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Camping with dogs can be either an extremely fun and enjoyable experience, or it can be a stressful disaster. We have 3 dogs that we love taking everywhere with us, especially on camping trips. However, when we take them into a new environment, they get curious. Their curiosity causes stress because the last thing I want is to lose one of my pets.
So, I searched for many ways of training dogs, so I can stop worrying about them in areas that are unknown. My goal was to trust my dogs that they aren’t going to run off, disturb any nearby neighbors, or become so distracted that they don’t listen when we call.
I wanted to know the best ways to keep a dog distracted and exhausted, so they don’t do something during a family camping trip that causes frustration or fear. Therefore, I’ve put together our favorite things we have tried that helps keep the family and the pets having a fun and adventurous camping vacation.
1. Give them a job
You’re probably wondering, “what, give your dog a job”? “How do I do that?”
Surprisingly, when you put a dog backpack on your pet, this stimulates that dogs’ brain that they are working. They are carrying their own water, food, or toys. Dogs love being useful, especially if you have a breed like a Labrador, Collie, or Shepherd to name a few. These breeds are working dogs and enjoy the brain stimulation a job gives them.
2. Bring the treats
If you have a pet that is food motivated, like our three pooches, then bringing the treats is the greatest idea. When we go on camping trips we bring not only small quick treats, but also larger chew toys like deer antlers or a stuffed Kong to keep them busy.
3. Go on a hike
This is great when camping because you’re going to be out in the wilderness anyways. Why not take a day and explore the area? Plus, your beloved pets will absolutely love it! This is a great time to put on that dog backpack for them as well. Not only are you giving them a job, but you’re also releasing all that energy most dogs have during the day so they can relax and sleep later by the fire. Plus, they are carrying their own water and food.
If you need any recommendations on dog leashes or harnesses check out my post on the Gentle Leaders here. We use them for all three of our dogs, it keeps them from pulling during walks/hikes.
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4. Take a swim
I only suggest this is you are by a lake or pond while camping. Our dogs love to get in the water and cool off. Taking a swim is a great way to exhaust them and keep them cool in the summer heat, depending on where you’re camping. Always stay alert and aware of your surroundings while your pets are swimming.
5. Play their favorite game or learn a new trick
Does your pet love to play fetch or frisbee? One of our dogs literally lives to play fetch. We can carry a ball with us anywhere and he will follow us until we throw it for him.
If fetch isn’t your pets ideal game but running around and playing with them is their favorite bonding time, go for it! Camping trips are great to just play and have a good time. It’s is also a great time to also teach them a new trick or game as well.
I hope you enjoy your camping trip with your beloved dogs. I know we love taking them camping and they love it too. Plus, camping and hiking creates a stronger bond between you and your pets as well as builds your pets confidence levels.
If you have anything you enjoy doing on your camping trips with your dogs that keeps them having fun, please share! We would love to hear!
Don’t forget to share this your pet loving friends and family who also love to camp!
Love these ideas! So far we have always left our dog at home when we go camping, but I would love to try to take her sometime when the kids are a little older maybe! And I really want to take her RV-ing! I saw you had a post on that, so I will hop on over and read that now!
I hope you are able to bring your pup with you on the next trip! 🙂
yay! We don’t have a dog, but this looks like so much fun, and they look like great tips!
Oh, how much fun that would be! If we were to go camping, we would definitely want to take our pup along with us!!
That’s wonderful! I am sure your pup will love it!
Ahhh!! Fabulous tips!! We’re getting ready to head out for the weekend AND will be bringing our pup, too!!! Perfect timing!!
Thank you so much! Hope you all have a great time!
Great tips, we miss having a dog but one day we’ll take the plunge, would love to going camping with a pup. I used to take my chocolate poodle Monte years back and he was a sweetheart to travel with too! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I hope you are able to get another pup and enjoy camping! 🙂
We always take our dogs. They love to camp, hike and backpack too. We always leashe them on the trails. We lost one once but he just went back to the car and a nice couple who was camping at the trail head took care of him until my nepphew went to get him.
What a great idea to give them a job!! Never thought of that…thank you for posting!
Thanks for the great tips. We love taking our dogs camping. Even though sometimes they bark too much.
This is great info! My sweetheart dog passed away from old age. She was a rott/lab mixed and loved having jobs to do. She would have been so proud to carry a backpack.
So many ideas – these are great to help include your dog on vacation!
My brother takes his dogs camping a lot and they love it! I’m not sure my city dogs would know what to do with themselves! LOL
I want a dog so badly too. We are a cat family and I’ve wanted a dog just for this purpose…to get on walks, hikes, etc.
We don’t have a dog but these are great tips! It goes for the kids as well 🙂 Love it.
We’ve never traveled with our dogs. I thought it would be too stressful. After reading this, I can see that it may not be so bad. Maybe we can try it.
We haven’t camped with our dog (9-month labradoodle) but we did stay at a hotel a few weeks ago, and he barked so much we got a complaint! I’m not sure how to keep him quiet in a hotel room, much less a campground. Any tips? Besides the barking, I think camping with a dog would be super fun. The gentle leader is a must for my dog!
I didn’t know that about putting a backpack on a dog. Cool info!
We hike/camp with all 3 of our dogs at times and it can be seriously hectic! Wearing them out is always key lol
CUUUUTE! Love these tips! We don’t bring our dogs camping (they are pugs) but I love this!
I think these are all great tips to keep our canine partners engaged and happy. It’s a lot like entertaining kids while camping!
We don’t have a dog yet – but when we do, you can bet it will be coming camping with us! Thanks for the tips!
Great tips! Keeping them active definitely helps!
We have no dogs, but every point here can apply just as well to a 2 or 3 year old! I’m not joking! These are all parenting ideas to keep a toddler interested and safe during a camping trip! Thanks!
Thank you for these tips!
I want a dog so badly! I already told my fiance that if we get a house with a decent sized yard and once our finances are in order, we’re going to go out to get a puppy (or an older dog that’s already accustomed to cats)!
Dogs and Camping, perfection in my mind! Oh yeah and with my family – haha. I am sort of a clean freak at home but camping the mess of kids and wet dogs do not bother me – let the fun begin! Thanks for the reminders of such a happy combo.
Yes, Camping is a great time to just let loose! 🙂
Oh I’m sure doggies love going camping! This is a very fun informative post!