Camping With Your Dog – Must Haves

Alaska Camping Adventures

Now that summer is in full swing, camping with your dog is a must if you like to camp. As dog owners, we know that we either have to take our dog with us, or get a house sitter, or dog sitter. Dogs are not like cats where you can just leave them some food in the house and walk out and know they’ll be okay. Dogs are like children in that regard, we have to take care of them 24/7; but that’s what I love about my dogs, they’re my companions and I love being around them all the time.

This past weekend, I took the RV with my family on the first camping trip of the year and I had forgotten about some things that were damaged or lost from last years excursions. When camping with your dogs, there are a few things that you just have to have with you in order for your furry friends to be content while away from the home with you. Yes, dogs are happy to be with you no matter what, and if your dogs are like mine, they love the road trips, and they especially love when I start getting the RV ready for camping. This was Atlas’ first trip in the RV, so that was a little nerve racking for her.

The Trip Out.

Since this was Atlas’ first trip in the RV, she was a little nervous being in a moving vehicle that she could walk around in. She wasn’t used to all the noises, the clattering of the hanging coffee cups or the shifting of a large vehicle roaming over terrible roads that you only experience in Alaska. One thing I noticed with her was that I had to have CBD to help ease her anxiety. Normally, she loves road trips with us, and she’s very excited to be in a vehicle; however, I noticed after just an hour on the road she was becoming more and more anxious.

If your dog has a hard time with road trips, then CBD or Hemp oil might be a must have for your furry friend. A friend of ours had to have a vet give her dogs stronger medication because her breeds are too hyper for a 4 hour drive. So if CBD or Hemp isn’t strong enough, you might need something a tad stronger.

Must Have Leash/Lead For The Stay.

Some campgrounds require that your dogs stay on a leash/lead the entire time simply because other campers will most likely have dogs as well, and as we all know, not all dogs are happy to meet other dogs. My dogs are happy dogs, but Atlas has a tendency to want to run around the sites, so a good lead is necessary for her to keep her within 20 feet of us at all times.

Some Tie-Out Cables come with a stake, that you can drill into the ground, and I found that that was necessary for our trip to keep her from getting tangled up. If your dog never wraps around chairs, or trees, or firewood, or any other obstruction in the way, then just the cable is sufficient. I do recommend having one though, so that you can avoid the situation one of our friends had with the long dog leash; her dog is a Great Dane, and having the leash around his neck and her holding onto him caused his leash to drag across every flat surface possible and rake everything to the ground. Dogs love to roam and having to hold a leash can become tiresome after about 15 minutes.

Dog Food and Treats/Bones.

I noticed last year that it became a normal weekend thing to pack dog food from the bags I keep in the house. I would take a few scoops of food and place it into a Ziploc bag and have to pack it every weekend. So towards the end of the season, I ended up buying separate dog food bags just for the RV so I wouldn’t have to pack the food every weekend. This might be something you decide to do to keep from forgetting it when you’re packing everything else up. Having separate dog food bowls as well with your camping gear became a good idea as well. This year, I couldn’t find the other bowls to save my life, and after getting home, forgot their bowls in the camper and realized last night after getting home why separate bowls was a good idea last year.

Bones and treats are also a good idea to have as well. Being outdoors for extended periods doesn’t stop dogs from wanting to chew on things and I found not having a chew toy was a terrible idea when one of my dogs started chewing on firewood instead. Constantly worrying about whether she would attempt to swallow a stick was a stressful situation for me, and even taking away the wood and placing it far away didn’t stop her from finding other random objects to chew on. Having a bone or chew toy is a must have for Atlas.

Camping For Days With Dogs.

Camping with your dogs is always a fun get away for my family. Our dogs are our companions and having them with us is priceless. However, dogs can get into things that can cause your trip to go south if you’re not prepared. CBD and Hemp oil is a must have for us in case something triggers our dogs anxiety. Anxious dogs are like us, they can get an upset stomach and that’s the last thing you want your dog to have while you’re camping. I also always try to have an extra “favorite” toy on hand so that they feel like they’re at home and relaxed.

Their normal dog food on a regular feeding schedule is an absolute while camping as well. Dogs that are on different feeding schedules just because you’re camping can cause a lot of stress on your dogs.

The leash/lead is a must have along with their normal leash. Tying them up near you will allow them to wander around and not be confined to a small space as well as allow them to stay within a certain feet of you. I have the 20 feet cable tie-out as well as her normal leash that I always take with.

Rice is also a must have for us. If our dogs get into something that some previous camper left as a “gift”, then in order for me to help ease their stomachs, I have rice on hand that I feed them that calms their stomachs and regulates their bowel movements. If you haven’t ever given your dog rice, then try it next time they have an upset stomach, it definitely helps.

First Aid kit should also be something that you have on hand.  I will admit, I had forgotten to list this until one of my readers mentioned it, so thank you for that.  I’ve had one in my RV now for the last 3 years and neglected to think of this when running through the list writing this article.  Since I have both kids and dogs, it’s necessary for me to have bandages, antibiotic ointment, tape, etc., on hand at all times.  A First Aid kit can be purchased from most stores and I usually look for the travel ones that come in the little kit so it’s easy to pack and takes up very little space.

