The Ultimate Adventurers Guide To Hiking And Camping With Dogs

45 Minute Read
Updated March 23, 2022

Be prepared when bringing your pet along on your next outdoor adventure with this ultimate checklist for hiking and car camping with dogs. Get tips for what to remember, what to bring, and the best Canadian dog-friendly camping spots to enjoy. 

Whether you are an expert outdoorsman or a novice fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of adventurer (like me), bringing your dog along for the trip requires a bit of planning and the right tools. To help you keep your dog safe and leave no trace so you can both enjoy the great outdoors safely and responsibly, we’ve put together this guide to everything you need to know about hiking and car camping with your dog.

Camping with Dogs

Camping is way more fun when it’s furry - that is, if you bring your dog along! Most dogs love an outdoor adventure even more than we do, so next time you want to connect with nature for the weekend, consider letting your pooch tag along.  

For you, a relaxing camping trip is a wonderful escape from your daily routine. It is all about spending some time out in nature to decompress, enjoy the fresh air, and unwind in front of a campfire. 

For your dog, however, a car camping trip is the opportunity to experience new and exciting sights, smells, and sounds!

Here are some of the top benefits of camping with dogs:

  1. Physical Exercise - Car camping is more than just campfires and smores. Being out in nature provides ample opportunity for physical activity. Hiking and swimming are both great exercises for dogs.  
  2. Mental Exercise - In addition to providing access to tons of physical activity, the change of environment will provide cognitive enrichment for your dog.
  3. Budget-Friendly - There aren’t a lot of pet-friendly vacations that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Car camping is a great and budget-sensitive getaway for you and your favorite furball. 
  4. Bonding Experience - Sometimes, one of the best ways to strengthen your relationship with your pet is to have some quality one-on-one time.
  5. Watch Dog - Your dog is just as protective of you as you are of them. Having an extra set of eyes and ears when you are out in the wilderness can help you stay safe. 

Dog-friendly car camping requires a little bit of preparation to ensure that your dog stays safe and has fun. 

If your car camping companion walks on all fours, you need to make sure that you’re both fully prepared for your adventures with the right dog camping gear.

Before you hit the trail, check out these summer camping with dogs tips for trail etiquette and best practices!

Hiking with Dogs

If you're an outdoorsy person, then hiking with your dog could be your new favorite activity. Exercise and adventure are both great ways to keep your dog fit and happy. 

Here are 3 excellent reasons to take your dog hiking:

  1. High-Energy Workout - Hiking is a great way to help dogs build and maintain muscle. Varying terrain engages more muscles than a regular walk. 
  2. Training Boost - Your dog’s training routine can be enhanced by practicing in a new and exciting place. Good walking skills, recall, and even basic commands can be tested in a more distracting environment. 
  3. Boredom Buster - Dogs that display destructive behaviors at home are often bored or anxious. Regular hikes are a great way to help your dog feel more fulfilled and stop those unwanted habits. 

How Do You Hike With Your Dog?

Hiking and camping often go hand in hand, but depending on the difficulty and terrain of your hike, you may need some additional equipment and guidelines to keep your pooch safe while you conquer nature together. 

For example, gear for winter hiking with dogs is different than warm weather gear, so stick around to find out which dog hiking gear is best for your next hiking with dogs adventure. 


13 Tips for Hiking and Camping with Your Dog

Before you head off on your next adventure, it’s important to remember some basic adventure dog etiquette and safety tips. Bringing your dog along requires a bit of extra preparation to ensure you both have the best experience. 

As adventure-loving pet parents ourselves, we’ve come to learn A LOT about the dos and don’ts of hiking and tips for camping with dogs. There’s a lot more that goes into it than simply packing a leash, some kibble, and a water bowl.

These tips will help you plan your trip and make sure that you and your pet are staying safe and having fun when camping with your dog. 

Things To Do Before You Go:

1. Check the Rules

The first step is to make sure that your campground or hiking trail is pet-friendly. You’d hate to get there only to find out your pooch is barred or will have minimal access. Many family campgrounds have rules about how and if pets are allowed at that site.

Check out sites like Pet-Friendly Travel or Bring Fido to find a campground and other vacation spots that allow pets. We’ve listed our favorite dog-friendly camping spots and hiking trails in Canada below!

2. Bring the Right Gear

Make sure you make a checklist of pet products that you’ll need to bring and double-check before you leave the house. Basics like a leash, collar, harness and ID tags are just a few of the important things you need to bring to keep your dog safe.

Don't forget about any friendly activities you plan to enjoy while you are exploring. Hiking and swimming both require a little extra gear to ensure your dog will be safe. A good dog backpack, durable hiking boots, or a life jacket are all camping gear to consider bringing on your trip. 

Keep reading for a complete list of what to bring camping with dogs!


3. Double Stock

You can't predict what will happen on your adventure, so make sure you bring a few spares, just in case. Having a spare collar or leash is a prime example. It's one of those things that's better to have and not need than the other way around!

