Camping with Dogs- how to make it stress free and fun!
Author: Ebony Reeves Date Posted:6 May 2021
If you are like me, any time spent with your dog is time well spent, and camping is no different!
Taking your dog camping can seem overwhelming or more hassle than it's worth, but with a few tips, tricks and products you will want to take your pooch each and every time. Here I’ll go over some important tips for different camping styles, including remote or bush camping and camping in busy locations like caravan parks.
Taking a dog somewhere new is wonderful enrichment for them as it stimulates their brain, thanks to all the wonderful smells and sights they get to enjoy. The more enrichment your dog gets, the better bond between you both, which tends to affect your communication over time. A happy dog is usually a better behaved dog too, so the benefits are numerous.
When camping in paralysis tick areas, I always carry a De-Ticker II Tick Remover with Clip for peace of mind and ensure all my pets are up to date on their flea/tick treatment. Both are more likely to occur in the wild as they are carried by native wildlife. Tweezers also work, however it is much harder and you can risk leaving parts of the tick behind. It doesn’t hurt to give your pets a quick once-over each night, feeling for any imperfections in the skin. Not only could this save you an expensive vet bill, your dog sees it as a massage!
In Australia snakes are pretty common, and unfortunately, not all pooches know to keep away. I always make sure to bring a First Aid Kit and Equip Snake Bite Kit with me, just in case. You can treat snake bites for pets the same way you do with humans, taking care not to cut off blood circulation. If your pet is bitten by a snake, please contact the nearest vet for advice.
I also recommend bringing a wide-toothed comb or pet brush. You might not feel the need to pamper a dirty pet, but if your camping area contains the odd prickle bush or cactus, you will thank me later! (I learnt the hard way on that one! I can confirm removing a cactus from a dog's belly with your bare hands is less than ideal.)
Keep an eye on your pet and night with a Nite Ize SpotLit - LED Carabiner Light- Stainless/Red or LED collar. I used to camp remotely with my pet with only a few lights on hand and I was constantly worried I had ‘lost’ my dog, even when he was tied up. This little light was the best purchase for peace of mind, and everyone at the dog park is jealous! I use it for all my twilight walks at home for added security. I’d recommend purchasing two for larger dogs, so you can add one to both the front and back of their collar. If you have multiple dogs, it's handy to purchase different colours so you can see what each dog is up to without needing your torch.
Lastly, water is an item that you should always have access to in case of an emergency, both for you and your pet. Heat stroke is a very real, very scary health condition which can be caused by inadequate water supply in all seasons. Help keep your dog safe by ensuring you always have heaps of clean water spare. It took me quite a few hiking trips before I learned the correct amount of water needed for me and my dog, so be sure to consider the activity you will be doing, the weather and regular drinking amount of your dog. We have a huge range of Water Storage options available depending on your needs. Finding the correct carrier for your storage can help as it makes bringing extra water easier. Check out all the hidden compartments in your car (like with the spare tyre or inside pockets) and leave water here ready to go in case of an emergency. Sea-to-Summit Pack Taps are great options if you are hiking as they pack well.
Handy Must Haves
Some items you don’t realise you need until you take the leap and purchase one. I have a feeling these items are on that list, and you will likely take them with you everywhere from now on. I sure do.
Compact Water/food Bowls
Normal dog bowls are pretty bulky, so I use hiking bowls and cups which are designed to be lightweight and compact. If you have a small dog like me, check out the Sea To Summit X-Cup which is big enough for them to drink from, and small enough to fit in your pocket for those long walks. Use the Sea To Summit X-Mug or Sea To Summit X-Bowl for larger dogs or for food. Whilst there are dog specific water bottles on the market, most tend to leak, or don’t compact down well, so I find a separate bowl easier, allowing me to share water from my personal bottle.
Long Line and Carabiner
Whether you have a big or small dog, invest in an extra long lead! It's worth it to see them running around on your adventures, without the stress of running away. You can pick 5,10 and even 30 meter long lines cheap from ebay. They do take a bit of practice and two hands to use, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it. The fun you have with your dog will be worth the time.
Carabiners like the Nite Ize Slidelock Carabiner Steel - #4 or Nite Ize S-Biner Steel #5 - Black should always live on your dog lead! They are extremely handy for quickly tying up your dog at the shops without undoing the lead from the collar. They can also double as a poo bag carrier on your walk. (Please note the weight rating on these items, and if you have a larger dog, I’d recommend seeking a more heavy duty alternative).
