Camping with Dogs

One of the reasons that we bought a camper was that we wanted to travel but have three dogs. Unlike most hotels many campgrounds do allow pets. This allows us to get away and take our dogs with us.


Our first two trips we’re kind of local so the drive wasn’t bad with the dogs. The first campground we stayed at wasn’t busy as it was early in the season. This let us find our footing in regards to the dogs and teach them some new boundaries. Since the campground wasn’t busy the dogs didn’t have much to bark at and we were able to teach them that there is no barking at the campground! They’ve done very well not barking although on our last trip that was a week long, with lots of dogs walking by, they were starting to break the rules towards the end. They still were well behaved, but we did have to correct them a couple of times. Most of the campgrounds that I’ve looked into have had a pets allowed policy. Some campgrounds show restrictions of breed or quantity on the Good Sam app, however when I have called they have always said that we were okay with our dogs. Don’t write off a campground that you are interested in without making a phone call to be sure about their pet policies.

One of the things that we have done was to buy some portable fencing. The fencing is designed to form an octangle but we join it end to end and fence in our front camping area. Then we have some plastic fencing that we run along the trailer to seal the dogs in. Our last step is that we put a split curtain across the door to the trailer. The curtains allow the dogs to go in and out as they please but keeps the a/c in and the bugs out. Another benefit of the fencing is if one or more of the dogs have to go out at night, I just open the door and let them take care of business without having to stand over them.  Here is a link to my video about the fencing DirecSource Pet Fencing.

Then there’s the drive. Our first two trips we camped within about forty-five minutes of our house so the dogs didn’t need much attention during the drive. Our last trip started out early in the morning and involved driving five or six hours to our first stop. By myself it would have been a four and a half hour drive. On a longer drive you need to plan on making stops along the way. Your dogs will need to relieve themselves and they get board. A walk break every so often covers both of these needs. Rest stops usually have pet areas otherwise we watched for gas stations or restaurants that had grassy areas nearby. Don’t forget about water! On our drive home, which ended up being over eight and a half hours, Venus started licking our ears. We were on an interstate in Delaware in moderate traffic and I didn’t want to stop. She however had the runs the night before and I thought she was warning us of bad things to come. I pulled over on the side of the road and walked all three dogs for a bit. Not a one did anything! It did give Kathy a chance to have a cigarette as she doesn’t smoke in the truck (just as important as walking breaks for the dogs). Anyway I loaded the dogs back up and gave them some water and they were thirsty! As you are driving sipping that coffee or other beverage along the way, don’t forget your pets.

You also need to think about the dogs space during the drive. As I’ve mentioned we have three larger dogs. We have a crew cab Ram truck that has the flat floor storage feature. On that we put a cheap crib mattress to give the dogs as much comfortable room as possible. Let’s face it, if the dogs can’t get comfortable then they are not going to settle down and your drive is going to be trying.

The last part about traveling with your pets is while you are at the campground. Your pets will need some entertainment also. My dogs spend their days going in and out of the house barking at passing dogs. They also get walked a couple of times a day and occasionally get a car ride. Sometimes I even take them to the woods or a field to run free. The last campground we were at had a leash free beach and a fenced in dog park. All three of my dogs enjoyed running free a bit each day. We also took them to a state park to walk the trails and beach.

It’s a little more effort bringing your pets along on a trip, but if you’re a dog lover like us then it’s worth the effort!

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