Are you and your four-legged friend inseparable? Dogs bring so much joy to everyday life, it’s only natural you’d never want to part. You may want to take your companion everywhere you go.

If that includes camping, you need to take proactive measures to protect your pooch. You’ll also benefit from packing the right supplies. Read on to discover seven tips for going off the grid with Fido in tow. 

1. Pack Lots of Towels 

If there’s mud, you can count on your furry pal to find and revel in it. Don’t punish your dog for doing what nature intended. Dogs love to roll in mud and even garbage because it masks their scent, allowing them to sneak up on prey. 

Do, however, bring a hefty supply of towels with you. Few things are less comfortable than sleeping rough when you’re damp, other than the odor of a wet dog assaulting your nostrils the entire time. You might consider investing in an eco-friendly dry canine shampoo to freshen up your pal after he enjoys a romp. 

2. Bring in Backups 

When you go camping with a dog, you need to provide for both your safety and theirs. If you end up getting lost because your compass fails, for example, you’re not the only one wandering cold and hungry. Take the time to download a compass app in addition to your wrist version so you have a backup. 

Furthermore, you don’t want to run out of food. Treat camping with your dog like packing for an extra person. Bring an extra serving of treats you know Spot enjoys. That way, you don’t give up your last hot dog and end up hungry. 

Dog in a backpack being carried up a trail.

3. Test Your Dog’s Training 

How can you guarantee your dog won’t run off while you’re away? The forest is full of distractions, and Rover can fixate on the scent of a rabbit or squirrel and end up lost. You want to give your furry pal some freedom but avoid taking them off-leash until you know they’ll reliably return when called. Some breeds, like greyhounds, can’t resist the urge to chase, so exercise common sense even if your dog is obedient.  

Consider the wildlife native to the area before letting your furry friend roam free. A dog who takes off into the woods after a bear, for example, can lead it back to your campsite. Learn what to do if you encounter a wild animal on your excursion as well. The knowledge can save your life and that of your companion. 

4. Bring a Large Lead 

It’s a smart idea to restrain your dog if you don’t want to have him sleep in the tent with you. Even the most well-behaved dogs get curious if left alone too long — like overnight while you sleep.

Locate a place to stake your lead that is free from debris. You don’t want poor Rex to tangle himself up while you rest. Of course, you could always zip your dog up in your tent as well.

5. Practice Proper Etiquette 

Just because you’re in the woods, doesn’t mean you get a pass on your everyday dog-owning duties. Campers who follow your footsteps don’t want a boot full of excrement. Plus, many campgrounds protect nearby waterways from fecal coliform by insisting pet owners clean up after their animals.  

While rare, some campsites do prohibit pets or place restrictions on particular breeds. If you’re unsure as to whether a campground is pooch-friendly, call and ask before departing. You don’t want to have to turn around and go home if there’s a “No Dogs Allowed” sign. 

Dog on a mountainside.

Go Camping With Your Dog This Year 

Going camping with your dog is one of life’s joys. You and your furry friend will both benefit from your excursion outdoors. By planning correctly, you can ensure you make nothing but happy memories on your trip.