Camping with your dog is an excellent way to bond and explore the great outdoors together. Both of you get the chance to get some fresh air, and your dog will appreciate being able to experience new sights and smells.
However, doing this requires the proper amount of caution and preparedness to ensure that your furry friend stays safe and happy. Bringing your dog inside your tent with you is the best way to prevent any accidents, and it’s easier than you think.
Today, we are going to talk about how you can tent camp with your dog and still enjoy a pleasant camping trip together!
When to Keep Your Dog in the Tent
Tent camping with your dog involves sharing a space with them. This is done to keep them safe, and there are appropriate times to bring the dog inside.
- You should bring your dog into your tent with you when it’s time to get some much-needed rest. Your campsite is surrounded by wild animals and strangers who could pose a threat to your pet. Tethering your dog to a tree or leaving them in a kennel outside opens them up for attacks and at the very least, to run away.
- When you are trying to participate in activities that your dog can’t do, leaving them in your tent can be ideal. Though we’ll go over the do’s and don’ts of this briefly later, if properly executed your pup should be safe.
- Tent camping with your dog can be convenient when camping in the summer. The tent provides a way for your pet to cool off after a romp in the sun by providing shade and protection from harmful UV rays.
Packing for Tent Camping With Your Dog
Before you can hit the road together, you need to be prepared to tent camp with your pup. This means that you need to pack all of the supplies you’ll need for him.
- Dog kennel/crate
Tent camping with a pet is so much easier if they are crate/kennel trained. Though you can share the open tent with them, a crate often helps a dog feel safe and calm. Set aside a space for the kennel in your tent and get your dog comfortable with it. When it’s time to sleep, you can rest easy knowing that Spot is safe and cozy.
- Leash and collar
Most campsites typically require dogs to be on a leash when out in common areas. This ensures the safety of all other campers and pets. Before you go, be sure to grab your dog’s leash and collar.
- Food and water bowls
Your dog will need proper bowls to eat and drink out of while on your camping trip. You can leave these bowls in a large enough crate or kennel, but you can feed them outside (while supervised) or in your tent. The important thing is to bring enough familiar items that the dog won’t feel anxious. Familiar bowls will keep them calm.
(It might be obvious, but you should remember to pack food and clean water for your pup, too.)
Dogs, as you know, are nearly always full of energy! This doesn’t stop while on your camping trip. Part of the fun is bonding over playtime. Bring your dog’s favorite toys and spend time playing fetch or tug-of-war. Later in the crate, you may put one of the toys in the enclosure with your dog. This gives them something to do while you are away.
Tent Camping Tips
Tent camping with your dog will be tons of fun, but only if you know when to exercise caution and how to make the experience more comfortable.
- Make room
Even if you are camping alone with your dog, you should consider how much space you both will need. If you bring along a crate or kennel, this is even more room to consider. Buy a spacious tent that will accommodate all of your gear, your dog’s supplies, and a little extra room to relax in.
- Keep a watchful eye
Dogs are intelligent creatures, but not quite as much as humans. We know which dangers to avoid, and domesticated dogs do not. They’re used to safe environments and your protection. In the wilderness, they have more to fear from the environment.
You should always supervise your pup. Other wildlife, potentially poisonous plants, deep water, and strangers with bad intentions are just a few examples of the threats posed to your dog on your camping trip. Never leave Fido unattended outside. In the tent, you should never stay gone for too long and if camping in a group, have someone stay behind to watch him.
- Provide a safe tent environment
Your tent needs to be a safe haven for your dog in any circumstance. There are a few criteria that your tent should meet in order to be safe and comfortable for both of you.
- Plenty of ventilation is essential to a dog’s comfort and safety. Being trapped in a tent with no airflow on a hot day is dangerous. Dogs get overheated quickly, and they need fresh air.
- Your tent should be reinforced to stand against less than ideal weather and intruders. A tent with a floor is a great choice. It blocks out all bugs, animals, and weather threats. Any good tent will be made of durable material as well that won’t rip or tear at the slightest force.
- Leave water in the tent when you are away if no one will be there to supervise your pup. Dogs need to stay hydrated and cool; water will help. As a bonus treat, drop a few ice cubes from a (clean) cooler into the water bowl.
Don’t force your dog into dangerous situations
No responsible and loving pet owner intentionally puts their furry baby in harm’s way, but oftentimes, they underestimate the hazards of certain environments or situations. You should leave your dog in your tent when:
- Hiking steep, slippery, or dangerous trails. You may be able to handle these challenges, but your dog has much shorter legs and is not as careful to step lightly.
- Swimming or kayaking in water with a stronger current or aquatic wildlife. You are heavier than your dog and can swim better. Your dog likely can’t fight the current and certain bodies of water could contain animals that will harm them.
- Camping in freezing weather. To a certain extent, your dog can withstand snow and colder temperatures. However, every dog has its limit. Only breeds like huskies or Siberian mountain dogs with thick coats should be outside in winter weather. It may be better altogether to leave your dog at home if you are determined to camp out in extreme climates.
- Other aggressive animals are around. Properly socialized dogs do not pose much of a threat to each other in most cases, but untrained dogs are much more volatile. Your dog could be attacked. Try and find a campsite that has a strict leash law or will at least require dogs to be well trained.
Only leave your dog in the tent when necessary
You should never use your tent as a place of punishment or prolonged imprisonment for your dog. This will cause them to become averse to stepping inside. If the punishment is severe enough, your dog could become aggressive when confronted with it. Only bring your dog inside when you need to or when you want to spend some time resting with them.
Use your tent to calm an anxious dog
If your dog becomes anxious or frightened, use the tent as a safe haven and a place to relax. Bring him inside, speak calmly to him, and help him focus on things that he likes (i.e. toys or treats.)
Unfamiliar environments can be overwhelming for pets; they need a place to feel safe where the anxiety triggers are not visible. Your tent is an excellent refuge from these scary situations.
Best Tents for Camping With Your Dog
Some tents are better suited for tent camping with your four-legged friend than others. Spacious tents with great airflow and reinforced material are vital to the success of your trip, and they aren’t difficult to find! Check out the following tents and consider making one the perfect shelter for you and your dog.
- Coleman Sundome Tent
The Coleman Sundome Tent fits all of the criteria listed above and is one of the most highly rated by seasoned campers for a fairly affordable price. You can’t go wrong with the top choice for over 10,000 people!
- Coleman 6 Person Dome Tent
This tent is ideal for the camper with bigger dogs or for a group of people being accompanied by a pet. It’s spacious and reinforced, and there is a separate screened-in area for your dog to lounge in safely.
Tent camping with your dog can be a wonderful experience that you’ll want to enjoy again and again. All you have to do is follow simple guidelines and use a tent safe and worthy of man’s best friend.