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Camping Needs and Checklist for Your Dog Tips, Supplies, and Gear

Updated on July 18, 2012

Robbie Camping

Notice the water bowl and Tie out line
Notice the water bowl and Tie out line

After a few years of camping with my dogs, I have learned a few things that I needed to have specifically for the dogs that were not on my Family Camping Checklist.This list by no mean is all-inclusive or meant as a complete list for everyone, this is what I have found to work for me.

First you need to make sure that the campground you are planning on staying at is Pet Friendly in the first place. I have discovered that you really need 2 bowls (1 food / 1 water). In the beginning I was trying to save space in such so I only would bring 1 bowl.Thinking that I could when it was time I would empty the water out of the bowl, feed the dog, and then refill the bowl with water.Sounds pretty easy and good in theory until you forget to refill the bowl of water.With the water bowl dry my smart Malinois decided that the cool had plenty of ice cold water to drink, and then he discovered that it also was where we kept the hot dogs.Needless to say we did not have any hot dogs that trip…Out of pure selfishness for wanting my own dinner and no dog drool in the cooler, I now bring 2 bowls and always keep the water fresh.

Secondly I bring along a large blanket because as a dog own you already know that dog will lay in everything and anywhere, but if I put down a blanket 95% of the time he lays on that. So by bringing the blanket, the dog has his own area in the camp, and it keeps him a little cleaner.Along with the blanket I have found that a towel specifically for the dog is a must.You never really know if it is going to rain, or the dog decide to jump into the river, lake, pond, etc… You just never know, they are dogs after all.That being said do not spend a lot of money on these, go to Goodwill.

I made a big mistake one of these first times I brought the dogs with us camping, just because I did not know the “rules” of the designated campgrounds. Most campgrounds that are run with a camp host will require your dog to be on some type of leash at all times. I only learned this when I was setting up our campsite and the host came walking over with my dog in toe and a scowl on his face. He said that I had to have him leashed and or that I would need to leave. Yes after looking into this I really could have been asked to leave… Lesson learned. I now bring either a 4 or 6 foot leash for just walking around, and a 25 foot “tie out” line. The reason that I found the tie out line to work so well is that I can hook it around a tree, picnic table or even my truck. With the 25 feet it gives him plenty of room to roam but still be in compliance with the law.

Beyond the Blanket, Towel, Bowls and Tie out line, I will bring; Dog food (of course with a little extra), A toy or two (They need to enjoy camping too), Dog boots – I only use these depending on weather and the environment, Dog Saddle pack – The pack is two-fold, The dog can carry their own water, bowl, treats, towel and anything else that I can get into it, but it also helps keep my dog safe, especially out in the Arizona Desert with all the sharp rocks, thorns and cacti.I have truly lost track of the amount of spurs, thorns and cacti I have pulled from my dogs. Last but certainly not least is a dog first aid kit. I include a good set of tweezers and needle nose pliers to pull out those thorns or really pesky ticks. Also included is a bottle of pet-safe or pet specific bug repellent to keep those ticks and mosquitoes away, and even a few Benadryl just in case the dog gets into a bush that they are allergic too or even stung by a bee. We all know how fun it is to watch your dog chase and try to catch flies or other bugs.For more information about pet allergies or pet first aid kits please contact your local veterinarian.By chance you are in Arizona contact Palm Glen Animal Hospital, they are a predominant Animal Hospital that care for most of the Police Dogs and has first aid Kits available.

In preparation for taking your dog on a camping trip please read Basic Dog Commands All Dogs Should Know.With an obedient dog you will have a much more enjoyable, less stressful time.Please share the outdoors with your four legged friends, and for the family check out Family Camping Checklist to start off on the right foot.

Feel free to leave comments questions, or suggestions of other camping, or dog related articles you are looking for. Thanks again DesertArmor


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    • profile image

      P. Dog 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your experience. 'Tis the season to remember to bring your dog when enjoying the great outdoors. They want to share that quality time with you. With luv, P.

    • wynnestudios profile image


      6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      What great information. I am always afraid to take my dog camping but with this information I can probably be a bit more at ease now. Thanks for your post.

    • freecampingaussie profile image


      6 years ago from Southern Spain

      I enjoyed your hub for when we have a dog. I wrote a hub about camping etiquette but didn't mention pets . Found you while hub hopping.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Great hub! I am going to read basic commands now!


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