Make a checklist. Water Bowl. Leash. The dog. Do you have everything you need for your camping trip? Not sure? Here are 8 essential items to pack for your dog.

Your dog might not need a hair dryer, or an extension cord on the camping trip, but they need some things.
Your dog might not need a hairdryer or extension cord on the camping trip, but they do need some things.
Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

1. Dog Food

The first essential item on our list is obvious, but will easily get left behind in the panic of packing. Don’t forget your dog’s food! Let’s try to avoid starvation, shall we? It’s not a grand way to kick off a vacation.

Bring along enough dog food to feed your dog at least twice a day. It’s essential! Set a timer so you don’t forget. With the change in scenery and schedule, it’s easy to forget something so simple. It may be smart to bring a little bit extra, just in case some food gets lost or plans change- you never know what may happen, and you want to be prepared!

2. Leash

You never know what’s lurking in the woods just beyond your campsite. A bear? A mountain lion? A squirrel? You don’t want your dog to take off after it. Remember, they aren’t used to this unfamiliar environment. They want to explore. Attach your dog’s leash anytime you leave your campsite. Consider leaving it on, attached to a stake or something sturdy, at the campsite. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

3. Dog First Aid

If your dog were to get hurt during the camping trip, you need to have first aid. Bring along any medication your dog needs and some supplies to help your dog in an uncommon situation. Whether it’s an animal bite or a tick, you’ll be ready.

What should you Include in your First Aid Kit?

  • Gauze
  • Tweezers
  • Adhesive Tape
  • Alcohol Wipes
  • Your Dog’s Medical History
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Scissors
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Small Flashlight
  • Fresh 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

For more information on what to pack in a dog’s first aid kit, visit the ASPCA.

Camping Trips are even better with your dog.
Camping Trips are even better with your dog.
Photo by @rrinna from Pexels

4. Makeshift Dog Bowl

At some point on your camping trip, your dog will get thirsty. It happens. You don’t want to be stuck cupping water in your hands while your dog licks it up. Be smart, and bring along a dog bowl.

Collapsible dog bowls are great for on-the-go camping trips. It’s as easy as unfolding, pouring, waiting, refolding. Simple! Bring along a dog bowl or two to make meals easier on the both of you.

5. Towel or Wipe

Camping trips are the perfect place to get dirty. If there’s mud within a 5-mile radius, your dog will find it. You don’t want mud in your tent or camper. Wipe off your dog with a towel or a wet wipe before they try to pry their way inside.

The towel can also double as a seat cover or a blanket for your dog. It’s a brilliant idea to bring it along, just in case your dog likes to get messy. I know mine does!

6. Readable I.D. Tag

A readable I.D. tag is one of the most important things you need to bring on your camping trip. If something were to happen and your dog ran away, he needs identification. This isn’t your neighborhood. Your neighbor won’t bring them back. This is an unfamiliar environment.

Your dog could easily get lost. The saving grace? The name and phone number engraved on their I.D. tag. It is incredibly important that you attach the I.D. tag to their collar before you leave for your camping trip.

In order for your dog to enjoy the camping trip, they need the essentials.
In order for your dog to enjoy the camping trip, they need the essentials.
Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash

7. Poop Bags

Don’t be ‘that person’. You know who I’m talking about. The person who lets their dog take a poo two feet away from your tent and just leaves it. That’s not okay. I don’t want to step in that.

Take poop bags with you and clean up after your dog. This isn’t your yard. Most campgrounds require you to pick up your dog’s poop at all times, so it’s best to come prepared.

8. Toys/Treats

Bring along something that comforts your dog. Their favorite toy or a bag of treats will do just fine. Going somewhere with fresh smells and sights can be jolting for your dog. They need to know that everything is okay.

A toy or treat will also give your dog something to do while you’re sitting by the fire. Keep them occupied so they don’t have time to get into trouble. Make the camping trip mean as much to your dog as it does to you.


Do you have any other essentials that should be included on this list? What are your go-to items when taking your dog camping? Let us know in the comments below!