4. Meal Prep

It's smart to bring more food than you think you'll need. Summer camping with dogs combined with a high-energy hike may warrant an extra meal or two, so having a little more food on hand doesn't hurt.

Cut out the guesswork, too. Measure out each meal that your dog will need and then add a few more portions to the bag. High-calorie dog treats are also helpful in maintaining energy levels and endurance for more intense activities.

Stella and Chewy's Dog Food

5. Practice Your Recall

It’s best to keep your dog leashed or on a tie-out at your campsite or on the trails, but good recall is still important. If your dog accidentally got loose, you need to be able to call him back quickly and safely.

Practice at home or in your yard using a recall lead or long leash. Make sure to pack lots of tasty snacks to encourage your dog waste to stay close.

Make sure your dog's ID, vaccines, and licenses are all up to date and on him at all times, just in case he does manage to sneak away.

When you arrive:

6. Get the Lay of the Land

This tip is more for camping with dogs than hiking! As soon as you get to the campsite, try to mark a perimeter and walk your dog around the border on a leash, letting him sniff and bonding experience the area.

Giving him a boundary can offer comfort and help your dog feel safer in his “territory.” You can even use visual cues, like flags or colored strings, to mark the boundary.

7. Provide Shelter

Can you sleep in a tent with your dog waste? One of the first things you do when getting to a campsite is to set up your tent - that is, if you’re tent camping with your dog. Be prepared to share that tent with him!

It’s unsafe to leave your dog outside of the tent at night, so scooch over, don’t hog the sleeping bag, or get him his own. Ruffwear is one of our favorite brands for adventure gear and a great choice for high-quality dog sleeping bags!

Don't forget to offer shelter during the day too. The scorching afternoon sun can be dangerous to your dog, so make sure you set up shaded areas and offer plenty of water to prevent overheating, dehydration, and sunburns. 

Check out How to Cool Down Your Dog for some easy tips on keeping your dog's body temperature down!

During your adventure:

8. Stay Hydrated

Wilderness survival rule # 1 is to have fresh, clean water. This applies to your dog too. Hot summer days, hiking, and other adventurous activities are going to leave your dog feeling parched. Always bring more water than you need.

Make sure you know how much water your dog needs every day to stay healthy and hydrated.

Help keep him cool too. Dogs can quickly overheat, so make sure you keep their temperature down with the right shelter, protection, and hydration when hiking or camping with dogs.

9. Stick to a Routine

This may be a vacation, but if this is your dog’s first camping trip, he might be a little nervous about being so out of his element. The best way to curb anxiety is to offer some structure and routine. Offer him some sense of normalcy.

Regular mealtimes, bathroom breaks, and physical and mental activity can all help. Bring toys and plan activities that will keep your dog occupied and calm.

10. Fire Safety

When cooking or congregating around the campfire, be sure to follow the proper fire health and safety.

Chances are your dog is either going to be terrified or fascinated with the campfire. Either way, it’s essential to keep your dog a safe distance from the fire to protect him from the heat and free-floating embers.

Most of your food and snacks will be cooked over the fire, so your dog may be extra curious about that area. Use a tie-out or leash to keep him back from the firepit and offer him a comfortable, safe place to relax, like a bed, mat, or dog sleeping bag.

11. Be Courteous

Whether you are at a campground or just a secluded area in the woods, make sure you are courteous of that space. Of course, you should clean up after yourself, but make sure you clean up after your dog too.

Properly disposing of your dog’s waste is not only polite, but it’s also safe. Your dog’s droppings could attract unwanted attention from wildlife. When possible, bury your dog's poop at least 200 ft from the trail or your campsite.

Also, be mindful of other campers around you. Make sure your dog is not disturbing other campers by barking, whining, or invading their space. Make sure you bring durable toys or long-lasting chews to keep your dog entertained during your downtime.

12. Wildlife Encounters

When you are out in the wilderness with your dogs, you could contact a variety of wildlife. Make sure you are keeping your pet close and on a leash or tie-out.

It’s also a good idea to put a bear bell and an LED light, like the Nite Ize health and safety Necklace to ward off unwanted encounters. Most wild animals don’t want to engage you or your dog, so the sound is a great way to give them a heads up that your dog is coming their way, giving them time to retreat.

13. Take it Easy

Even if your dog is an avid hiker or experienced camper, it's important to know his limits. Allow your dog to take breaks when needed. Some dogs don't know when to slow down when hiking or romping around a campsite, so you may need to encourage breaks occasionally. This is a great time to offer snacks, food, and water.

What to Take Camping with a Dog?

