Camping with dogs guide UK
Camping with your dog? Read our guide to camping with dogs in the UK to make the most of your trip!
Could there be any better way to enjoy the great outdoors than camping with man’s best friend by your side?
If you’ve never tried camping with your canine buddy before though, there are a lot of things you need to be aware of so that you can both get the best out of the experience.
✅ What should you be thinking about when planing a camping trip with your dog?
- Finding a dog friendly campsite
- Take a first aid kit made for dogs – this one is especially made for dogs and has everything you might need on a camping trip
- Make sure your dog has an ID tag – dogs need to have these anyway but if you’re camping, make sure you’ve got your local details and way of contacting you if you’ve left your usual devices at home
- Collapsable food & water bowls – this two pack of collapsible dog bowls have handy clips so you can hang them off your backpack if they’re wet
- Waterproofs for your dog – these waterproofs for your dog mean you’ll have less cleaning to do when you get back to base, and your dog won’t be damp all day
- Dog bed – dogs get their own sleeping bags too! We’ve tested and reviewed lots of sleeping bags for your dog, you can find the best of them here!
In the following guide, we will look at the most important considerations you need to make when planning your camping trip with your dog.
✅ Camping with dogs UK
Planning the trip is the most important thing. It would be foolish to just to pack up your car without giving it much thought and to take your dog out into the middle of the wilderness, without knowing if there were suitable facilities.
So, before you get too excited and head off, read on for our best dog camping tips!
✅ Dog friendly camping sites UK
It is actually very easy these days to find a dog-friendly campsite. You could either just turn a simple search on Google for ‘dog-friendly campsites’ or look at a campsite listing page.
Campsites has a really good tool for helping you find a site that accommodates dogs, you can find that here.
We have found that there is only a limited number up and down the country that don’t cater to dog owners. So, wherever in the UK you want to camp, you and your dog will easily find a site that is welcoming to four-legged campers as well as two-legged campers.
✅ Taking Your Dog Camping for the First time
Obviously, camping with your dog is not something you should just dive right into. Dogs, when they are out of their comfort zone, can get very stressed and that’s the last thing you want when you are in the middle of nowhere is a stressed-out dog. It won’t be an enjoyable time for anyone, least of all your poor pooch.
In this section of the guide, we will look at some of the most important things you need to think about and do when planning that first camping trip with your dog.
✅ What are some things you can do to get your dog ready for camping?
Trial Camping with Your Dog from the Comfort of Your Own Home
Before taking your dog into the beautiful and expansive British wilderness, it is a good idea to set up your tent in your back garden or even just in your living room and then see how your dog gets on sleeping inside it.
By taking this precaution, you can reassure your canine pal if he feels unsure about sleeping in his dog camping cot, dog camping crate or sleeping bag.
Properly Prepare Your Dog for The Journey
Is your dog used to long journeys in the car? If not, it’s time to get some practice runs in so he or she can familiarize themselves with how it feels, and you can make sure they are comfortable. It may be a good idea to purchase a high quality and soft backseat cover to not only protect your car seats from your dog’s hair and mess while increasing their enjoyment.
Research the Campsite Before Going
We have already mentioned this, but there are lots of dog-friendly campsites out there nowadays. However, as all dogs are unique, you must check whether the campsite you are interested in is suitable for your dog’s personality.
Check What the Weather Will Be Like
Camping is obviously an activity you can participate at any time of the year. It is best, though, to try and aim to take your canine companion away when the weather is good. You don’t want it to be too hot, but warm weather will always be better than rain and winds.
Treat Him/her For Ticks and Fleas
Campsites are breeding grounds for ticks and fleas that can expose your dog to at best irritate their skin, and at worst expose them to nasty diseases. It doesn’t matter if you regularly top-up your dog’s tick and flea protection when you go camping you need to make sure you take some along to be on the safe side.
✅ What to Pack for Camping with Your Dog?
Having covered all the above, the next thing you need to think about is the packing. To make sure you take everything you need, it can be a good idea to make a checklist and tick things off as you purchase them or pack them into the car. Let’s look at some of the most essential items.
Regardless if you are going camping or not, you should never really leave your home without your dog having an IT tag. These are important accessories, that are not particularly expensive but are a great place to store all the most important information if anything happens to your dog. They contain your contact phone numbers and address.
Doggy First Aid Kit
You probably already have a first aid kit for yourself and any other human campers coming with you. Well, what are you going to do if your dog needs bandaged up or wounds cleaned out? You need to invest in a doggy first aid kit, a pocket-sized kit is one of the most practical options that are easy to store away. As well as ensuring you have enough space for it in your car, it is best to also look out for one that can be easily attached to your backpack or the dog’s leash.
While you may be alright sleeping in your sleeping bag, your dog might not find it comfortable. That’s why you may want to invest in a dog camping cot. Many of these come foldable so that they can be stored down flat. As well as the portable factor, you need to also choose one made from waterproof materials, just in case you get caught in a downpour.
Dog Camping Crate
It’s not just a sleeping bag or dog camping cot you might need to take along with you. Is your dog crate-trained? If he or she is, you need to think about investing in a suitable alternative to the full-size crate you have in your home.
Fortunately, there is a lot of lightweight, portable and collapsible crates that are easy and quick to setup.
One thing you should not leave home without if you are going camping anywhere is a flashlight. Obviously, as you need to keep your hands on your dog’s leash, you should pick a flashlight that can be clipped onto your clothing or even a headlamp. This means you will always be able to keep an eye on your dog, even in the middle of the night when nature calls.
To give your tent some illumination you should also consider investing in clip-on LEDs. Even the relatively small options still produce enough light for a tent and last a long time.
Retractable Dog Leash
How good is the dog leash you currently have? If you haven’t changed it for a while, or it is not retractable, then it may be time to invest in a new one. A retractable one is ideal because it means you can allow your dog some freedom without letting him get too far away from you, so you can usher him back if necessary.
Collapsible Food and Water Bowls
You can’t expect to take your dog camping for a few days or a full week without feeding him or her. But you don’t really want to take full-size food and water bowls, do you? That’s why you should invest in collapsible bowls for both food and drink. That way when they are not in use, they fold down flat and can be slipped into even the snuggest space in a bag or the back of your car.
Enough Water and Food For Your Dog
Remember, even if you intend on visiting towns and heading out of the great outdoors towards civilisation, it is still a good idea to make sure you take enough food and water for you both. There is also the chance you may not be able to purchase their preferred brand or flavours where you are camping. The last thing you want is your dog not eating anything and your camping trip having to be shortened.
Doggy Poop Bags
There is one golden rule when you are visiting most parts of the country in the rural parts and that is “leave no trace”. That means you need to clean up after yourself and that includes your dog’s mess. Unless there are specified dog waste bins in the area where you are staying or exploring, you need to be prepared to take your rubbish back with you. Fortunately, there are a lot of great brands od doggy waste bags that are scented and cover over the nasty smell of your dog’s business.
Okay, so even if you are planning on taking a trip during the hottest part of summer, you never know what the British weather’s going to do next. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to take along a dog coat, just in case.