Tips for camping with dogs!

Going camping with your dogs?

We’ve got some great tips for Ontario campers!

As much as you love camping in Ontario for the crisp, fresh air, the feeling of warm pine needles underfoot, and the quiet, morning view of a steamy lake from the doorway of your tent when you wake up—guess what? Your dog loves it even more.

Put yourself in their paws—peeing in the fenced backyard or walking through the city on a leash simply can’t compete with the thrill of jumping out of the tent and diving into the lake while your beloved owner stokes the fire to make the morning coffee. Camping is the best! The trill of sassy squirrel up a tree will occupy your pooch for hours, and they’ll be so tired from the hiking and swimming, that the evening nap in the last of the day’s warm light will knock your dog into oblivion before the s’mores even start to sizzle.

There’s no question—taking your pooch camping is great exercise for them and can be super fun for your whole family, but there’s a few things you’ll need to think about and pack to make sure the camping trip is a safe and comfortable one for your favourite canine.


Be aware of ticks—they’re out there. Talk to your vet about getting flea and tick medication for dogs well before your trip, so they don’t pick one up when in the woods.

Pack more than enough food and water to last the trip. Your dog will be more active than usual, so pack a little extra chow and lots of water, especially if you will be camping inland or diving deep to camp in Ontario’s backcountry.

Dog tags—make sure your tags are up to date and attached to your dog’s collar, in case the epic chase after a deer takes your pooch into the next town.

Don’t forget the dog bed. If you don’t want a wet dog on your sleeping bag, at least provide an alternative. Fair’s fair.

Bring your normal dog walking gear—leashes, harness, etc., as you may want to restrain your dog from wildlife, or if you’re going for a long trail hike where you may bump into other campers or dogs.

Do a trial run in your backyard. If you can, set up a tent in your backyard, and get your dog familiar with it, so it’s not a shock when you ask them to sleep inside it with you. A nervous dog won’t sleep well, and may not even go inside. Don’t find this out when you’re 5km deep in the woods, and it’s nighttime.

Pack your poop bags. If you’re camping on someone else’s property, make sure you pick up the dog poop. (And ahem, always bury your own if there’s no outhouse!).

Near a lake? Bring some towels to dry off your dog before they accidentally swamp your tent. On that note, always keep your tent door zipped shut, to prevent insects and muddy dogs from going in there during the day.


Lindsey Irwin | 21 MAR 2018