Camping With a Dog: Everything You Need to Know

Camping With a Dog: Everything You Need to Know

Woman waking up in the morning in her tent at Collective Retreats

Picture this: You’ve finally made it to your camping destination with your fellow campers. You can hear the crackling of the firepit, you look up at the magnificent sky full of stars, and you cuddle up in your flannel and blanket while you feel the cool night breeze with your beloved dog beside you.

While you might think that camping with a dog doesn’t need any extra preparation, that’s not entirely true. Dogs are like kids in many ways, and you need to have everything on to take care of yourself and your dog as well.

Surprisingly, not all campsites are dog friendly. Even though Texas is full of empty, beautiful spaces that you want your dog to see, they can’t always stay with you. If you’re ready for a wonderful weekend getaway with your loved ones and your dog, keep reading for all the information you need to make sure everything goes smoothly.


Your Constant Companion

We are guessing this won’t be a problem for any pet parents, but you should be prepared to be by your dog’s side at all times when you bring them on your camping trip. Although it may be tempting to put them on a leash and leave them at the campsite while you go for a quick dip in the water or on a hike, you put your dog at risk of being hurt by wildlife or getting lost.

Additionally, be sure to bring your dog in to sleep with you before you close up for the night, even if your tent is a little small. This way, you know they are safe from any wildlife encounters.


Dog Food Storage

While it’s easy to leave your dog’s dinner out for hours at home until they’re ready to eat, you will have to be more strategic about dinnertime out at a pet-friendly campsite. If you leave your dog’s kibble out for more than an hour, other animals hiding in the woods will recognize your campsite as a place to find accessible free food.

Try to line up your eating times with your dog’s so that you are aware of all food that is out in the open and can clean up the camping area when you’re finished eating.

Finally, try to keep their food and water bowls as far from wooded areas as possible. Putting your four-legged friend’s food and water right next to the tent is the best way to keep other animals from seeking out your dog’s snacks.


Before You Go: Gather Emergency Information

In case any workers at national parks or campsites need information on your dog during your camping experience, have a list of their most important information stashed in your bag. You might want to consider laminating their vaccination records, their health history, and all of your contact information and attaching it to their ID tag.

Be sure that their tags are up-to-date in case of emergencies, and check on their microchip if they have one.


How To Create a Dog-Specific Packing List

Your dog needs just as much time and attention dedicated to their packing for the camping adventure list as you, so be sure to stock up on all the necessary camping gear for dogs before heading out on your trip.


Pet First Aid Kit

Your dog will most likely be joining you on plenty of backcountry excursions, leading to the potential of minor wounds. A bandana tied around your dog’s leash can be a helpful tool to wipe them down if they get wet or muddy, and a pair of tweezers will work perfectly if your dog’s paws pick up splinters. Tick repellent is a huge help as well, especially if your dog is off-leash.

Even though socks or booties for your dog aren’t always necessary, they will come in handy for protecting any wounded paws. If you’re tent camping in hot temperatures, your dog might want relief from the hot ground, as well.


Dog Camping Gear

One of the most useful pieces of dog-specific gear is a LED dog collar or tether. Even if you are just sitting at the campsite, dogs are difficult to see in the dark, and maintaining visibility is crucial. Additionally, if you are coming back late from a hike or need to take a middle-of-the-night potty break, a LED collar will make the entire experience much safer.

Having a collapsible dog bowl is necessary to have on any camping trip. Your dog is going to be doing a lot of running, sniffing, and exploration, which will wear them out. Open the collapsible bowl and fill it with water from your water bottle to give your dog a refreshing and hydrating break.


Where Can I Bring My Dog for an Outdoor Vacation?

If you want a truly immersive outdoor getaway that takes advantage of the Texas Hill Country charm and opportunities, turn to Collective Retreats for your outdoor adventure. At Collective Retreats, you don’t have to choose between comfort and luxury. At our retreat, you can stay in an outdoor-indoor living tent that offers a king-sized bed, access to electricity, an en suite bathroom, and a private deck.

Furthermore, if you want a vacation experience that’s specifically tailored to your four-legged family members, we recommend the Collective Woof Retreat. With room for two pets per accommodation, your dog will benefit from rest and relaxation just like other members of your family.

At the Collective Woof Retreat, you can book a tent that comes with pristine accommodation for your dog. Collective Retreats understands your dogs are an important part of the family. When you enter your tent, you will be greeted with a Collective Doggie Bag featuring locally sourced treats and a Collective Doggie Bed.


Dog-Friendly Activities

Once you and your dog have gotten a restful night’s sleep on the Collective Retreats ranch, you can enjoy exploring the sights, sounds, and smells of the great outdoors.



There are two hiking trails located on the Collective Retreats ranch that are easy enough for all hikers and dogs, regardless of experience. The hikes lead to different lookout points that give you stunning views of the entire ranch and the beauty of Hill Country.

For convenience and a little extra navigational help, we provide a downloadable hiking map for a clearer picture of what it looks like to trek the Montesino Ranch grounds.

These hikes are designed to center your mind and provide you with a relaxing experience. While you enjoy the peacefulness, your dog will enjoy the countless wildflowers and bushes to sniff.


Relaxing by the Campfire

At the end of every night, a communal campfire is started on the ranch for everyone to enjoy. Bring your dog, a cozy blanket, and a glass of wine, and relax in one of the many lounge chairs that surround the campfire.

There will be s’mores for you to enjoy and, most likely, other dogs for your pet to play with. It’s a beautiful way to end a successful day of exploring Hill Country.


Camping With Man’s Best Friend

Now that you are equipped with the tips and tricks to make camping with your dog safe and fun, you are ready to embark on an unforgettable camping trip to a dog-friendly campsite near you. Having your pet with you will lead you to new activities and give you a greater appreciation for your relationship with them.



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