Checklist for Camping with Your Dog


We’ve talked before about preparing your dog to accompany you on your camping trip. It’s always best to be prepared for the worst. Besides the appropriate tags and papers, this list of supplies to have on hand will help to make sure your dog is safe and happy.

Collar and Leash. Campsites require that your dog be leashed at all times, so you’ll want a durable leash. Squirrels can be a temptation for dogs, and you’ll want both the leash and collar to be strong enough to hold up if your dog suddenly lunges. For smaller or well-behaved dogs, a retractable leash might allow the dog to feel a little freedom to explore.

20′ Tether / Lead and Stake. This is good to have while you’re at the campsite. Most campsites will not allow the use of trees for tying a lead for your dog. Instead, you can tie the dog to a stake that you’ve brought along, picnic table leg, or other strong object. A portable fenced pen would also work for some dogs; however, if you think your dog might jump the fence, you’ll have to find another option or use a tethered lead as well as the fence.

Dog Crate / Carrier / Harness. Instead of having the dog roaming around the RV while traveling, it’s safest for everyone if he is restrained.

Air Freshener / Hand Wipes / Paper Towels / Baby Wipes. About 50% of dogs get sick while traveling in a moving vehicle. If this happens to your dog, you’ll want to be prepared. In addition to the above, you’ll also want carpet cleaner and plastic bags.

Water / Food / Dishes. Food and dishes are obvious. However, many owners don’t think to bring extra water for their pets, thinking they’re close to a water source. That may be so, but the water may not be safe for your dog to drink. If you can’t find out before your trip whether the water is safe to drink, it’s best to bring your own water. If you’re going to be taking long hikes or walks, bring along some collapsible dishes to feed and water your dog. Also remember to keep your dog’s food in a sturdy, waterproof container. Wild animals like dog food, too, so treat your dog’s food as you would your own and out of reach of other critters.

Also remember to bring plastic bags to clean up your dog’s waste, his bed and a plastic tarp. Your dog doesn’t like sleeping on the cold wet ground any more than you do. A towel to dry the dog if necessary, toys, treats, and a brush for grooming. Glow sticks are great for keeping track of Fido in the dark. Just activate it and attach to the dog’s collar. Depending on your destination and the time of year, you may want to bring booties and a jacket for your dog. In cold or particularly rocky areas, booties can come in handy to protect your dog’s paws.

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