There’s nothing more comforting than having a four-legged friend by your side when camping. However, leaving the dog in the tent while camping comes with quite a good deal of challenges.
There’ll be then certain things to prepare rather than just sleeping bags before you can snuggle up with your furry buddy and settle down for a relaxing night.
Here are all of what you should know before taking your dog on a trip with you.
Before taking steps to prepare anything, it’s crucial to make sure your dog is allowed according to the campground rules.
Each national park or camping area may have its own rules and regulations regarding pets, which can also be found on its official website.
Some campgrounds are very dog friendly, some others may prohibit leaving your dog unattended. You should then consider camping with your dog in the wild for more freedom.
Your Dog’s Character
Dog’s personalities are diverse; some are very independent and mature-manner; some are all needy and clingy.
If you’ve been raising your canine for quite a while, you can probably vision how it will deal with the situation when left in the tent.
Otherwise, the learning curve will be steep, and you will need a great amount of time to figure it out.
Here are some typical scenarios that you may want to consider leaving your dog at home.
- If your dog is skittish, any unexpected alarm will be reacted by barking, and you will be in big trouble with the campsite management and camping neighbors.
- If your dog is panicky, leaving it alone in the tent is also not a should-do. Your dog sleeps much better when it’s with you. Otherwise, the dog can end up with excessive barking or trying to hurt himself.
- If your dog is hyperactive, they are more inclined to be anxious about the new environment. Dogs bark a lot when they get hyped. In case you can compromise your comfort when having your dog beside you when camping, it’s a good idea to exhaust your dog before leaving them alone in the tent.
- If your dog is destructive or an escape artist, it’d also be traumatic to leave them alone. And there will be a lot of grimaces from your neighbors when seeing your dog alone outside trying to ruin the tents or fight with other dogs.
Choose The Right Tent
A quality tent to accommodate your dog is a must-have item when it comes to accompanying your canine friend on a camping trip. There are three tent types that go with different camping seasons.
Winter tents are normally the biggest type of tent among the three. They are also designed with stability and sturdiness in mind, making them an ideal tent option to accommodate your four-legged buddy.
Especially if your buddy is a big-sized dog, he will probably need his own living space.
The summer tents tend to be more compact as it does not involve much-required storage when camping in summer. One important feature that a summer tent should have is a chain to keep your dog in place at night.
Summer camping can be hot at day and cold at night, make sure the tent is packed with a durable sun shell and a cozy place for your friend to sleep.
Fall tents are quite similar to winter tents; however, they are usually designed to cope with unexpected or heavy rains. These tents should have beds and sheets with good airflow to keep your dog dry and comfy during their sleep at night.
The weather can be a deciding factor for the feasibility of having your dog with you during a camping trip. Storms and rains can be dealt with, but hot weather can be a worrisome challenge to your pooch.
Who wants to have a dog camping trip with your buddy in inclement weather? We know we all don’t want to.
Never leave your dog in the tent when you’re not sure about the surroundings.
Make sure the camping location is safe for both you and your furry friend.
Check if there is any dead tree that could fall off on the tent or any possibility of wild animals visiting during your stay.
How Long Can A Dog Be Alone?
How long can I leave my dog? You’re not alone in raising this question. Still, there’s no set answer to it.
Instead, the maximum duration you can leave your dog alone depends on many factors such as weather, tent ventilation, dog character, etc. The rule of thumb is that the shorter you leave your dog unattended, the better.
If it gets anxious, your dog may start crying or howling, some with separation anxiety may start hurting themselves. In order to familiarize your dog to being alone, here are some useful tips:
- Practice leaving it home before planning your camping trip
- Practice leaving it in the tent briefly and then gradually increase the time
- Prepare a special/favorite toy for your dog before you leave the tent
- Give it extra praise and affection when you get back
Leaving A Dog In A Tent At Night
It’s the safest time to leave your dog in your camping tent as you will spend time with it. Especially if it is your first trip with your canine friend, the new environment may cause a lot of anxiety, spending your time with him/ her is then even more important.
For a comfy stay at night, a bed or camping chair will be in need. It’s time to lay back and relax while your pooch can take a nap right beside you.
Tips For Leaving The Dog In Tent While Camping
Take A Practice Trip First
If your dog is not experienced in camping, you will need some “demo” trips to help it get used to living in a different environment.
The steepness of the learning curve depends on how fast your dog becomes familiar with being alone in a confined space. Be patient on your buddy; practice definitely makes perfect.
Prepare For The Dog
Food and water are the two essentials for every camping trip with your dog. As the tent’s space is normally much smaller than that in the house, the air is warmer, and your dog will need more water than usual.
Depending on the length of stay, an appropriate amount of food is also important to the comfort of your buddy.
Besides water and food, it’s advisable to include in your camping gear with some of its favorite toys, treats, and bedsheets. These add-ons will provide more comfort and reinforce its feeling of being safe during the trip.
Get help from campsite neighbors.
When you decide to camp with dogs, courteously explaining to your camp fellows that you have your pet in the tent is not a bad idea at all. This gives your dog more security when left alone.
Your campsite neighbors can be a great help in having an eye on your friend, which is also a great way to introduce your pet to the surroundings.
It’s a wise decision to let your dog stay in a crate and train it to be well-behaved inside; or in other words, let it be crate trained with a good manner.
However, most crates are suitable for small and medium-sized dogs. Big guys will need a larger space for more fresh air to stay in; you will need to let it stay without inside your tent.
Set Up A Safe Living Area
A tie-out cable leash (with dog collar) is recommended for any camping trip with your dog. You can easily keep your dog secure inside the tent or outside between the trees.
This allows dogs to have more space to roam around or chill under the shade. It’s advisable to have your dog leashed at all times for its own safety.
Alternative – Go RV-ing
An RV trip is an alternative to tent camping with more flexibility and safety for your canine friend.
It’s much easier to get your RV smell like your home, making it have the comfy vibe that your dog will enjoy.
RV also has a highly adjustable temperature and better ventilation; you will feel less worried when leaving your pet inside.
Related Questions and Answers
What to do when camping with a dog?
Your dog won’t be a fit for a camping trip with a lot of sightseeing and tourist attraction visits. It’d be more suitable for such camping activities as trail running, cycling, and hiking with dogs.
What to pack when camping with a dog?
For your dog’s comfort, the essentials include kennel/ dog camp bed, water, food (should be overpacked a little bit), leash, bowls, and aid kit.
What to avoid when camping with a dog?
The first and foremost thing to say no-no to is to leave your dog unattended. Triggering aggressive behaviors and letting loose table manners/ barking/ call of nature should also be avoided when having your dog join your camping trip.
How to acclimate your dog to the tent?
Here are some tips to get your dog familiarized to the tent so you can start bringing your dog to your camp trip.
- Practice camping in your backyard/ in your house to acclimate your dog to the smells and sounds of the surrounding.
- Play with your dog inside the tent
- Make your dog follow you into the tent
- Take a nap with your dog inside the tent
Camping is a great bonding experience with your pet. Still, leaving dog in tent while camping needs proper preparation and knowledge.
This walk through hopefully packs you with all the should-know before planning a memorable camping trip with your four-legged buddy.