Camping with Man’s Best Friend

by Robin Shortt


Man’s best friend, your dog, and you can go camping and have lots of fun. Look at it as a walk that doesn’t end, during which he gets to spend all his time with you. For us campers, it can give us another means of security and another way of bonding.

For those of you who are wanting to get involved in this great adventure with their pet, there are some things you need to do to make this as fun as possible for both of you.

First time camping pooches should be shown the wonders of nature slowly. City or urban dogs need to be brought along slow because of their tender pads on their paws, and they need to get used to all open spaces and wonders of nature. Start with taking them on a some day trips to state, county and conservation Parks.

The wide open spaces will help your dog get used to unpopulated areas. He wll also find new odours and sights in this stress free environment. Going on nature and hiking trails will also help your dog gain muscle strength and fitness before you go camping.

As we enjoy the companionship of our dogs, they become a member of our families. Going with us on family outings, walks, trips around town, just about everywhere we go they tag along with us. That’s fine because we care about them so much. It’s not always the same with camp owners who feel dogs are not man’s best friend in their camping area. They have good reason to be. A lot of dog owners are not very good in keeping their pets leashed or cleaning up after them. They also don’t abide by the camp rules the way they should, but many irresponsible dog owners feel the rules don’t apply to them and their dogs. Of course because of these pet owners, we all suffer, thus there are now many campgrounds not allowing dogs. Check ahead to see if the campground you’re going to allows dogs, and if so, are they allowed on the trails, or have special trails set aside for dogs. Also some campgrounds charge two dollars a night for dogs as well.

As loving, caring, pet owners, we need to find a way to take care of our dogs while we go out on the trails with our other family members. We could take turns dog sitting with family, friends, other campers with dogs. One thing we need to do is make sure we are good responsible pet owners. Check ahead before you go camping with man’s best friend.

Here are some pre-camping tips:

  • Try to take your dog for a pre-camping visit for possible needed shots, and a Rabies shot tag for his collar.
  • Look at a possible Lyme disease vaccine.
  • Take with you a current copy of his records and his vet’s phone number.
  • Pick up a proper dog license & ID tags for your dog with their name, your name, etc.
  • Microchips, tattoos and pet registries can be used.
  • Bring medications and a copy of prescriptions.
  • Try to get a site with some shade for your dog.
  • Supervise your dog closely around children, other visitors and other dogs.
  • Keep your dog quiet. Frequent and continued barking disturbs the wildlife and other campers.
  • Let your dog have time to adjust to his new surroundings. Give him time to rest.
  • Try to use ziplock bags to pick up after him and properly dispose of it in appropriate trash containers.
  • Keep an eye on how weather conditions affect your dog, heat, cold, rain, etc.
  • Consider use of a crate for travel and short term restraint, while you are near. Your pet could be stolen if not watched carefully.

You should be aware that your dog will have increased exposure to ticks and fleas. Take the proper tick/flea collars, repellants or use Frontline applications. Other diseases can also be transmitted by wild animals and insects.

About the Author
Robin Shortt is a father of five children and five step children and thoroughly enjoys the outdoors. He is also a Cub Scout leader,who sees the big picture when it comes to helping our children to love and explore the great outdoors. Visit: for more original content like this.

— is an Amazon Associate as well as a participant in various affiliate programs, as such fees are earned from qualifying purchases.