How to Expertly Camp with Your Dog for The First Time

Are the mountains calling you? How about the ocean? 

If you’re feeling the pull of nature and you’re ready to break out the camping gear this summer, chances are your dog is feeling the same way! 

Camping with your dog is an excellent way to unplug and experience the wilderness with your furry companion. You can take them fishing, let them discover water-logged sticks on hikes, and even go for a swim (if the water’s warm enough). 

But if you’re taking your dog camping for the first time, you’ll need a little bit of prep before you can hit the open road and let them hang their tongue out the window. Here are our tips to make your first camping trip with your pup an event you’ll both enjoy while staying safe. 

What to Bring When Camping with Your Dog

Packing for a weekend camping trip with your dog can be half the fun, especially if they have a special toy or stuffed animal they want to accompany them. Make sure you’ve got these dog-friendly camping accessories, too. 

1. Vagabond Travel Bed

For a first-time camping trip with your dog, you’ll want to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible. The change in scenery will be exciting for them, but it also might confuse them and take them out of their normal nighttime routine. 

The Vagabond Travel Bed is our softest and coziest bed for your dog. With improved packability and a compression sack, you can pack it up quickly and save space in the trunk for the rest of your camping gear. 

The lightweight, soft micro suede and 2-inch thick down bed will unroll right into your tent for a restful night's sleep and plenty of dreams chasing squirrels for your pup. 

Get this durable and water-resistant dog bed for your dog’s first camping trip >

2. OllyBottle

Keeping your dog hydrated while exploring nature is extremely important, especially if you’re in the wilderness without access to freshwater. 

In addition to packing a large water container and filling up in the nearest town, you’ll need an easy way to share water with your dog without wasting it. 

We can help you out with that one. The OllyBottle is designed to let you share water with your dog easily. Thanks to its detachable bowl they can drink water anywhere. 

Safe for your pup, the bottle is made with non-toxic and BPA-free materials so you never have to worry about them staying safe while taking a sip after a big day on the trails.

Take this doggy water bottle hiking and have it on hand in your tent >

3. Base Camp Travel Trunk

As you start prepping your dog for their first camping trip you might notice — they have a lot of stuff to pack! 

Luckily The OllyDog Base Camp Travel Trunk is designed to pack and store everything they need for an outdoor adventure. The light yet durable fabric keeps it protected from the outdoors, while the sides collapse for easy storage. 

Go ahead, let them pack their favorite stuffy. 

Pack all their dog accessories in this portable travel trunk >

Where Can You Camp With Your Dog?

To keep your dog safe while camping, make sure you pick a destination that’s dog-friendly. That might mean breaking up long car rides or finding parks with developed trails that are meant for dogs.

If you’re looking for dog-friendly accommodations along the way, make sure you search for lodging that’s comfortable and convenient for both of you. 

It doesn’t hurt to find the best dog parks near your camping spot, either! 

Explore the best places to travel with your dog this summer >

Dog Camping Tips

Now that you’re packed and have your dog-friendly campsite selected, here are a few more tips to keep in mind when you take your dog camping. 

1. Bring Extra Water 

Whatever you’re bringing, double it. This is even more important in undeveloped campsites! If you’re going on an extra-long hike, be sure to pack two OllyBottles in addition to whatever you’re drinking. 

2. Keep Your Dog on a (Reflective) Leash

Traveling with your dog will likely mean that you’ll be out and about — in the campsite, gas stations, and hiking trails. To keep them safe from wildlife and right where you want them, we’d suggest the Urban Journey Reflective Leash. 

The reflective strip will keep them visible to you at all times while the material stands up to the outdoor elements. 

Many campgrounds will require you to keep your pup leashed, and even the best-trained dogs might need some help adjusting to the new surroundings. 

Pro-tip: Add a sticker to their tag with your campsite number just in case they get lost.

3. Consider the Climate

Unlike humans, your dog can’t tell you when they’re uncomfortable, cold, or not feeling well. 

When you do take your dog camping, make sure you consider the time of year and location you’ll be exposed to. You might want to pass on a winter camping location or think twice about heading out in the heat of summer. 

If you do take them out during these seasons, bring them extra dog gear to keep them comfortable, like heat-resistant dog booties or a cooling vest. 

4. Bring Toys 

What adventure with your pup would be complete without some awesome dog toys from home? You don’t have to go crazy, but we’d recommend at least bringing along a Flyer Disc for beach days and downtime at the campsite.

This flying and floating doggy toy will keep them occupied and happy on their first-ever camping trip. 

Use code FLY25 to get 25% off Flyer Discs in May > 

5. Be Up to Date on Shots

Dogs are prone to infections outdoors just like you. While camping with your dog make sure you watch out for fleas and ticks which can hurt your dog long after you leave the campsite. 

Staying up to date on their preventative medications and vaccines can help protect them while out in nature. 

And be sure to never let them drink from standing water which can be full of harmful bacteria. That’s what their OllyBottle is for, remember?

6. Leave No Trace

This camping tip applies to your dog too. To protect the environment, make sure you: 

- Try to contain their barking so as to not disturb local wildlife (and humans)

- Pick up their poop and dispose of it responsibly in trashcans

- Keep your pup on a leash to keep them from trampling on plants or other animals

Camp with Your Dog with Savings 

There’s a lot to consider when you camp with your dog for the first time, but breaking the bank shouldn’t be one of them. 

To inspire you to get out and explore, we’re offering several exciting May promotions! 

From Dog Mom discounts to clearance sales on your favorite dog accessories — there’s a lot to look forward to this month at Ollydog! 

Check out our latest deals on dog accessories >

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