While camping and hiking are mostly fun, it's best to be prepared for unexpected situations. Check out some of our top recommendations for the most important camping with dog camping essentials! We’ve broken it down into the following categories: food & accessories, adventure gear, at the campsite, and first aid & safety.Download the Ultimate Dog Camping Gear Checklist

Food & Accessories

Food is a must, but there's more to it than just a bag of kibble. You need to consider his whole nutrition and the accessories he needs to maintain healthy eating habits. Check out some of our top recommendations to make mealtime and snacking a breeze. 

Dog Food

Always bring more than you think you’ll need, and pre-portion in Ziploc bags or containers for ease or bring along a measuring cup for on-the-go portioning. Make sure your containers are airtight for pest control and to prevent food spoilage. 

Freeze-Dried or dehydrated dog food is an excellent option for dog camping because it is light, healthy, nutrient-dense, and tasty! All you have to do is add a little filtered water

camping with dogs

Our Top Pick: Stella & Chewy’s Patties

Stella & Chewy's Dog Food

Portable Dishes

Make sure to bring along some dishes for your dog to eat out. Travel bowls are lightweight and easy to carry around if you go on any adventures. For dog camping, you need something durable.


Our Top Pick: Ruffwear Trail Runner Bowl

It's also smart to dog pack a collapsible bowl, like ours,  just in case you decide to venture out on a hike. They fold flat and can clip to your backpack or belt for an easy hands-free carrying option.


Bring your dog’s favorites, of course. If you’re hiking, bring high-quality and high-calorie treats that can give your dog more of the energy he needs. Natural jerky treats or freeze-dried treats are fantastic options.

camping tips with dogs

Our Top Pick: Plato Thinkers 

Long-Lasting Chews

To keep your dog busy while you’re sitting around the campfire, get a long-lasting treat such as bully sticks or elk antlers. Frozen raw bones are also excellent choices if you have some refrigeration or a cooler available, but won’t be well-suited to hiking.

camping with dogs

Our Top Pick: Eldon’s Free Range Bully Sticks  

Check out Long Lasting Dog Chews for more ideas to keep your dog busy.

Fresh, Clean Water

It is very important to keep your dog hydrated, so bring plenty if it’s not going to be available at your campsite. Always take water with you when out hiking with your dog and for other friendly activities.

Water Dispenser

Staying hydrated is vital, and having the right tools to offer your dog water frequently throughout your dog camping trip or hike will ensure your dog remains adequately hydrated.

There are tons of options but pick the style that best suits your dog's drinking habits. Bring one camping, in the car ride, for day trips, and for long walks.

Don't let your pet drink from standing water, lakes, ponds, or streams that could be riddled with bacteria.

camping with your dog

Our Top Pick: Kurgo Gord Water Bottle & Bowl

This water bottle-travel water bowl combo is ideal for dogs on the go. It holds 20 ounces of water and comes with a neoprene sleeve to keep the water cooler for longer.

Adventure Dog Gear

Nighttime on the campgrounds means sitting around the fire, roasting marshmallows, and relaxing, but during the day it's time for adventures. This could mean hiking, swimming, or other pet-friendly activities.

Make sure you have the right gear to keep your pup safe while you explore the wilderness together.

Dog Leash

Don’t forget his leash at home! It’s a good idea to stash an extra leash in the car camp too, just in case one break, or you find yourself in need of a spare. You won’t want to be without one. Some people like to let their dogs roam in the great outdoors, but we don't recommend it for health and safety reasons.

Are you looking for a hands-free approach? Runners and hardcore hikers often prefer a hiking belt system over a traditional leash.

Hands-free leashes can be used for jogging or biking, but it’s also handy leashes to have if you are walking. Keep your hands free to explore, use walking poles, or take pictures without losing control of your dog.

Safety Tip: Keeping your dog on a leash is highly recommended if you are hiking or camping with dogs in a bear or cougar country. Even for dogs with excellent recall who are used to being off-leash, keeping them close to you on a hike can prevent encounters with wildlife and keep your dog from sampling potentially dangerous berries, plants, and stagnant water on your path.

camping tips with dogs

Our top pick: Ruffwear Trail Runner System

The Trail Runner System is an adjustable belt with a shock absorption leash that is ideal for those that prefer more vigorous hikes. 

The belt also offers pockets and comes with a water bottle and water bottle holder. This belt keeps your dog's pulling power at your center of gravity, giving you more control.

Dog Leash Guide

Dog Collar with ID Tags

Always make sure you fit your dog with an appropriately sized collar and that his collar has an up-to-date ID tag. Find the best collar for your dog with our Ultimate Dog Collar Guide.

Don't forget to bring along any licenses or vaccination records too. They may be required by the province or state park that you are visiting or vacationing in. 

With an engravable ID tag, you can customize the information you include. Staying out of town for a few weeks or headed to the cabin? Get a separate id tag made with your vacation info on it. 

Free Shipping - Pet ID Tags

Collars are not always the preferred point of contact for your dog's leash, but a collar is important even if you are using a harness or backpack to control your dog. The collar holds essential information just in case he gets away from you. 

