Camping with pets can be a wonderful experience for both you and your furry companion. However, it's natural for pet owners to have questions and concerns about bringing their pets along on outdoor adventures.
We’ve put together some helpful tips for camping with pets to get you started on the right foot.
Choose Pet-Friendly Lodging
Camping with your pet requires some research. To start, search for pet-friendly campgrounds, cabins, campers, or vacation rentals.
You’ll also want to look around and make sure nearby trails, beaches, and parks are pet-friendly as well. Otherwise, you may be limited on your trip.
Read reviews to see what other pet owners had to say about their visit. You can also contact the host or manager to ask specific questions.
Check Local Regulations and Leash Laws
Beyond your campground or rental’s rules, familiarize yourself with local animal regulations and leash laws if you plan to explore the area. Don’t assume it’s what you’re used to at home.
Rules can vary by property, and some state parks and national parks have their own guidelines. If you can’t find the information easily online, contact the city, and a representative can most likely direct you.
Plan a Pet-Friendly Itinerary
Camping with pets means you have much less flexibility with where and when you go places. Planning ahead ensures both you, your pet, and anyone else you’re camping with has an enjoyable time.
- Look for trails and activities that are suitable for your pet’s age, fitness level, and health concerns.
- Be mindful of spending too much time in hot weather that can cause your pet to overheat.
- Make sure your pet has consistent access to water throughout the day.
- Schedule time for breaks for your pet to rest and recuperate.
For safety reasons, you should never leave your dog or cat alone in a hot car or at an unfamiliar campsite.
Pack All Your Pet’s Essentials
Making sure you have all your pet’s favorite things to keep them comfortable and safe during your camping trip. We’ve put together a basic packing list to help get you started.
- Portable food and water bowls (so you can take them on trails, boats, beaches, etc.)
- Extra water supply (in case the campsite doesn’t have water access)
- Leash and collar (with proper identification tags)
- Reflective or LED options for night visibility
- Crate with bed, blanket, or mat for comfort
- Waste management supplies (bags, gloves, litter/litter box)
- Pet first aid kit
- Flea and tick prevention
- Favorite toys or chew items
- Weather-appropriate clothing and paw protection for extreme temperatures
- Pet shampoo and conditioner
- Brush or comb
Be sure you have a copy of your pet's medical and vaccination records handy too. They’ll be useful in case of an emergency, and some parks and campgrounds require this documentation.
Keep in mind that every dog and cat is different, so adjust your packing list accordingly. For example, small dogs or cats may do better with a carrier than a leash on hiking trails. If you plan to spend time on a boat, consider a lifejacket for your furry friend.
Be Mindful of Other Guests
Respect nature and fellow campers by practicing good outdoor etiquette with your pet.
- Keep your pet on a leash at all times except in designated off-leash areas
- Prevent excessive barking, meowing, or whining
- Clean up after your pet promptly
- Maintain a safe distance from other pets, wild animals, and humans
Even if your pet is trained, it’s still an animal. You never know how your furry friend will react in unfamiliar areas or emergency circumstances.
Stick to a Consistent Diet
Sudden changes in diet can disrupt your pet's digestive system, leading to gastrointestinal upset. Pack enough of their regular food to last the entire camping trip and avoid introducing new foods.
While it can be tempting to give them hot dogs and other scraps around the campfire, you don’t want your pet dealing with stomach issues on your trip. Certain human foods, like chocolate and some spices, are also harmful to animals, so be sure you keep your coolers and food packs away from your furry friend.
Avoid Environmental Contaminants and Hazards
Keep an eye out for environmental factors that could affect your pet's gut health. Avoid trash, stagnant water sources, and potentially harmful plants. Your pet could easily swallow something that causes digestive issues — or worse.
Consider a Pet Health Supplement
The change in environment, travel stress, and exposure to potential infections or illnesses during a camping trip can disrupt your pet's digestive system.
Probiotics and supplements contain beneficial bacteria that help restore and maintain a healthy balance of gut flora. This can aid in digestion, improve nutrient absorption, and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea or constipation. But they don’t always do enough. Sometimes, artificial ingredients and additives can even cause side effects for your pets.
You can go beyond probiotics with Maya Pet, the first-ever anthrobiotic. Based on ancient wisdom, Maya Pet’s targeted Smart Strains™ of good bacteria actually modulate your pet’s immune system and boost gut health.