We can never have enough dog towels in our house, especially with water and mud loving dogs. Save the space of a regular towel with a compact Travel Towel. With all the added gear needed to travel with pets, every bit of extra space saved counts! These are another handy item left in your car for those unexpected rainy days.
Compact Dog Bed
Stop your dog stealing your chair by providing them a comfy spot to sleep off of the cold ground. The Outdoor Connection Dog Bed is just like a camping chair for your best friend! This one even has an optional Fleecy Mat for the colder months.
Hose down shower
If your dog gets muddy or sandy, having an easy to use portable shower can help keep your car clean. The Companion High Volume Shower plugs into your car so you can quickly hose down your dog. This product stands out from others on the market as it has good pressure for a portable shower so you can clean your dog quickly. It also packs down nice and small
Keeping your dog contained
Supa Peg Hurricane Angle Peg Zinc - 450mm - 28x28x3mm These are some of the toughest pegs we stock and combined with a Supa Peg Heavy-Duty Trace Spring 200mm, they make a great base for attaching your dog lead. (Please note we’ve only had a chance to test these on small to medium-sized dogs who are used to being tied up. Larger or escape-prone dogs may require something more elaborate). Similar alternatives include the Supa Peg 490mm Polypropylene Black Sand Tent Peg or Supa Peg 500mm Screw Peg - Yellow - Polycarbonate
Where to go camping with your dog:
Most state national park websites have a search feature allowing you to filter out the parks which allow dogs. We’ve done the hard work for you here, so click on the links below to see which parks allow dogs. Be sure to double-check each location before your visit though, as camping with dogs is only recently becoming more popular.
Don’t forget, more than 70% of Big4 Holiday Parks are pet friendly and are a great option for the entire family. Featuring fenced dog yards, pet-friendly cabins and campsites plus tonnes to do for the kids, they are a great addition to any trip away.
Parks which allow camping with dogs according to state:
Queensland (Click here for state listed parks)
South Australia (Click here for state listed parks)
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
The list above is by no means an exhaustive list, and are just a few suggestions to get you started. Websites such as Pupsy.com.au have fantastic databases full to the brim of suggestions all over Australia. If you have a favourite spot to camp with your pet, share it in the comments below for other pet lovers.
Some last minute tips:
Don’t leave your pet unattended in a tent, especially if you haven’t done training and practice at home to prepare them. Any confined space, or new place takes practice to adjust to, so be sure to reward your pet with cuddles and treats along the way so they learn that camping is a fun thing!
Start small. Do practice trips with your pet before you head out on a big adventure so they have time to adjust to all the smells, sounds and experiences involved in camping.
Take them for walks around your campsite. It's great enrichment for them and helps show them it's a safe place to be.
Bring fun things! I always pack some new toys or a bone with me in case we have to leave the dog behind one day. Giving them a fun activity to do while you are away can make a stressful time for them less daunting. Peanut butter jars with leftover peanut butter make great puzzles. Make sure that the peanut butter you use doesn’t have xylitol in the ingredients as it's dangerous to dogs. If your dog is great at puzzles, or has had plenty of practice, you can even give them the jar with the lid on for extra difficulty. I’m sure you also have old water bottles or milk bottles laying around which can be filled with the dogs' kibble for a fun activity.
We hope this has given you some tips for adventuring with your precious pooch! If you have any useful ideas or tips of your own, leave them in the comments below.
Written and Photographed by Ebony Reeves - Online Team - Tentworld
Thanks for the very helpful tipsBy: Ozzie on 11 May 2021I do enjoyed reading your helpful tips on preparing for a camping trip with my furry friend
Camping with DogsBy: Amanda Hancock on 8 May 2021Fantastic Blog about camping with dogs. I hike and camp with my dogs as part of my remote fieldwork but also am starting a social hike and camp with dogs meetups. I had no idea Tentworld sold this range of products. I will definitely be looking at the dog related camping products online and check out what else for myself Tentworld offers. Thanks
Loved this!By: Grace on 7 May 2021This is such a helpful read, I’ve always felt taking my dog on outdoor trips was daunting, but now I feel so much more informed and I’m looking forward to our next adventure.