June is National Camping Month and we are celebrating with a look at what your canine companions need to make that next outdoor adventure safe, comfortable, and enjoyable for all! The supplies your dog will need depends greatly on where you will be hiking and camping. Rough terrain? Moving water? Intense sun? Steep inclines? We’ve considered all of those possibilities and more with our list of suggested gear for your dogs.

Whether you are hiking or camping, a good quality backpack for your dog is a must. They can carry their own supply of food, fresh water, snacks, and poop bags. Just be sure to have them practice walking and climbing wearing their pack beforehand. You will want them to start out with an empty pack and work up to the full weight they will be carrying on your adventure. This pack from Moutainsmith is durable, water resistant, and vet-approved for its ergonomic design.

If your camping trip includes moving and/or deep water and whether you’ll be crossing on foot or in a kayak, a reliable life vest is a must. Even young, active, water-loving dogs can tire out and need help navigating the currents. This one from Ruffwear is light enough to be comfortable for dogs who like to swim and is fitted enough for the dog who doesn’t really enjoy water. The reflective feature is a plus if you are in the water late in the day.



If your camping adventure includes serious hiking on rough terrain, training your pooch to wear protective boots can be a paw-saver. And if your dog resists wearing boots, then applying wax to their feet can provide at least a bit of protection from the elements.

While some campgrounds and trails may be okay with your dog being off leash, others will require a leash of some kind for control. These leashes are sturdy, come with a lifetime warranty, and can be attached with a second carabiner to your belt when necessary. Attached to a hiking body harness and your dog will be set for any kind of trail.

While I love cooling collars for my double-coated dogs on their everyday summer walks, they need something with more cooling capacity for summer weather hiking. Nothing works better than these cooling vests. Just add water for hours of comfort.

If you have a dog with a short, light-colored coat or with little fur to protect a lightly pigmented nose or pink skin, consider sunblock for them as dogs can get sunburned just like us.

If you plan to camp in areas where you might find ticks, a portable tick remover is a must-have to get these icky pests off of your pooch quickly and safely.

While it’s safest to have your dog share your tent with you and your family, after a long day of hiking, you may not want them in (or on) your sleeping bag. Why not get them their own portable dog bed? Getting one that can be rolled up like a sleeping bag or bed roll is a must.

In addition to their regular food, you will want to bring snacks that are portable and provide the necessary nutrients for energy when your dog is on the go, hiking, climbing, or swimming on your camping trip. These protein bars for dogs come in two, dog-approved flavors.

Collapsible bowls are a must, just make sure they are durable and easy to clean. Simply attach them with carabiners to your dog’s back pack or harness and they’ll be ready to hydrate anywhere you roam.

Finally, for dog owners whose dogs love adventure and don’t want to miss out on any camping fun but whose legs are too short to keep up, or whose noses are shaped such that breathing can become difficult, why not consider a dog-carrier pack? You’ll get a workout, and your smaller dog won’t miss out on adventure time. This one is suitable for dogs up to 30 lbs.

And last but not least, every dog owner should have a pet first aid kit, just in case.

Julie Bond

Julie Bond is a voracious reader with eclectic tastes running the gamut from YA lit, to psychological suspense, and anything dog-related, of course. You can find her haunting her favorite San Francisco Bay Area indie bookstores. Email her at ObsessiveBookFanatic@gmail.com


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