I also didn’t mention dog bags for picking up after them.  Also a necessity (thank you to another avid reader for reminding me of this).  I usually keep a pouch just for the dog bags on the leash so that anytime they do their business, I can pick up after them since no one wants to step in that.  I never throw away the bag inside the camper, but rather I keep a small plastic bag outside the RV hung up so that I can throw the little baggies in there until it’s full or we’re leaving the campsite.  The last thing you want to smell during your stay is dog feces.

Camping With Your Dogs Is Fun.

While the list I named off might seem like a long laundry list, once you buy certain items, you can keep them for years to come. Of course the food isn’t part of that list, or the rice. The dog bowls, extra toys, dog bed, etc., will last for a long time as long as you’re not like us and lose things at the end of the year. If you tent camp, have a separate container labeled “Fido” or whatever your dogs name is so that you can keep it with your other camping gear. If you have an RV or trailer, be sure to not mix up your camping gear with your home gear for your dog. It makes the first trip so much easier if you’re not rushing to buy these items at the last minute.

Camping with my dogs is so much fun and so worth it, bringing them. I do have one dog that hates all other dogs, so sometimes he can be a handful, but having that CBD helps calm his nerves, so I recommend that for dogs that are especially nervous outside the home. Otherwise, have fun taking them on hikes, walks on the beach or around the town. They like to smell the sights as much as we like to see the sights.

What do you bring special for your dogs camping? Post your comments below – it might help us fellow campers to know what works best for you!

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10 thoughts on “Camping With Your Dog – Must Haves

  1. Really loved reading your post as my dog goes everywhere with us and yes a little thought before heading out can make all the difference to you and your dog. I actually like to take his own bed with us and I put a piece of my clothing in it, he settles down very quickly and it seems to head off any nerves or restlessness because he thinks he is at home. I liked the idea about the rice helping with stomach issues as he has always had a touchy tummy, I will try it. How do you prepare the rice for your dog?

    1. Hi Lily,

      I usually steam the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove.  I make just plain brown rice or white rice if I don’t have brown.  I find that it helps really quickly for upset stomachs and doesn’t take 24 hours like some OTC medications.  I also try to stay away from meds anyways and I’m always looking for natural remedies.  

      Next time your pup has an upset stomach, definitely try the rice method.  Works like a charm. 

      Thanks for reading,

      Katrina

  2. Hi Katrina, I loved reading your article regarding your furry friends! I have two…and like you said they are definitely like children hehe. Thanks for the tips, this will help me when we go out camping once this quarantine is over..I am sure they can’t wait either! Where I come from, one thing that we must bring is a dog waste bag, but I am not sure that is applicable to other countries.

    1. I actually forgot about the bags, I usually have those attached to the leash, so I’ll be sure to add bags.  I forgot the first aid kit too, and one of my readers reminded me of that.  I think having certain items always on hand makes you forget.  I’ll be sure to add the dog bags too since those are very important!

      Thanks for the tip and for reading my article!

      Katrina

  3. Hello there, This is an amazing article that you have got here. Camping with dog is fun but sometimes it is truoblesome. However, you made mention of the use of CBD oil and Hemp oil as they relieves the dog from anxiety. I haven’t really tried using any of these products, I think it is the reason why I have always find it difficult camping with my pet (dog).

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hello,

      I don’t think I could go a single camping trip without the CBD and Hemp with my dogs.  Both oils/supplements (depends on what your dog likes, but I like the oils) help relieve a lot of their anxiety and just helps keep them calm.  Ever since trying CBD last year, I will always back certain ones 100%.

      If you get the chance, try them at home and see how your dogs react.  You might just think I’m a lifesaver!

      Thanks for reading,

      Katrina

  4. Hello dear, thanks for sharing such an exclusive information with us, I was actually doing some reviews when I saw your post, I believe it has been of great help to me, o would live to thank you for the hard work you put in to bringing and providing such useful message, vthanks a lot, I’ll surely do some recoendations

  5. Every summer, we look forward to going camping with two of our Labs. They love the ride and the river, and not to mention chasing whatever that’s in the shrubs. This year may be a bit different from the virus crisis so we’re still weighing whether it’s a good idea to even go camping at all. Anyways, if I may add to the list, I think a basic first aid kit would come handy so that you can attend to simple wounds whenever the situation arises. You never know what kind of accident they will get in the outdoors. 

    1. Hi Cathy, yes, I can’t believe I forgot the first aid kit.  I actually always have one in the RV for emergencies, especially since we have kids and dogs and they’re always getting into something.  Thanks for adding that, I’ll amend the post to include that.  

      I was a bit skeptical at camping this year since a lot of the state camping grounds in Alaska are closed because of COVID, but the RV campgrounds are still open, just operating at 50% capacity to allow for social distancing.  I hope you’re able to go at least once this year, it would be a shame to miss camping over a summer I think,

      Thanks for reading my article.  Be safe this year!

      Katrina

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