This summer will be the summer of the road trip and many people will be camping. Do you plan on taking your pup? Are you on the hunt for some of the best camping gear for dogs? Having the right dog camping gear can make your outdoor adventures a lot easier on both you and your furry friend.
Our dog, Barley, went on her first camping trip when she was two and a half months old. We learned quite a few things the hard way. I hope since you are doing your research ahead of time, you won’t run into the same issues!
If you are planning a camping trip with your dog then make sure you check out the complete guide to tent camping with a dog.
Below are some of my top gear recommendations for dog owners!
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Must-Have Camping Gear for Dogs
Collapsible Dog Bowl
When camping or especially hiking with your dog, one of the best pieces of gear that you can invest in is a collapsible dog bowl. Since the bowl is collapsible it makes it easy to travel with and many brands come with a carabiner attached so you can hang it from your backpack.
These bowls are great for food or water either one. You can either bring two – one for food and one for water – or use the same one for both. Just remember to bring plenty of food and water to fill it up!
My pick: RUFFWEAR BIVY Collapsible Bowl
Dog Camping Bed
A dog camping bed is essential while camping. If you want your dog to know where their spot is then you’ll want one of these outdoor beds. Your dog will feel a lot more at home in the wilderness with one of these.
Of course, your dog might be a little finicky (I know mine is) so you may want to try it out at home first before you bring it along. It’s nice to have somewhere for your dog to lay though so they have their own space in the tent.
Soft Dog Crate
Some dogs need a bit of structure when they go to sleep which is where a soft dog crate comes in. This will make sure that your dog stays close, and they might even feel safer sleeping in it during the night since they’re not in their usual home.
A soft dog crate will also fold up almost flat, so it’s much easier to transport. They also come in handy if you need to leave your dog at your campsite for a little bit.
My pick: 2Pet Foldable Dog Crate
First Aid Kit
Don’t leave home without a first aid kit for your dog. Ideally, you’ll want to bring a human first aid kit as well as a first aid kit for dogs specifically.
A dog first aid kit will include things like a soft muzzle, syringes, and a magnifying glass in addition to the typical first aid items. The AKC has a great article explaining what is needed in a dog’s first aid kit.
My pick: RAYCO First Aid Kit
Tie-Out with Cable
When you first get out of the car at your campsite you’ll want to take your dog on a walk so they can get familiar with their new home for the next few days. Then while you’re setting up camp you’ll need somewhere to put them so your hands will be free.
This is where the tie-out comes in. Your dog can safely hang out at your campsite while your attention is on other things. Just make sure wherever you stake them out at doesn’t have anything harmful nearby that they could get into.
LED Collar or Light Clip
One thing you absolutely don’t want to do is lose sight of your dog, especially at night. While most areas require your dog to be on a 6ft leash, if you are camping in the backcountry then typically that is no longer a requirement.
These collars aren’t only useful on a trip though. These can be used at home as well and might be even more helpful if you let your dog out at night by itself. Either way, at the campsite it is always helpful when you and everyone else know exactly where your dog is at.
Doggie Bags and Container
For the love of all that is good and holy, please pick up after your dog.
Bring along plenty of doggie bags and a container to hold them until you can dispose of them. This is especially important for when you are out hiking and you won’t have a trash can nearby.
So many people don’t do this and it drives me nuts!
Plenty of Treats
Just like you need to snack while camping, so does your furry friend! Treats are a must-have when it comes to dog gear for camping. Be sure to bring along a variety, and maybe even a bone to keep your dog busy while you set up camp.
These treats pair great with the treat-dispensing toy later on in this list!
Convenient Camping Gear for Dogs
Portable Dog Pad
A portable dog pad is an easy way for your dog to feel comfortable during your camping expedition. It provides a bit of softness between the cool, hard ground and themselves.
This is the perfect thing to bring along if it is going to be chilly and you want them to have a comfy spot to lay near your campfire.
My pick: RUFFWEAR Portable Dog Pad
Dog Sleeping Bag
Just like there are sleeping bags for humans, there are sleeping bags for dogs too! It can get really cold outside at night and a dog sleeping bag is a perfect solution to make sure your dog doesn’t get uncomfortable or even dangerously cold.
If you are camping during the summer then this may not be as important. However, if you are headed into high altitudes where it still gets cold at night or camping during shoulder season then it’s probably a good idea to bring along.
My pick: RUFFWEAR Dog Sleeping Bag
Guess what; you don’t have to carry all of your dog’s essentials. Some things, like doggie bags or treats, can be put into a backpack that your dog carries for you. This is an often-overlooked piece of camping gear for dogs.
Dog backpacks come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you pick one that’s the right size for yours.
My pick: RUFFWEAR Dog Backpack
If you know that there will be a lake or water near your campsite, you’ll for sure want to get a dog life jacket. life jackets help dogs who aren’t good swimmers and are extra insurance just in case because as we all know, accidents do happen.
Pro tip: Purchase one that has handles so that you can quickly grab your dog out of the water if a situation gets out of control.
My pick: RUFFWEAR Float Coat Dog Life Jacket
I resisted the waist leash for a long time because I was nervous about Barley pulling me down. I finally caved though and got one because I really needed to be hands free during my hikes.
This is a game changer.
Not having to hold onto a regular leash all the time makes it so much easier to take photos and videos. It’s also just nice to not be focused on a leash all the time while you’re outside.
My pick: iYoShop Hands Free Leash
Doggie Cooling Vest
This is a great item to bring if you are headed into a hot or humid climate. Your dog could get overheated, especially if there’s a bit of a hike to get to your camping location.
You want your dog to feel comfortable and one of these can cool them down quickly.
My pick: RUFFWEAR Swamp Cooler Vest
The perfect way for you to keep your dog busy while camping is to get a treat-dispensing toy. There are lots of these out on the market, but Kongs are usually the most popular.
Whenever you have your dog on the stake-out a treat-dispensing toy is a great way to make sure your dog stays calm. I know Barley gets very vocal when we aren’t giving her attention unless she has something else to focus on.
My pick: RUFFWEAR Gnawt-a-Rock
Paw balm is an underrated piece of camping gear for dogs. While this can be included in the dog first aid kit, it’s an important piece so it deserves its own section.
If your dog isn’t used to a lot of walking especially on rough terrain then their paws could become raw while on your trip. Make sure to bring paw balm along just in case and it will also help if your pup gets a cut.
My pick: Musher’s Secret Paw Wax
Don’t Leave Home Without These Camping Essentials for Dogs
While you don’t necessarily need all of this equipment, most of the items are nice to have! It will definitely make your trip go a lot smoother.
I’ve also written about tent camping essentials for humans!
Have you ever been camping with your dog? What essentials did you bring along?