Our Top Pick: Ruffwear Front Range Collar

Hiking and camping trips can get a little messy. Choosing a waterproof collar will prolong the life of the collar and make sure it can keep up with your adventure dog. 

The durable webbed collar is coated with TPU plastic to make them waterproof, odour-free, lightweight, and easy to clean.

Dog Harness

Harnesses make for walking that is both more comfortable and safer for your pet. Choose a harness that fits your pet well and doesn't allow for pulling if it’s a problem for your pet. An excellent no-pull harness for pulling dogs will make the treks more enjoyable.

There are many solutions, but the best dog harness for hiking and camping is a front clip harness option. Harnesses are a more secure option than collars. They keep pressure off of your dog's neck and give you more control, and are especially useful to stop your dog from pulling on the leash.

camping with dogs

Our Top Pick: Ruffwear Front Range Harness

The Front Range harness is a lightweight harness that is suitable for all types of outdoor activities. The harness is breathable and adjustable to ensure the best fit and comfort for your dog.

With two connection points, the Front Range harness can be used as a no-pull solution or even a two-touch connection for extra security. It also has a small ID tag pocket to store additional tags, poop bags, or keys.

Dog Back Packs

When heading out on a dog camping trip, hike, or long walk with your doggo, you’ll want to make sure you bring along extra supplies for him, like water, snacks, poop bags, and some of the other items listed here!

Dog backpacks are not only a great way for your four-legged explorer to carry his own weight, but also get more of a workout!

It’s important to find the trail pack that’s right for your dog to make sure that they stay comfortable and safe while wearing it. Some of the essential things to look out for when deciding which backpack works best include the size, fit, durability, and whether or not it has all of the features for what you need it to do!

For a more in-depth overview of what to look for, check out our Best Dog Backpack guide here.

camping with your dog

Our Top Pick: Hurtta Trail Pack

This 2-in-1 harness-backpack combo is ideal for all hikers and outdoor adventures. The saddlebags securely attach to a Y-shaped harness for a comfortable and load-stable fit. The padded mesh liner is breathable and soft, preventing chafing or restriction of movement.

The saddle pouches hold up to 10 L and have elastic straps to separate to hold a variety of gear, preventing movement and stabilizing the load.

Dog Cooling Products

It’s probably going to be hot during the day at your campsite, and sometimes you need more than a simple water bowl.

Remember not to exercise your dog too much in the heat of the day (from 11 AM-4 PM) and choose a campsite with shade or make your own with a shade tent or umbrella.

Our Top Pick:  Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Cooling Dog Harness

This awesome cooling vest can help keep your pet cool for hours, so they are excellent for the campground or while on a hike.

Check out Best Dog Cooling Vests for some great products to help your dog stay safe and comfortable in hot weather.Dog-Cooling-Gear

Poop Bags

Be a responsible camper and hiker with your dog. Just because you’re in the wild, doesn’t mean you should let your duties slide. Keep poop bags on hand to pick up what your dog leaves behind so that other campers or hikers don’t have to see or smell it.

Our Top Pick: Earth Rated Poopbags

Safety Lights for Dogs

Dog Safety lights clip onto your dog’s leash so that he can remain visible at night, which can come in handy for passing vehicles to see your dog or for you to find him if he happens to get loose.  

Our Top Pick: Ruffwear Beacon

Bear Bell

Bear bells can help warn wildlife and other people around you and your dog. One of the best ways to avoid a bear attack is to prevent surprising them. While bear bells may help pet first aid kit, they aren’t completely foolproof.

Make sure you check for announcements on any bear activity before practice camping or hiking, make extra noise around places bears like to frequent, and travel during daylight hours to prevent an encounter.  

Dog Life Jacket

If you’ll be canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, or boating with your dog, you’ll want to get him a dog life jacket for health and safety. There are a few things to look out for when picking the best dog life jacket, including the size and fit, practicality, and whether it suits your pooch’s swimming style.

camping tips with dogsPhoto Credit: @bulliesgonewild

Our Top Pick: Hurtta Life Savior Jacket

Our friend Khali, the Miniature Bull Terrier, was nice enough to test this life jacket out for us. Khali is not a strong swimmer, but even for doggos that are, life jackets save lives.

The Hurtta Life Savior kept Khali above the water without restricting her movement. The Saviour Life Jacket is lightweight, easy to put on, and has a strong handle making it easy to hoist Khali out of the water when needed. 


Hiking Boots for Dogs

When someone mentions hiking boots for dogs, you might think to yourself… is that really necessary? But when you think about it, we wear shoes to protect our own feet as we trek over different terrains. Why wouldn’t we do the same for our dogs?

The truth is dogs need shoes way more often than you might think they do, especially on a practice camping or hiking trip where you’ll encounter some harsher turfs. While your doggo’s ancestors surely explored the earth bare-footed, domestication and city-living have made our pets’ paws a little more vulnerable.

