5 Important Things To Keep In Mind When You Go Camping With Your Pup

Written by: Wheaton Simis

July 8, 2015

Camping is one of summer’s best pastimes. Get away from it all for a few days. Feel nature blowing in the wind. Host colonies of insects in your hair.

Joking about the insects. Camping is fun. And your dog will go berserk. Smells that were unimaginable in your small urban or suburban home, now flourish and waft from seemingly everywhere.

But will your campground allow dogs? And if they do, what are the rules?

dog camping tent nature outdoors summer

1. The Campground Resource

The best online source for your pup-friendly camping questions (or any kind of travel questions really) can be found at There you can search for pet-friendly campgrounds in your area and find links to their websites, where you will find the specific rules for each campground.

dog hiking green mountain trail vermont outdoors


2. Summer? Summah Dah Rewls

The most common rule at major campgrounds (like the very popular KOA campgrounds) is that your dog must be on leash whenever she is not at your own campsite or rental unit. Some areas can be restricted to pups – certain swimming holes or trails – and there may be a limit to the number of dogs you can bring to a campsite.

man and his dog on flipping mountain

3. It’s a National Bark!

If you live in a rural area and are used to letting your dog roam free off-leash on the local trails, be careful where you tread in national parks. The National Park Service is very strict about its 6-foot leash policy. And for good reason. Dogs can unwittingly impact delicate habitats by their movement and scent. The “scent of a predator” may alter the behavior of other species living in the area. Finally, if your doge wanders too far off the trail, they may “become prey for bear, coyote, owl, or other predators.” Predators like this very big dog called a Grizzly Bear:

large BEAR

4. Up On Your Meds

Some campgrounds require that you show vet vaccination records for Rabies, Bordetella, and the Distemper Combo. Others require that your pup is spayed or neutered if they are over 6 months old. Still others ask that your pup be on a year-round flea/tick preventative. So be sure to check in with your campground about their specific requirements for your pup.

katie and her dogs in a puppin tent

5. I Want To Climb El Capitan

When you’ve planned an activity that your dog can’t participate in and they’re like

Did you consider me at all?
Did you consider me at all?

Check the local area for doggy day care centers, kennels, or dog sitters. is a great resource. Or maybe your dog is this base-jumping, rock-climbing rockstar and you’re the one taking a nap in the bed of your pickup, wishing you could spell “cojones.”

rock climbing dog

Featured image via PetMD

Written by: Wheaton Simis

July 8, 2015

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