you should take care of before planning a camping trip with your dog, preventative veterinary care tips, and more.

First things first: schedule a visit to the veterinarian for a health checkup. If your dog’s health isn’t optimal, ordinary camping hazards can quickly become serious dangers, so you should discuss your camping plans with your veterinarian. If you plan to take your dog backpacking,  you’ll want to make sure that your dog is up to the task physically. Aging or chronically ill dogs may not be physically able to keep up with a daunting trek, so it might be wise to leave Fido with a trusted caregiver in such a scenario.

Check your dog’s records or double-check with your regular veterinarian to ensure that you’re on top of all preventative care, such as core vaccinations like the Rabies vaccine, as it’s possible that your dog may encounter a wild animal with the disease in the great outdoors.

Pests such as fleas and ticks are often common in the wooded areas many people favor for camping. Consider having your dog vaccinated for Lyme disease and make sure that he’s been treated with flea and tick prevention. Additionally, heartworms are transmitted through mosquito bites, so make sure your dog’s preventative heartworm treatment is current for optimal protection.

Pack a first-aid kit with essentials. A few must-have supplies for dogs include:

  • Coated aspirin for pain. Use with caution and give only the recommended dosage (between 5mg and 10mg per pound of body weight). You may also consider a safer alternative, but your best bet is to discuss it with your veterinarian before your trip for specific advice.
  • Tweezers or tick removal tools and scissors
  • Butterfly bandages, gauze, and/or bandages designed for pets to close wounds.
  • Rubbing alcohol or antiseptic to clean wounds.
  • First aid gel or spray designed for pets.

If your pet takes medication regularly for a chronic health condition, take enough medication for the duration of your trip, plus enough to last at least a few extra days. You never know what you’ll encounter in the wilderness, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take copies of your dog’s health records, including vaccination history, and locate the veterinary clinic closest to your campsite before you leave. Save or print the phone number and directions so that they’re easily accessible in case of emergency. Finally, make sure that your dog’s microchip registration is up to date and that your pet has a tag with complete and accurate information so that finders can easily locate you should your dog get lost. If you know ahead of time that you may not have reliable wireless service, you might also consider adding your veterinarian’s phone number or the contact information for a trusted friend or relative.

Redfin employee, Bailey, lets Tonka take a dip

 

Packing for Your Dog

This section covers the essential packing list for camping with your dog, including supplies for nutrition, water safety, and just plain fun.

You’ll need more than first-aid supplies for a camping trip with your furry friend, of course. You’ll want to pack your dog’s food and water dishes, as well as enough fresh water to last the duration of your trip plus a few extra days, unless you’re camping at a site with a readily-available supply of fresh water. If it’s going to be warm, keep in mind that your dog may need to drink more water than usual. Take an ample supply of your dog’s regular food and treats, as well. Your dog will have to do his or her business as usual, so you’ll need a good supply of dog waste bags to keep your campsite free of waste and avoid disgruntled fellow campers.

You’ll also want to pack a leash or two, as well as whatever supplies you’ll need to tether your dog while outdoors. Pack your dog’s bed so that he or she can get a comfortable night’s rest. Some dogs prefer to sleep in their crate, but it’s a good idea to take a dog crate or carrier regardless in the event that you need to confine your pup. If the weather will be cooler in the evenings, pack blankets or a dog jacket to keep your furry friend warm in the elements. If you’re heading to a destination near water, a dog life preserver is a good idea, as well as plenty of extra towels to dry your dog off after a swim.  By the way, when it comes to life preservers, there are so many to consider and perhaps you should take a look at this comprehensive guide on how to choose one.

Don’t forget about enrichment. Does your dog have a favorite toy? Take a few trinkets such as balls, frisbees, and squeaky toys to keep your dog entertained. The other items you’ll need to pack for your dog depend on your plans. If you plan on going hiking, for instance, you’ll want a portable water dish that you can easily store in your backpack to keep your dog hydrated throughout the day.

Camping with Dogs 3
Sushiil, Redfin’s E-Learning Specialist, has a camping Corgi named Mugi

 

Dog-Safe Best Practices at the Campsite

This section provides helpful tips for monitoring your dog’s health and maintaining a safe environment for your dog and other campers.