Hiking boots can protect your dog’s paws from unexpected injuries, extreme temperatures, and any unnatural substances like chemicals, pesticides, or debris that might have been left over by other humans.

As you decide what hiking boots will be best for your dog, you’ll want to be sure that the size, fit, breathability, and durability suit her needs. 

camping with dogs

Our Top Pick: Ruffwear Grip Trex

These all-terrain boots are easy to put on and use a secure hydrophobic hook and loop closure system to ensure the boots stay on and in position. The non-marking Vibram soles provide a superior grip for safer exploration.


At the Campsite

All the hard stuff is out of the way now, so let's make sure your dog can enjoy the rest and relaxation that comes with practicing camping. Here's some of the best dog camping gear for making sure your pup is comfortable and safe at the campsite.

Dog Bed or Sleeping Bag

camping with your dog

Where should my dog sleep when camping?

Scooch over and make some room in your tent for your dog's sleeping bag. Your dog will need a dog bed or dog sleeping bag for comfort at the campsite, and if she’s used to being inside, she’ll probably need a blanket for warmth, too. Make sure both are machine-washable and made of durable material.

Our Top Pick: Hurtta Outback Dreamer Eco


Tie-Outs for Dogs

Tie-Outs are necessary for your dog if you want him to be able to enjoy the outdoors while you're out camping. Many campsites are for on-leash pets only. Get a good quality stake, particularly if your dog is a strong puller.

This is one purchase where a better-quality product can make a big difference. Also, choose a cable that is designed to withstand your pet’s weight and pulling instead of just going with a plain leash.

For smaller dogs or puppies, an exercise pen can provide some off-leash entertainment. Just make sure you always supervise; in case your dog tries to climb or jump out.

Our Top Pick: Howard Pet Products Retractable Tie-Out Cable

Dog Crate or Kennel

You’ll want to bring a crate or carrier along for your dog to sleep in or for when you need to keep him safely contained (and a blanket to cover him at night). Soft carriers are best for smaller breeds, and the carrier can easily be brought into the tent with you at night.

If you are bringing a metal crate, make sure you place it in the shade for your pet’s comfort – those metal bars can get hot! Alternatively, you can share your tent with your pooch. Just make sure you call dibs on a big spoon.

Our Top Pick:  Precision Crates

Kennels and crates are also good for traveling to and from your camping trip.  Precision crates are easily foldable for easy storage when they are not in use. They can be used to safely secure your dog in the car.  

Coat or Sweater

Just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse, you may want to dog pack along a coat or sweater for your dog, particularly if he’s sensitive to cold weather.

If you are a winter hiker or camper, you are insane, but also your dog is going to need a thicker coat or more insulated gear to stay warm and safe. Check out Best Winter Dog Coats for Canadian Winters to find the right gear for winter hiking with dogs.

No matter how well you plan, you can't predict the weather, so a dog raincoat, like our pick below, might be a valuable accessory to pack.

camping tips with dogs

Our Top Pick: Hurtta Rain Blocker


For quick drying off after swimming or if it rains. Your dog probably doesn’t mind shaking it off the natural way, but you probably want to keep the camper or the tent clean and dry. You’ll want to find a towel that is highly absorbent that can quickly dry your dog off.

Our Top Pick: The Dirty Dog Shammy


There are so many fun toys to enjoy at the campsite – Kong Classic and Flyer, Sodapup Dog Toys, RuffDawg Toys, and Chuckit! Ball Launcher to name a few. Check out this list of our 25 Best Outdoor Dog Toys for Summer for more ideas.  

camping with dogs

Our Top Pick: West Paw Dash Dog Frisbee

It can be used for a rowdy game of fetch, or as a fun water toy for whatever outdoor activities you have planned. Plus, it glows in the dark! Check out our list of the best floating dog toys for dogs that love the water.

Pet First Aid & Safety

Camping with dogs is mostly fun and games for everyone, but it’s always wise to be prepared. Campsites are typically pretty far from town or the local vet’s office, so you’ll want to have the proper first aid and safety supplies on hand to care for your pet if anything happens!

Pet First Aid Kit

Purchase a pet first aid kit for your trip. This will make sure you are prepared for minor injuries, like scrapes and bug bites. Cleaning and disinfecting a wound can prevent an injury from worsening or a cut from getting infected until you get back to civilization.  

camping with your dogOur Top Pick: Kurgo Dog First Aid Kit

Insect Repellent

To prevent your dog from bug bites and the diseases that may come with them, use a pet-friendly insect repellent. Never use DEET products on pets.

Our Top Pick:  Citrobug Insect Hunt

Or look for pet products labeled coat conditioner or outdoor spray that contain natural pest-repellent ingredients like citronella, cloves, peppermint, or lemongrass.

You can also make your own natural version at home. Check out this recipe for a DIY Natural Bug Spray to see how simple it is.

