Have you ever considered bringing your dog camping with you? We’re not talking about hiking or rolling in the RV with your pup. We’re talking about actually bringing your furriest camping mate deep into the outdoors with you. Although dogs arguably do better warmth-wise in the winter time than they do in the summer, they still need to be kept warm like we do. They also need to have the freedom to have some fun, otherwise there’s no point in bringing them!
If you want to take your dog winter camping, then make sure you pack these important items:
First Things First: Is Your Dog Suited for Winter Camping?
All dogs might love running around outside, but some prefer to do it in their own backyard. Many dogs just don’t do well on trips. You need to take your own dog into consideration before you head outdoors. If you don’t yet have a dog and you’re looking for a breed that’s best for being a camping companion, consider a Labrador Retriever, a Husky, a Burmese Mountain Dog, or an Alaskan Malamute.
An Extended Leash
It’s hard enough already to find a campground where dogs are allowed. But, finding one where dogs can run off the leash is even more difficult. You’re going to need to plan on bringing a leash for your dog. But, why not bring a thoroughly extended one? As long as it’s attached to something (and your dog won’t hurt anyone), this is a great idea to keep your dog happy. Tie a long, sturdy rope to the end of your dog’s leash, and then tie the other end of that to a tree (or hold it yourself).
You can also try the Buddy Hands-Free Leash, to keep your dog nice and close when you leave your campsite to go on day hikes.
Though a dog’s paws are a lot more suited for the rough terrain than our feet are, your dog will appreciate it if you provide them with some extra protection. Especially, during the winter. The booties by Ultra Paws will do the trick. Buy a pair (or pairs?) of these and put them on your dog’s paws when you go camping. It will prevent their paws from cracking or cramping up with cold.
A Warm Bed and Microfiber Towel
You need a warm sleeping bag in the winter, and your dog needs a warm bed, too! Check out the Ruffwear Highlands Bed for your pup. It’s portable and durable, and also comes with a pad (sold separately) for extra warmth and comfort during winter camping. And, if your dog gets covered in snow, any towel will do a decent job. But, when it comes to getting your dog dry, the Shamwow will guarantee a perfect clean up!
A Sweater or Vest
That fur coat sometimes just isn’t enough. Putting a sweater or vest on your dog to give them extra layers of warmth while winter camping is important. There are plenty of companies out there, like Ultra Paws and Ruffwear Highlands, that make this kind of gear. Make sure your pup is prepared.
High-Energy Treats and Food
Fido always needs a reward for being a good boy or gal at the campsite. But, the truth of the matter is, not all treats are good for them. (Shocker!) Therefore, it’s really important that when you take your dog winter camping, you keep them warm and happy with high-energy dog treats. Some specialty dog stores sell treats like this, but you can also make them yourself. Use ingredients like dried blueberries, dried bananas, dried apricots (or other fruits), oat flour, coconut oil, etc. Just check with your vet first.
For their food, consider mixing their normal food with puppy food. Puppy food has more calories to give pups more energy, which your dog will need when it’s super cold outside. You should also bring extra food in general since they’ll be going through a lot more. A collapsible bowl set is a lightweight way to serve your dog food and water outdoors. You can also heat up their water a little bit before serving it to them.
What’s a fun camping experience with your dog when you don’t bring the toys? Dogs need to be occupied. So, when you go camping with them in the winter, bring something that will help keep their bones warmed up during the whole experience. Take along their favorite ball or squeaky toy so they have something to play with while you’re starting the campfire.
Camping with humans is one thing, and a dog is just as much a part of the family as a humans are. If you bring your pup along camping this winter (and you very well should!), make sure they are as prepared for the cold as you are!