Should You Take Your Dog Camping?

    Dogs are part of the family, so naturally, many people want to bring them along on their camping trips. In fact, according to the 2021 North
    American Camping Report sponsored by Kampgrounds of America (KOA), finding a campground that allows pets and has pet areas is a top consideration for
    nearly 30 percent of the campers surveyed. Here are a few tips on how to make sure your camping trip is as much fun for your furry family member as it is
    for you:

    Evaluate your dog’s temperament.

    Are they comfortable in new surroundings? Will they be comfortable encountering other people and pets and maybe even some wildlife? If you’re not sure, you may want to do a trial run by taking a day trip first.

    Find a dog-friendly campground.

    Just because it’s an outdoor activity, doesn’t mean pets are allowed. Before you show up with your furry friends, make sure your campground allows dogs. Many campgrounds offer special areas and services for pets. Some campgrounds have dog parks and fenced exercise areas, agility courses and pet grooming facilities. Some even have kennels and dog walking services so you can take day trips away from the campground without worrying about leaving your dog alone. Check with your campground in advance to find out what types of facilities and services they offer.

    Pack well.

    Make a list of the things your dog normally uses, including food, a dog bed, treats and toys as well as any prescription medication they may be taking. Some manufacturers offer special products for traveling with dogs such as packable dog beds and collapsible food and water bowls. There are even special first-aid kits made for dogs. It’s also a good idea for your dog to have a reflective leash or harness for better nighttime visibility, and if you’ll be hiking on rough terrain, think about using paw protectants or booties. And, of course, make sure you bring a good supply of dog waste bags!

    Be prepared.

    Make sure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and has protection from fleas and ticks. Bring along your vaccination and vet records and double-check to make sure the contact information linked to your dog’s microchip is current. Also make sure your dog has an ID tag on its collar and that you have a good photo on hand to use in case he or she gets lost. You might also want to do a little research ahead of time to find the name, number and location of the closest emergency vet, just to be safe.

    Check local regulations.

    Before you leave on your trip, familiarize yourself with any local leash requirements and barking ordinances and whether your campground has any size/breed restrictions for pets or other rules or guidelines you need to follow.

    Traveling with your dog can be a very fun and rewarding experience for the whole family. All it takes is a little planning. To start researching your campground options, visit and use the “Plan Your Route” feature. When your search results come up, click on “Add filter” and check “Pet Friendly” under the “Lifestyles” section. Book your favorite choice online then enjoy your adventures with your favorite canine companion.