Flea & Tick Protection

You’ll want to make sure your pet is protected against fleas and ticks, particularly if you are going out camping, hiking, or into areas with long grass or brush.

camping tips with dogs

Our Top Pick: Bayer K9 Advantix II

Preventative treatments like this one can get rid of and protect against fleas, ticks, and mites. It even helps to reduce mosquito and black fly attacks.


While dewormers may not be entirely necessary while you are away camping, you’ll want to keep a close watch on your pet once you get home. Your dog might come in contact with other pets and wildlife, and the excrement of both, where your pet could pick up worms.

If you are looking for natural preventative measures, check out our top pick below!

Our Top Pick: Thrive Diatomaceous Earth

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Anxiety Treatment

Does your pet have anxiety issues? You will want to bring along something to help keep your anxious dog feeling calm and relaxed, as anxiety can be worse in new places.

Our Top Pick: Thundershirt

The Thundershirt is an effective anxiety solution that uses gentle pressure, not sedatives or other drugs, to calm your pet.

Other calming solutions, like pheromone sprays, calming chews, and hemp or CBD pet products, are great options for pets that don’t do well with clothing.

Vet Records

You should always bring a copy of your pet’s vet records when you travel with your pet, especially if you are crossing provincial or country borders. You never know when you might need them. 

If you spend a lot of time adventuring with your dog, then you also might want to consider pet insurance. No matter how prepared you are, accidents can happen, and pet insurance is a great way of reducing emergency vet bills.

Paw Protectant

Some dogs just downright refuse to wear boots. Others just have odd paw shapes or sizes that make sizing boots impossible. If this is your dog, then you’ll want to get a paw protectant.

Our Top Pick: Musher's Secret

Musher's Secret is a natural paw protector made from food-safe waxes. It can condition pads and provide a protective layer against temperature, chemicals, and small debris.

The wax can be applied 2-3 times per week to keep paw pads healthy or can be used before hikes or other outdoor activities to protect against the elements.

They aren't perfect replacement dog hiking boots, but they are the next best thing if boots are just not an option. If you choose this option of paw protection, make sure you pack some minor first aid gear, just in case your dog does end up injuring his paw.

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Sun Protection

Did you know dogs can get sunburnt, too? The areas around the muzzle, ears, back, and belly are most prone to sunburns. Hairless and white or light-color coated breeds are particularly susceptible to this. You’ll want to find the right sunscreen to keep your dog safe from the sun's harmful rays. 

Human sunscreen is not safe to use on dogs, and dog-safe sunscreens are hard to find. It's best to limit your dog's sun exposure even if you use pet sunscreen. Try to find shaded paths or set up a covered area for your dog's skin to hang out in during the hottest parts of the day.  

Regular Supplements & Medications

Make sure you keep your pet on regular supplements or medication for their continued comfort and relief. Pet supplements for hip and joint care, skin and coat care, and seasonal allergies are especially important to keep up with, as these conditions can get worse when your pet is spending more time outdoors.

Odour Control & Cleaning Supplies 

Your pet is likely to get dirty while out camping or hiking. While you may not want to bring your dog’s shampoo with you, it’s a good idea to bring along pet wipes for cleaning quick messes off your pet’s coat.

Our Top Pick: Earthbath Pet WipesDownload the Ultimate Dog Camping Gear Checklist


How to Camp With a Dog in a Tent

When it comes time to catch a few Z's under the stars, you might be wondering where your dog should sleep. The answer is in the tent with you. Sure your dog probably wouldn't mind sleeping gear on his dog bed or sleeping bag outside, but with wild animals, bugs, and the elements, it's safer for them to share your tent with you. 

Before you go camping, it's a good idea to get your dog used to the tent. Set it up in your yard, or even in your living room, to help your dog get comfortable getting in and out of the tent, and even practice zipping up the door flap when you are both in the tent. 

This will ensure that your dog will not freak out or try to escape the tent when you are already out in the wilderness. Make sure you bring along a comfy dog bed and a chew toy or long-lasting dog chew to help your dog relax at the end of the day.


Where to Camp with Your Dog

camping with your dog

Now that you’re prepared with everything you need to know about camping and hiking with your dog, you’re probably excited to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors with your furry companion by your side.

The next question to ask is - where can you go camping with a dog? Well, before you head to your favorite campground, it's important to make sure that pets are allowed. Campgrounds that allow pets often have more appropriate facilities to accommodate dogs on site. 

If you prefer to entrench yourself deeper into the wilderness than a typical family campground would offer, the supplies you bring and the precautions you take may have to be adjusted to accommodate the environment you'll be interacting with.

Understand that the road less traveled may mean you will have to deal with harsher weather conditions, fewer available resources, and sharing space with more wildlife. 


