Camping with Dogs

July 5, 20180

Our kids love camping with their dog! Our dog loves it too, with an opportunity to get out of the house for nearly unlimited smells while tagging along on some fun activities. Here are some tips for what we’ve learned to bring along for the dog to better enjoy the ride to the campground, camping itself, and activities like hiking and boating.


The camping locations we visit often require driving along some bumpy and windy roads with limited services along the way. Here’s how we keep our dog more comfortable during the journey.

We keep one of these collapsible water bowl sets in each car. It’s easy to store in a seatback pocket and quick to attach to a backpack or similar with the included carabiners. We always bring an extra water bottle for refilling the dog’s bowl with fresh water throughout the drive.

This waterproof seat cover then helps protect the car from a dog who has had too much fun in the mud while camping!

At the Campsite

While setting up camp, we use this tie-up cable to keep our dog from getting accidentally stepped on or causing any trouble like breaking into the food bag. It’s easy to wrap around a tree or even our camper frame to keep him close to the campsite at any time.

In addition to the travel bowl, we use a sturdier dog bowl set to keep outside at the campsite and make it easier for our dog to eat and drink without knocking things over.

For those of you camping in an RV like us, these waterproof baby changing pads help protect the furniture where your dog sits or sleeps. They also work great for the kids, especially before they are fully potty trained.

When resting or collecting around the fire, these camp chairs offer a perfect opportunity for our dog to get up and off the ground. The mesh bottom and back keeps a cool breeze flowing through. Our dog loves this chair so much we bought him his own.

Camp Activities

We do a lot of excursions away from the campsite, many of which require the right gear for our dog.

We place this small bear bell on our dog’s collar to help prevent a surprise encounter with wildlife, who can now hear him and the rest of the group coming. Listening to this audio cue ourselves also helps ensure he doesn’t explore too far away during an outing.

These thin dog paw boots are standard equipment when boating on inflatable devices with our dog to keep his claws from causing tears or punctures. We also have a set of more substantial adjustable dog booties to keep his paws dry and clean if the campsite or trails are muddy.

For cold-weather camping, a dog sweater keeps a dog warm during the day while a small kids sleeping bag and throw blanket is perfect for around the campfire and sleeping. Here’s our daughter enjoying sharing a blanket and chair at the campfire with our dog.

And finally, remember to properly dispose of your dog’s poop, either by bagging and trashing it or burying as you would your own.

A 7-Year Old’s Perspective, from Chloe

I love camping with our dog! He’s so cute!

When it’s cold outside, I put his dog bed on top of a camp chair for him to be cozy.

My favorite activity to do with my dog while camping is fishing. Except when he barks and scares the fish away!

I love giving our dog a bath when he gets home from camping. Here’s a picture from his first bath ever. Isn’t he so cute? My mom lets me spray a lavender leave-in conditioner on our dog when he is done with his bath so that he smells good for a long time.

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My dad took me camping as a kid at least monthly, from Cub Scouts through Eagle Scout. I realized the importance of camping with kids after taking ours at the age of 3 years and 18 months and hearing them talk for weeks about building campfires, going potty in the woods, and roasting marshmallows. 5 years and 100 camping nights later and our kids have learned to help set up the campsite, navigate a topographical map with a compass, and so much more . For our kids, camping is about more than staying the night in the wilderness but also teaches them valuable life skills, respect for nature, and mechanical know-how.

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