Many campgrounds require that dogs be leashed at all times. Make sure you know and understand the rules if you’re heading for a managed campground; some even specify the maximum lead length permitted. Some campgrounds prohibit dogs altogether, while others place limits on the size or number of dogs permitted. Researching before you go is a must.

Keep an eye on your dog’s well-being throughout your trip. If the weather is hot and humid, you can bet your dog is feeling the heat, too. Watch for signs of heat stroke, such as excessive panting, excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, or seizures. If you suspect your dog has heat stroke, wrap your dog in a towel soaked in cool water and get her to a veterinarian immediately.

Ideally, you’ve already spent time training your dog, but if your dog isn’t the most well-trained pup in the pack, it’s a good idea to start slowly, taking a few short trips to see how your dog fares when exposed to the many new experiences he’ll have during a camping trip. The many sights, sounds, people, and scents can send even well-trained dogs into a flurry of excitement, so testing the waters and learning how to work with your dog to manage behavior will ensure not only his or her safety, but the safety of fellow campers and animals, both domestic and wild.

At minimum, your dog should obey a few essential commands, such as “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it.” If you don’t know how your dog will react to strangers, particularly excited children, use extreme caution until you’re comfortable with your dog’s temperament in new situations. These commands will come in handy for situations such as encountering poisonous plants or other hazardous substances; a dog who obeys the “leave it!” command will be much more easily redirected than a dog who can think of nothing else but devouring those delicious-looking leaves or berries. You should do your research to know which plants your dog must steer clear of and how to identify them in order to be proactive about keeping your dog away from these dangerous plants.

Above all, have fun! A camping trip is a great opportunity to kick back and relax. When you take the proper precautions and keep safety top-of-mind, a camping trip is an enjoyable bonding experience for humans and dogs alike.

 

Resources on Safe Camping with Dogs

This section provides valuable resources on dog health, camping safety, and other essential information for a safe and enjoyable camping trip with your furry friend.

Camping with Dogs offers a wide range of articles about camping safely with your dog.

Ruffwear’s Blog provides advice on all types of outdoor activities with your dog and products to keep them save.

IHeartDogs.com provides 12 important safety tips for camping with your dog.

The ASPCA offers a comprehensive guide to vaccinations for your dog, including information on core and non-core vaccines, regulations and risks associated with vaccination, and how to determine the proper vaccination schedule for your dog.

GearJunkie is an excellent resource for discovering the essential outdoor gear your dog needs for a fun outdoor adventure.

Dogster.com also covers some common outdoor risks for dogs, including helpful tips for helping your dog cope with anxiety from thunderstorms, preventing poisoning, and other helpful advice.

Even in the warmer months, when the sun goes down, the chill can set in. The American Veterinary Medical Association offers helpful cold weather safety tips for dogs and other pets.

CampTrip provides a useful guide for first-time camping with your dog, including tips for getting your dog in tip-top physical shape before your trip, acclimating your dog to tents, and more.

Mother Nature Network offers helpful advice for camping with your four-legged friends, including an informative discussion on determining whether your dog’s temperament is well-suited for camping.

The Humane Society provides a comprehensive list of what to include in a first-aid kit for your dog.

BarkPost names 10 ideal, dog-friendly camping destinations that are surely on every dog’s bucket list.

The Pet Poison Helpline provides a handy list of 10 plants poisonous to pets. Knowing how to identify the plants that your dog must avoid is essential for a safe and enjoyable camping experience.

See the original article from Redfin.

 

Guest Author at

Bailey is a Redfin Content Specialist and loves writing about all topics related to homeownership from data to dogs and décor. Bailey's dream home would have an oversized walk-in closet and overlook Lake Washington.

Bailey uses her natural creativity, writing expertise, and eye for design to manage content from ideation to evaluation, including blog posts, infographics, technical specifications, and long-form content. She thrives managing multiple, complex projects simultaneously and meets deadlines and project requirements through superior organization and understanding her coworker’s communication styles and needs.

45 thoughts on “The Complete Safety Guide for Camping with Dogs

  • August 24, 2017 at 11:18 pm
    Permalink

    All great tips for the dog lover. Having our dogs along with us just makes camping all that more enjoyable.

    Reply
  • August 22, 2017 at 2:11 am
    Permalink

    Great tips and great post! I loved all the images of the camping pups, they are all so cute.