Best Dog-Friendly Camp Grounds In Canada

If you are new to camping with dogs, then we recommend you stick to campsites that are managed, have facilities, and aren't too far from civilization. We’ve put together the following list of our favorite pet-friendly campsites in each province:

1. Alberta

Marten River Campground

The campgrounds at Marten River on Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park are a beautiful backdrop for your next outdoor adventure. All 112 campsites are perfect for families and those wanting to bring along their furry friends! Find your way to the beach shore by taking a stroll down one of the several walking pathways and fairytale-like bridges!

One of the awesome parts about this campground is that there is an off-leash area for you and your dog to enjoy on the north side of the beach!

2. British Columbia

Marble Canyon Campgrounds

Up in the mesmerizing mountain vistas of the Kootenay National Parks, the Marble Canyon Campgrounds are another one of our favorite dog-friendly places to escape. You’ll be amazed by the stunning mountain views and revived by the brisk air of the high country. It is situated in the center of several hiking trails for you and your dog to enjoy!

3. Manitoba

Clearwater Lake Provincial Park

You’ll discover a couple of amazing dog-friendly campgrounds at Clearwater Lake Provincial Park in Manitoba, including Pioneer Bay and Campers Cove. These campgrounds are a short walk to the beach and a great trip for prime fishing.

4. New Brunswick

Fundy National Park

Within Fundy National Parks, there are several campgrounds that allow you to bring your pooch along with you, as long as you keep them on a leash and keep a close eye on them. The state park is overflowing with magnificent views and trails to explore. Whether you prefer a front-country camping experience or a more secluded backcountry camping adventure, Fundy National Parks welcomes you and your four-legged family member to enjoy its untouched natural wilderness. 

5. Newfoundland and Labrador

Pistolet Bay Campground

If you’re looking for a beautiful waterfront campground on the east coast, the Pistolet Bay Campground is a noteworthy location. Tucked away in Pistolet Bay Provincial Park, it’s great for RV camping or tent camping with dogs and makes for a perfect island getaway with its hiking, swimming, fishing, and other family fun activities.

6. Nova Scotia

Whale Cove Campground

There are a wide variety of dog-friendly beach campgrounds in Nova Scotia. Our favorite is Whale Cove Campground! It’s a picturesque location central to the most scenic hikes and activities.

7. Ontario

Bon Echo Campgrounds

Within the Bon Echo Provincial Park, there are several family-friendly campgrounds for you to enjoy with your dog. The camping spots, nestled between the Canadian Shield Lakes, offer a more secluded backcountry camping experience. Feast your eyes on the stunning views of

8. Prince Edward Island

Twin Shores Camping Area

If you and your pup are beach lovers, the Twin Shores Camping Area is a paradise! Although the private beach does not allow dogs, other public parts of the shoreline do as long as your four-legged beach buddy is kept on a leash.

9. Quebec

Camping de la Joie

Camping de la Joie is another dog-friendly campsite we recommend! It’s a great escape from nature without being too far from the city.

10. Saskatchewan

Craven World Campground

Family and pet-friendly, this campground is perfect for a peaceful getaway with your dog. Enjoy the tumbling hills of greenery and magnificent sunsets.  

Best Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Canada

camping tips with dogs

Ready for a hike with your pooch? Check out some of the best pet-friendly hiking trails in each province:

1. Alberta

Mistaya Canyon Hike

The Mistaya Canyon hike in Banff National Park is perfect for hikers and dogs at any skill level! It’s an easier and shorter trek, so if you’re looking for more of a challenge, you might want to try another hike within the park. Enjoy the rock formations and captivating waterfalls.

2. British Columbia

St. Mark’s Summit Hike

This hike in West Vancouver is another thrilling adventure that you can bring your pup along on! Starting at the Cypress Mountain Alpine Resort, St. Mark’s Summit is not for inexperienced or incapable breeds. It is a steep climb, but worth the gorgeous views of Howe Sound and the Strait of Georgia.

3. Manitoba

Walking on Ancient Mountains Hike

Located close to the Nopiming Provincial Park, this short but moderately difficult hike is a great way for you and your pet to get some exercise and take in the breathtaking views of the lake and forests in the distance once you reach the top.

4. New Brunswick

Laverty Falls Trail at Fundy National Park

In addition to the dog-friendly campgrounds within Fundy National Park, there are a campsite number of hiking trails to enjoy ranging from easy to pretty challenging. One of our favorites is Laverty Falls. Striking views of the forest, fall colors, and a curtain waterfall with a swimming hole that you can dip your feet in for a refreshing bookend to your hike.

5. Newfoundland and Labrador

Eastern Point Trail

This hiking trail located on the west coast of NL is welcoming to dogs and people of any skill level! When hiking with dogs on this trail, you can enjoy a breezy meadow stroll along the ridge while taking in the rocky landscape and gorgeous greenery. It’s topped off with a waterfall!

