Camping with Dogs: Tips for Your Trip

Camping with Dogs: Tips for Your Trip

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If you need a holiday, what could be better than taking some time away with your best friend? You don’t even have to go very far. New Zealand is a country of snow-capped mountains, rugged plains, brilliant blue lakes and perfect beaches. It’s no surprise that people flock to these wilderness and white sand destinations for activities like hiking, fishing and swimming. With a little preparation, you can take your canine companion with you to enjoy the best that these (sometimes free!) camping spots have to offer. 

Camping with dogs is a bonding experience. You can spend hours a day enjoying the fresh air and peaceful atmosphere with your dog – or dogs if you have a family of furry friends. Take your pet for a long walk in nature and watch his face light up and his tail wag as he enjoys all the new smells and  space he has to roam, run and play in. 

Looking after your dog’s needs will help both of you have a better trip. Whether glamping is your style or you want to embrace the great outdoors at its wildest, here are some top tips for camping with dogs.  

Do your research

The more you know about the place you’re planning to camp, including the rules and potential hazards, the more prepared you will be. It may sound obvious, but before you book a stay or head out, make sure that dogs are allowed to camp there. Then check what other regulations are in place. Do dogs need to stay on leash? There are plenty of dog-friendly camping spots to choose from in New Zealand, but they all have rules.  

Make sure your dog is healthy

If you haven’t taken your dog for a check-up in a while, perhaps the first place you should head is to the vet. Your dog should be healthy enough to cope with a long trip away from home in a new environment, and up to date with health measures like vaccines, flea treatments and worming. There are some areas around the country that require specific vaccines so make sure to let your vet know where you are heading. 

Update your dog’s tag

Attach an ID tag to your dog’s collar with important information like the name of your dog and your phone number, address or council registration number. As you might not always have cell phone reception, you can also attach another tag with your campsite and your site number - just in case. 

Pack the right gear

Packing the right dog accessories, supplies and essential items will save you from headaches – or at least trips back to civilization – later on when you’ve already set up camp. This is a big topic to get into and the right gear will depend on your dog, as well as your destination and how long you’re staying for. A long line is a must-have item, as well as your standard leash and harness. A special camping zipline is a wonderful piece of equipment to keep your dog safe but also allow him to have enough room to sniff and explore. 

Obviously you should bring more food and snacks than you think you’ll need and poop bags are essential to leave no traces. So is water if there isn’t a clean source available, as the water from rivers and streams can be contaminated and might not be suitable for your dog to drink. It’s a great idea to bring a collapsible Dog Bowl which you can use for hiking and back at camp. 


Bring first aid

Preparing a dog first aid kit is a must before your big adventure. Some essentials include your dog’s veterinary records, non-stick bandages, adhesive tape and gauze. It’s best to check with your vet what he recommends to bring for your trip. 

Bring toys

Even when you’d rather spend the day swimming, sunbathing, napping or lounging around, your dog needs to be entertained and stimulated. Bringing a selection of his favourite toys helps stop him from getting bored and wandering off someplace. It can also help cope with potential anxiety of new places when having some well loved toys around. 

Do dog-friendly things

Camping with dogs is a bonding experience. Sharing activities that your dog will love is a way to draw closer to your canine companion and really make the most of it. Some dog-friendly activities include hitting the hiking trails, exploring a secluded beach, playing fetch in the open air and even going stand-up paddle boarding with your pup. 

Provide warmth and shelter

It may be very hot or cold depending on the time of year, so do everything you can to keep your dog’s temperature stable. Make sure he has access to shade and fresh drinking water. Set aside a warm and dry spot for him to get cosy if it rains or the weather is chilly. Let your dog sleep as close to you in the tent as possible and consider an all-weather tarp under his bedding to protect him from the cold and the elements. A Rain Coat might also be a great investment as weather can be unpredictable around the country. 

Supervise your dog

Clean up after your dog at all times and don’t let him go running off. If he starts stealing food from other campers, both of you will be unpopular. Safely restraining your dog while setting up your tent, cooking meals etc. will ensure that he doesn’t break the rules and that you have a nice, drama-free stay. 

Shop outdoor gear from Arctic Sammy

If you need to stock up on any outdoor dog products or dog accessories before your big trip, the Arctic Sammy team is here to help. 

Our outdoor gear range is full of outdoor gadgets and accessories designed to make camping with dogs safer, easier and much more fun, including trail bags, travel packs and dog treat pouches. 

At Arctic Sammy, we’re dog lovers who know exactly what the average dog owner needs, and how much of a relief it is to find good-quality products made from durable material. 

If you have any questions about camping with dogs or our outdoor dog products, drop us a line at

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