Every camping adventure needs a good home base. These tips will ensure your tent is the ultimate retreat for you and your pup after a long day of hiking, swimming, exploring — and s’mores.
1. Purchase a tent with your dog in mind.
The first rule of tent living? Make sure you have enough room for the whole crew, including your dog. Count your dog as another person in the group, especially if he’s medium-to-large size (30 pounds and up), and choose the size of your tent appropriately. You should also consider the way your dog sleeps — if you have a pooch who likes to sprawl while snoozing, you might want a little extra space.
2. First-time canine camper?
If your pal has never spent time in a tent before, especially overnight, you may want to try it out in your backyard before you head out into the wilderness. If your dog is anxious in the tent for any reason, you can spend time slowly acclimating and practicing until he feels more comfortable. Better to know how your pup will react before you’re out in the middle of nowhere!
Pro tip: Once your dog has acclimated to the tent, try a short camping trip nearer to home. If he’s anxious, you won’t be far away if you need to return home. And if he does well, then you’re ready to roll.
3. Keep your pup comfy overnight.
Everyone enjoys a cozy spot to sleep — and your dog is no exception! Bring along a dog bed or sleeping bag that’s designed for a soft and comfortable rest outdoors. You can even try sleeping bags made just for dogs. Look for tear- and water-resistant materials, too. Durability is important for any outdoor doggie gear — lots of pups love to dig.
4. Put down some paw protection.
Even the most well-made tent can be susceptible to rips and tears from your pal’s nails. Bring along some duct tape to patch up any accidental damage. You can also expect muddy paws to track in a fair share of dirt. Line the bottom of your tent with a blanket to protect it from damage and keep a towel on hand to clean off your dog’s paws after time on the trail.
5. Consider a cooling pad.
If you’re camping in the summertime, keep an eye on the overnight temperatures. You should keep your dog inside the tent to sleep for safety, but if the nights will be warm, a cooling pad will keep him from overheating.
Once your tent is set up, you and your pup will be ready for happy trails, whether that’s heading out for a hike or cuddling up for campfire tales.