    Reply
    • August 23, 2017 at 11:22 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Dee! We are so glad you enjoy our dogs as much as we do 🙂

      -Bailey

      Reply
  • August 22, 2017 at 1:59 am
    Permalink

    Really great advice for all of us who love dogs, heaps of resources here, thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply
    • August 23, 2017 at 11:55 pm
      Permalink

      Alexandra,

      We love dogs too! So happy to help prep your pup for camping 🙂

      – Bailey

      Reply
  • August 21, 2017 at 6:52 pm
    Permalink

    Loving the photos of all these doggie friends. Lots of essential tips here on caring for your dog while camping. One thing in Ireland we need not worry about is the hot weather wearing our dogs out ….its rarely hot. Actually its a great climate in general for dogs never really freezing and never really hot. Good tip bringing the tweezers with you should your dog get a tick.

    Reply
    • August 22, 2017 at 5:06 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Kathryn! Those extra tips are really useful!

      – Bailey

      Reply
  • August 21, 2017 at 4:17 pm
    Permalink

    Dogs are a great companion for camping. This is a great post for dog owners on what to bring for the furry friends. A first-aid kit is an important one not to forget!

    Reply
  • August 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm
    Permalink

    Great tips for bringing your dog camping! My husband and I often talk about how if/when we get a dog, we’d love for it to go on outdoor adventures with us. There’s definitely a lot of planning that needs to go into though, as this post shows.

    Reply
    • August 22, 2017 at 5:13 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Kate,

      Yes, there is a lot of planning but it’s worth it! Thanks for the comment!

      – Bailey

      Reply
  • August 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm
    Permalink

    If I had a dog(s) I would definitely take them camping with me!! Nothing better than camping with loved ones and your furry companion! These are such valuable tips though for anyone camping with their dogs!

    Reply
  • August 21, 2017 at 1:31 pm
    Permalink

    These are great tips. I have never tried camping with dogs but it looks so fun.

    Reply
    • August 22, 2017 at 5:06 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Margarette,

      I hope this post encourages you to go camping with your dog before the summer is over 🙂

      -Bailey

      Reply
  • August 21, 2017 at 6:31 am
    Permalink

    I think I would be too nervous to take my dog camping with me. Would end up with all kinds of problems that he would get into. But these are great things to remember. My dog had problems with altitude, unfortunately. He really didn’t like the changes.

    Reply
    • August 23, 2017 at 11:56 pm
      Permalink

      Hi David,

      Altitude can be very strenuous on dogs. Maybe you two can enjoy some backyard glamping 🙂

      – Bailey

      Reply
  • August 21, 2017 at 3:47 am
    Permalink

    This article is amazing! And the corgi dog is SOOOOO cute! Can we adopt Mugi for a camping trip please? Must be a wonderful experience to be able to travel with your best little friend!

    Reply
    • August 22, 2017 at 5:10 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Mimi & Mitch,

      Isn’t Mugi the cutest?! We are glad you loved the photo as much as we did!

      – Bailey

      Reply
  • August 21, 2017 at 1:24 am
    Permalink

    Camping with your furry friend can be a lot of fun, but seems exhausting as well. With your helpful tips, it will prepare you for everything away from home while camping and hopefully skip a trip to the vet. I don’t have a dog (yet), but will be sure to pass this info along to my friends. Thank you for the helpful resources.

    Reply
  • August 20, 2017 at 10:34 pm
    Permalink

    Really great guide for dog-owners.. I have often seen dogs while camping and they seem to be having so much fun

    Reply
  • August 20, 2017 at 6:09 pm
    Permalink

    I guess packing for a dog is just like packing for your child , you need to think of all the addition extras you may need. A very useful post for dog owners.

    Reply
  • August 20, 2017 at 5:17 pm
    Permalink

    This is so informative! I’ve always been hesitant to bring my little pooch along on my travels, let alone camping! Maybe I’ll have the courage to bring her along now 🙂 Thank you!

    Reply
    • August 22, 2017 at 5:07 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Kerry,

      I’m glad this post encouraged you to bring along your pup!

      Reply
  • August 20, 2017 at 2:38 pm
    Permalink

    Wow you covered so much – to me this is an amazing post because it highlights so many things we do need to think about with our dogs. So thank you for being so comprehensive, this is a great resource.

