Downeast Dog News

Tips for Camping with Your Dog

By Jenn Rich - Downeast Dog News | Jun 01, 2021

Plan Ahead

• Check with the campground about their pet policies.

• Make an appointment with your vet for a checkup.

• Be prepared for an emergency. Find the number of the nearest 24-hour veterinary emergency hospital near where you will be staying and program it into your phone.

• Research daycares/boarding for days when your activities do not allow your dog to accompany you.

• Plan a trip appropriate for your dog’s personality. Are they adventurous or do they prefer to lounge?

Have a Trial Run

If your dog is new to camping, there are a few things you can do to prepare them so it is a pleasant experience for you both.

• Work on your dog’s leash manners and take them for longer walks, practice leash commands.

• Spend more time outside and hanging out in your yard.

• Practice your dog’s social skills around other people and other dogs. Work on obedience training if needed.

• Take a few day trips or picnics.

• Camp out in your backyard and behave as though you are at a campground. Keep them leashed, have a fire, invite friends. Practice sleeping in a tent (if applicable).

Never Leave Your Dog Unattended

To keep your dog and others safe make sure you monitor them. Your dog may be friendly but not all other dogs and people will welcome them in their space. Most campgrounds will require they remain on a leash of 6 feet in length or less.

DO NOT leave your pet in the car. It takes only minutes in a vehicle on a warm day for pets to suffocate or suffer from heatstroke. Even when the temps are in the 60’s, your vehicle can reach the danger zone, and rolling down the windows or parking in the shade doesn’t guarantee protection.

Practice Good Etiquette

Be courteous to fellow campers. Bring along pet waste bags and clean up after your dog while at the campground and during adventures elsewhere. Dispose of waste in trash receptacles.

Plan Dog-Friendly Activities

• Hiking

• Beaches

• Boating

• Swimming

• Local parks

• Dog-friendly attractions

Prevent Overheating

Keep your dog in a cool area during the hottest time of day. Make sure they have plenty of water to drink. Bring a collapsible bowl and bottled water with you when on hikes and enjoying other activities. Do not let your dog drink stagnant water and be cautious of lakes and rivers that could be infected by blue-green algae.


Dog Camping Essentials

• Food and bowls

• Treats

• Water

• Medications if needed

• Tether

• Extra collars/leashes/harnesses with your contact info. on them

• Towels

• First-aid kit*

• Blanket or favorite toys from home

• Current photo of your dog

• Vaccination/medical records

• Dog waste bags

• Flea and tick preventatives, pet-friendly insect repellent

• Dog-friendly sunscreen

• Pet wipes, grooming products

• Bed or mat to sleep on (if tenting the ground gets damp and cold)

• Portable crate (optional)


*Dog First Aid Kit


  • Pet first aid guidebook
  • Bandana for a makeshift muzzle
  • Vetwrap (self-stick gauze)
  • Activated charcoal (which can save your dog’s life from accidental poisoning)
  • Butterfly Bandages (to close open wounds)
  • Waterproof surgical tape
  • Blunt-end scissors
  • Instant cold pack
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Styptic Powder (stop bleeding)
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Ear & Eye Ointment
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment
  • Meds for insect stings
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Towels
  • Booties for injured paws


Consult your vet on the best choices, doses and instructions on how to use these items.

ASPCA Poison Control hotline (888) 426-4435 for emergency poisoning information and support.