6. Nova Scotia

Crow’s Nest Trail

Surrounded by classic NS landscapes, this dog-friendly hiking trail is relatively challenging but incredibly rewarding! You and your pup can get your blood pumping while enjoying views of two lakes, a waterfall and a cliff-top vantage point once you reach the Crow’s Nest.

7. Ontario

Sherwood Park

Throughout Sherwood Park, you and your four-legged friend can enjoy one of the multiple loops for an easy-going hike. There is also an off-leash part of the park!

8. Prince Edward Island

Confederation Trail

This hiking trail begins and ends at each end of Prince Edward Island and it’s for those who are looking for a more serious hike with their dog. You’ll follow a stoned path that makes its way through lusciously green forests and scenic ocean views.

9. Quebec

Sepaq Provincial Parks

As of May 2019, dogs are now welcome in Sepaq Provincial Parks! If you haven’t taken your pooch on an adventure in any of the beautiful Quebec parks since they’ve become pet-friendly, you definitely should. Be sure to check the list of authorized locations within the parks where your furry friend will be allowed before making the journey.

10. Saskatchewan

Grasslands National Park

Within Grasslands National Park, you’ll discover a variety of dog-friendly front-country and backcountry hiking trails. Whether you and your pups are less experienced hikers or free-spirited, adventurous types, the wide-open prairie landscapes of Grasslands National Park have plenty of trails to choose from for an invigorating experience!


5 Best Dogs for Camping and Hiking

camping with dogsPhoto Credit: @farley_the_labrador

Camping with your dog can be all-around fun, exciting, and rewarding for both you and your furry companion! However, while most dogs love getting out and exploring the great outdoors, not all dogs are well-suited for extreme outdoor adventures. 

If you’re an avid hiker or camper in search of a four-legged partner to help you check some things off your bucket list, you’re going to want to choose an athletic dog breed that fits a more active lifestyle. 

Here is a list of 5 dog breeds that make the best hiking and camping sidekicks. 

1. Labrador Retriever 

Smart, athletic, and playful, labrador retrievers are excellent campers and hikers! They love to swim and require plenty of exercises. This popular dog breed will surely keep up with you on any trail or trip, and keep you laughing the whole time with their lovable personalities! 

Labradors are also equipped with savvy hunting skills. This quality paired with their innate desire to please their humans makes the labrador a great choice for a camping buddy. 

2. German Shorthaired Pointer

Originally bred for hunting pheasant, quail, and other birds, German Shorthaired Pointers require a lot of vigorous exercise. They especially love running off-leash! They’re extremely smart and easy to train. Their people-pleasing nature makes them incredibly obedient, but they’re still independent enough to find their way back to you if they were ever to get lost.

3. Australian Cattle Dogs

These rough and rugged dogs are bred for adventure! Their intelligence and athleticism make them the perfect companion to bring along on even the most treacherous adventures. 

ACD's ooze obedience! They’re easy to train and listen to very well. This active breed is known for having impressive recall skills, which can come in handy if they’re ever to stray too far off the hiking path. 

4. Siberian Husky

Huskies are excellent dogs for camping and hiking – but only in the wintertime! Their heavy coats, wit, and wolf-like instincts make them a welcome companion for multi-day treks, lengthy hikes, and especially cold-weather camping excursions. They’ll even help lug some of your gear! Watch out, though, huskies don’t do as well in hot weather conditions

Huskies and their thick, water-resistant coats can withstand freezing temperatures, so they are great partners for winter hiking with dogs. They’re obedient and stick close to their human side, which is an extra perk on those extra cold night dog sleeping pads in your tent. 

5. Border Collies 

Border collies are known for being one of the smartest (if not the smartest) dog breeds. If you’re looking for a true adventure companion, border collies have all of the qualities that make them fit for the role. 

Their athleticism and stamina enable this all-star breed to keep up with their humans on just about any undertaking. They’re highly intelligent and equipped with keen herding instincts that help them think for themselves while out in the wilderness without straying too far from the pack! 

Adventure Awaits

camping with your dogPhoto Credit: @adventuring.with.finesse

Both camping and hiking offer a great way to help your dog explore new environments, get some exercise, and learn new skills. There really is no better companion for outdoor adventures. 

Heading out into the great outdoors for an epic camping or hiking trip with your canines requires a lot of preparation to make sure everyone stays safe and has fun. So before you pack up your car and hit the road, make sure you have everything in order for both you and your pets. Take the time to prepare now, so you can enjoy your time in nature as much as possible! 

You and your dogs will be so glad you did :) 

We hope these tips will help you keep your dog safe and make his first outdoor adventure fun, relaxing, and exciting! Enjoy!

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Where's your favourite place to hike or camp with keep your dog? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by

Krystn Janisse

Krystn is a passionate pet nutrition enthusiast. She has worked in the pet industry for over a decade and loves to share her passion for animal welfare with others. She loves all animals but is currently channeling some crazy cat lady vibes with her four lovable, but rebellious cats.


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