Have an adventure pup who loves the outdoors? Don't forget this essential dog camping gear before your next camping trip!
Despite the swell of technology that's kept a generation indoors far more often than parents would like, the return of camping, hiking, and all sorts of outdoor activities is impossible to ignore; that's especially true as coronavirus variants wage war on our sense of normalcy. Getting out for fresh air is valued more than ever these days, and as pet parents, we know our furry companions love few things as much as that one sacred phrase: "Want to go on a walk?" Camping with your dog is like a walk taken to the next level, but camping without the perfect dog camping gear can make you wish you'd just taken Fido around the block.
With or without the proper gear, our dogs make camping a true adventure. Whether exploring beautiful state parks or venturing deep into the wilderness for a hunting trip, exploring the great outdoors with our dogs offers a sense of peace and freedom seldom felt elsewhere. But as all experienced travelers know, preparation is key, so we assembled our list of must-have dog camping gear to make your next trip into nature successful and safe!
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Best Camping Gear for Dogs in 2021
1. Collapsible Dog Bowls
Space savers are a camper's best friend. That's especially true when it comes to water bowls, as clunkier options don't exactly pack the easiest. This two-pack does the job--one for water, another for kibble. (I'd suggest investing in either a heavy-duty bag or a reusable container to transport your dog food!) Even better, they come with carabiners so you can latch them to the outside of your pack, which is a huge bonus to avoid moisture or smells from invading the rest of your gear!
2. Sixtyshades LED Dog Collars
When night falls, most campgrounds aren't equipped with readily-available light sources. Because of that, the old adage "better safe than sorry" couldn't be more appropriate if your dog were to break camp and wander too far off.
Sixtyshades offers a multitude of colors and sizes to brighten up your dog's collar, ranging from small to extra-large. These light-up collars have three settings: quick flash, slow flash, or a steady glow that can be changed with the click of a button. Plus, they are rechargeable via micro USB. Whether you're making camp or getting to a new location as the sun goes down, you'll never lose track of your companion with these in tow.
3. Dog Sleeping Bag
Having a dedicated sleeping pad for your pooch is important. (Don't tell that to my Lab, who'd rather sleep on me than next to me in some "dog bed.") Not only is your dog kept up off the ground, but they're comfortable! This pet bed is a great option for dogs of all sizes, and its polyester outer layer is water resistant, which is always a bonus.
4. Tuff Mutt Hands Free Leash
For all the hiking gear we invest in--from fire starters and water bottles to outerwear like hiking boots--perhaps the most important tools we have are attached to the end of our arms. Being hands-free is critical, especially when traversing uncertain terrain in the backcountry. From one adventurer to another, invest in a hands-free dog leash. You'll find freedom in allowing your dog to walk alongside you, yet Tuff Mutt's bungee strap extends to only four feet, keeping you in control.
5. Petest 60-Foot Runner Cable
When camping with dogs, it's important to keep them secure while you set up your tent or get a fire going. Having a runner cable that you can tie between trees lets your pup patrol the scene and relax, while the parents take care of the hard stuff and prepare dinner. One thing to keep in mind is that if you're staying at a reserved campground, some sites have limits on leash length when it comes to runner cables. Petest's 60-foot option here has plenty of range, and the leash attachment is only 10 feet, making it adjustable for all sorts of areas.
6. Hartz Groomer's Flea Comb
Traveling through wooded areas or tall grass? Expect your furry friend to pick up a tick or two. It's always a good idea to keep a tick removal kit handy, but for quick passes if you're on the go, I'd suggest having a flea comb in your dog pack for easy checks, especially if your dog carries a thick coat. It's important not to allow ticks to linger long, as many diseases can be passed to your dog if not treated promptly.
7. Musher's Secret Paw Protection
Often undervalued, having high-quality paw balm for active dogs is essential for the long-term health and safety of their pads. There are options for DIY paw balms out there, but few brands come as highly recommended or reviewed as Musher's Secret. Used for mushing dog owners to protect paws from icy roads and de-icing chemicals, as well as for K-9 police dogs that patrol hot pavement over long hours, this might be the most important item in your dog camping gear. Apply once or twice throughout the week for a de facto set of dog boots to keep those paws safe.
8. Burt's Bees Waterless Dog Shampoo
I grew up with a black Labrador named Abby who loved nothing more than swimming in the Clarion River, then promptly rolling in the mud on shore, which made my mom (rightfully) agitated over the smell Abby brought back. Do yourself and your nose a favor; keep some Burt's Bees handy. Even if you skimp during your hike, Burt's makes for a quick, washable solution when you return and are preparing for the drive home.
9. Pet First Aid Kit
Adventure medical kits are one of those luxuries you never need until, well, you need it. This dog first aid kit comes equipped with 45 different items, from gauze and elastic bandages to exam gloves and metal tweezers. This is one of the best kits I've found, and honestly, no adventurer should head off on their next camping trip without it in tow.
We spoil our dogs all the time, but perhaps not enough as we should. We truly don't deserve dogs, as it goes, so make sure and keep them safe and secure from any and all problems on your next adventure with a set of dog camping gear that's prepared for anything and everything!
Does your dog enjoy the great outdoors? Share your pup's camping selfie with our Wide Open Pets Instagram!