    Reply
  • August 20, 2017 at 8:54 am
    Permalink

    This is such an informative article, I think you have covered everything which we need to look at before going camping with our dog.

    Reply
  • August 20, 2017 at 7:16 am
    Permalink

    Very informative and useful post for the people who have pets specially Dogs. You have taken stunning pictures of dogs while camping. Will share it with my friends who keep Dogs.

    Reply
    • August 22, 2017 at 5:08 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Yukti!

      Our dogs at Redfin are very photogenic 🙂

      – Bailey

      Reply
  • August 20, 2017 at 6:45 am
    Permalink

    Super interesting, never thought of taking pets for camping or even did not think that people take pets. Loved each and every image in this post. Awesome

    Reply
  • August 20, 2017 at 6:06 am
    Permalink

    I’ve never imagined taking a pet along would be so comfy as you described. Whenever I travel, I don’t go with my dog, so when I come back, he kind of acts strange for a week. Probably I’d give it a try so we won’t have a need to lose our bond. Thanks for this post. It’s a saving grace.

    Reply
  • August 20, 2017 at 3:47 am
    Permalink

    A very comprehensive guide with well thought out tips for people who have pets. This definitely would be amazing for both of them. I loved the pics, especially of Mugi. He is so cute. Well done with the guide.

    Reply
    • August 22, 2017 at 5:11 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Ami,

      We are so happy you liked the photo of Mugi. He just had to be included in our post!

      – Bailey

      Reply
  • August 19, 2017 at 7:59 pm
    Permalink

    I can’t wait for the weather to cool down a bit here in Hungary so we can start hiking again with my little English Cocker spaniel. Your post is extremely well written and helpful guide to all who plans a trip in the future.

    Reply
    • August 22, 2017 at 5:12 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you Anna!

      The team at Redfin really enjoyed putting this piece together 🙂

      – Bailey

      Reply
  • August 19, 2017 at 9:58 am
    Permalink

    I’m completely in love with all the dogs here! I don’t have one nor have I camped with any, but these are awesome tips. Who’d have thought there was a dog first aid kit?! I think we take for granted that because they’re animals, they require less, which is of course wrong. I will share this with my friends with dogs!

    Reply
    • August 22, 2017 at 5:10 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Lisa!

      Redfin is happy that you enjoyed our dog photos as much as we love our dogs 🙂

      – Bailey

      Reply
  • August 19, 2017 at 9:56 am
    Permalink

    Beautiful photos! It’s great to have your dog with you for camping. It certainly needs some adjustments and equipment to take with but it’s so nice to see our furry friends excited:)

    Reply
  • August 19, 2017 at 8:16 am
    Permalink

    This is such a detailed safety guide for camping with dogs! I have never taken my dog on camping trip with me because I was unsure of what I need to prepare. Now I feel much more confident after reading your post. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • August 19, 2017 at 5:29 am
    Permalink

    We camp with our dog Ellie all the time! I know that most people may not think much work goes into bringing your dog with you, but it is always a good idea to be prepared. This was a fantastic post! Love the photos!

    Reply
    • August 22, 2017 at 5:08 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Kassie!

      I’m glad to hear Ellie gets to enjoy the outdoors with you!

      – Bailey

      Reply
  • August 19, 2017 at 2:54 am
    Permalink

    These are some really great tips for anyone that has a dog and plans of camping with them. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Reply
  • August 18, 2017 at 11:25 pm
    Permalink

    What kind of nincompoop am I that I never thought about dogs getting heat stroke before?! Now I’m wondering about putting sunscreen on my dog’s nose. But that doesn’t seem like a good idea. Gotta go Google that now! ?

    Reply
    • August 22, 2017 at 5:09 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Alexandra,

      I’m happy this article helped prepare you for your next trip 🙂

      – Bailey

      Reply
  • August 18, 2017 at 11:19 pm
    Permalink

    This is such great advice! We are going camping for the first time next week so I am glad of any advice I can read before then! We aren’t taking our dog though, maybe next time!

    Reply
  • August 18, 2017 at 11:17 pm
    Permalink

    What incredible photos, great tips & it would be so memorable taking along your furry best friend!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: