Camping With Your Dog

Every year I like to head out to my favorite lake and camp. I always take my dogs, Sadie and Rusty with me. They love all the new smells, sights, and sounds. Rusty also like to chase the occasional squirrel he comes across. Here is a list of a few things to keep in mind when you go camping with your dog.

Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date. A phone call or visit to your vet will verify your dog’s vaccinations are up to date.

You may want to apply flea and tick preventive on your dog. Fleas and ticks can be anywhere, but are more prevalent in the woods. Using a preventative product could help to keep you from bringing fleas back to your home and yard.

Be sure to have an updated ID tag and/or microchip on your dog, just in case your dog gets lost. If you’re staying at one campsite for any number of days stop by your local Wal-mart/Petsmart and create a dog tag with the name, location of your campsite and a phone number where you can be reached.

Take a first aid kit for you and your dog. Make sure to include sun-block.

Make sure your destination allows dogs, most campgrounds are dog friendly but some national parks like Yosemite allow dogs only in certain campsites. Verify the trails around your chosen campsite allow dogs. You can go to to find an extensive list of pet friendly campsites. offers a listing of trails in the United States and Canada that welcome dogs.

When picking out your campsite try to get one that offers your dog some shade. Camping near a stream or lake is also a good idea. It will provide your dog with an easy source of water.

Bring an extra leash in case something happens to your regular leash. Or in my case I forgot their leashes and had to buy another one.

Pack enough dog food and water for your pooch. I always bring collapsible bowls for their food and water. If you do not own collapsible bowls, bring your dog’s regular food and water bowls. I prefer the convenience of collapsible bowls because they are lightweight, and you can easily pack them in a backpack if you decide to go hiking.

Empty your dog’s food dish of any leftover food. You do not want to attract any unwanted insects or wildlife.

Bring your dog’s brush with you. Your dog is likely to get stickers, fox tails and other things caught in their hair. I have found using a small black men’s comb will remove most stickers from your dog’s hair fairly easily.

I prefer to sleep with my dogs while camping. This way I am alerted by Sadie and Rusty if anything enters the camp area. They also help to keep me warm during the night. However, if you prefer, there are tents made for dogs, and you could bring along Fido’s dog bed. Keep in mind if you leave your dog outside all night he/she could get sprayed by a skunk or vulnerable to dangerous wild animals such as bears.

Make sure you are aware of other animals that may be in the area. Many people take their dogs camping with them so other dogs in the area are likely. There could be people on horseback, squirrels, rabbits, coyotes, the list is endless.

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