WILD- Lesson 1- Camping Safety


Dogs will encounter many different environments and situations on a camping trip. This may include car rides, other animals, large groups of people, and of course nature. It is important that you take time to prepare for every possible circumstance so the dog can have a safe and enjoyable trip. If the dog has never been camping before or is new to traveling and the outdoors, consider doing a trial run. Some ways to prepare your dog for a camping trip include:

  • Taking longer walks: A successful campout with your dog depends on your ability to keep your dog safe and under control while at your campsite. You can work on your dog’s on-the-leash behavior by taking it for long walks each day and practicing leash commands.
  • Relaxing outside: Is your dog a hermit? Some indoor dogs have little interest in the outdoors, but that does not mean you have to leave them at home when you go on a camping trip. Help them acclimate to the outdoors by spending more time in your yard or on your porch. Take some of their favorite toys outside, or implement a reward system for spending time in the sun.
  • Socializing with others: If you are camping at a pet-friendly campground, there will likely be several other dogs and pet owners camping nearby. Practice your dog’s social skills by taking them on a few play dates with other pups. This is also a good way to test your dog’s behavior around others and see if you need to implement any further training.
  • Have a backyard campout: If you are unsure how your dog will respond to a camping trip, why not have a trial run? Set up camp in your backyard and behave exactly as you would on a camping trip — keep your dog leashed or secured at all times, spend time around a fire ring and invite your friends or family to join for social interaction. By assessing your dog’s behavior in this controlled environment, you will have a better idea of how to prepare for the real deal.


Although not every campground is pet-friendly, there are many places across the United States that welcome well-behaved dogs. Always contact a campground individually for information regarding their pet policy and rules. Some things to ask about include:

  • Leash requirements: Most pet-friendly campgrounds still have leash requirements for the safety of all campers and their pets. Leash requirements vary from location to location, but the general rule is that the leash is no longer than six feet long for easy control. Some places may have additional restrictions, such as no retractable leashes.
  • Barking ordinances: All dogs bark, and most campers and campgrounds are very understanding of this. However, if your dog barks uncontrollably or excessively into the night, be aware that some campgrounds may ask you to find lodging elsewhere.
  • Aggressive behavior: Pet-friendly campgrounds are a place for pets and their owners to relax safely, which means aggression is not permitted. For the safety of your dog and others, it’s best to leave your pet at home if you feel they might not respond well to other dogs, new people or unfamiliar surroundings.


In addition to standard camping supplies, camping pet-friendly means bringing along everything your dog needs to have a safe and memorable time. Some dog camping essentials include:

  • Dog food and a bowl
  • A bowl for water
  • Dog treats
  • Prescription medication, if applicable
  • Stake or tether
  • Extra towels
  • Dog first-aid kit
  • Outdoor-safe toys
  • A leash
  • A current photo
  • Vet records and medical information
  • An attachable ID tag
  • Dog waste bags

Reference https://koa.com/blog/tips-from-camping-with-dogs/

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