OllyDog Lifestyle

5 Key Ways to Keep your Dog Warm While Camping

A dog hiking in the OllyDog Alpine Reflective Harness

Written by Liv Olsen


When we start planning camping trips in the colder months (including summers in the mountains where temperatures drop dramatically at night), you might want to bring a furry friend or two for company.

It can be difficult enough to keep ourselves warm on these camping trips, but we also have to do our best to keep our dogs warm. 

Generally speaking, our dogs can handle the cold weather as long as it’s not below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. But remember that every dog has its own needs for staying comfortable in low temperatures, depending on its breed, age, health, and even personality. 

These essential tips for keeping dogs warm while cold weather camping will undoubtedly keep your pet snuggly warm and safe so that they can enjoy the experience with you.


Warm up by playing!

In cold weather, staying active helps humans and dogs stay warm. You can go for a hike or play fetch with a Flyer Disc around the campground to warm up at any time, especially before going into the tent to sleep. If you start a campfire, keep your dog around you, as staying close is always a great way to warm up. Allow your pup to play and check their temperature. 


Keep your dog dry

Make sure your pup stays dry when you're outdoors. You'll be outside for long hours, and when their coat gets wet, it's difficult to dry naturally. When the temperature drops, don't let them play in the snow or water. 

If they do get wet, make sure they're completely dry before going to bed. You can keep them dry by always having towels on hand or letting them join the campfire with you to get warm.


Bring plenty of nutritious food, treats, and water

An easy one but probably the most important is keeping your dog healthy and fed with vitamins, food, and water. 

In general, feeding them high-protein, nutrient-dense food is an excellent way to keep dogs warm. That extra food in cold weather can warm their body fast, boosting their energy level. If possible, bring canned chicken or beef and heat them before serving. Heating their food will also help keep your dog warm.

The protein and nutrients provide your dog with the energy he needs to maintain body temperature and stay warm during cold nights. Hydration is essential, too, so bring extra water with you. You can get a handy dog bottle like the OllyBottle, a travel bowl, and a backcountry day bag to keep all your dog needs for food and drink.


Try tent sleeping

Where is your pup sleeping when you're camping

It's best to sleep in the same tent. This way, you can keep in check with your four-legged friend and stay warm together. Just make sure you have enough room for your pup. The temperature begins to drop when it gets dark, and dealing with the cold at night can be especially difficult. As a result, your dog must sleep somewhere warm and cozy throughout the night.

While many people probably already do this, it's especially important to do so during the colder nights when dogs can suffer greatly. Keeping them in the tent ensures that they are not exposed to the cold.

Another thing to think about is what your dog will sleep on. Take an OllyDog Vagabond Travel bed and plenty of warm blankets with you on your trip so you can add them to your dog's bed to keep them warm and toasty as the night progresses.


Dogs can have their own gear

Your dog can wear its own jacket and booties. Depending on their size, smaller dogs need extra warmth during the day, too. Jackets will keep their body warm the entire day. 

The booties can help their paws from freezing in the snow. If you don’t have these items already, you need to prepare in advance and try them on your dog before going camping. Some dogs need time to get used to them. Be sure you buy the right products for your dog so it can be comfortable and safe all the time.

Larger breeds do well in cold weather during the day, but nights are harder for most breeds. It is best to know your dog and how well they do in cold weather and see what works best for you and your pup to stay warm during camping trips.


Final thoughts

Going on a camping trip is more fun with our furry friends around. But more than keeping ourselves comfortable, we also need to ensure that our dogs are staying warm during the trip.

Make sure to prepare beforehand. Bring the necessary nutritious food and dog camping gear that will keep our dogs comfortable even if temperatures drop. Play some games to warm them up and ensure their cozy sleeping space.

But if your dog is still uncomfortable because of the cold temperatures, be flexible and know when to cut your outdoor adventure short.

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