The Best Tents for Camping with Your Dog
Camping & Hiking Expert Hannah K. explains the best tents for camping with your furry friend along with some tips, tricks, and safety considerations.
A camping trip with dogs is an entirely different experience than camping alone. When bringing along your furry companion, it is important to consider what's best for their overall health and safety. The trip becomes about their needs, not our own wants. You also have to bring more food, more water, and more gear in general.
However, there are many brands that create gear with adventure dogs in mind! Dogs are messy and tend to be a bit reckless, therefore, it is far easier for them to create small tears or rips in our gear—especially in sleeping pads, sleeping bags, and tents. Gear is expensive and we don’t want to be constantly paying to repair or replace it. To help avoid that, here are my favorite dog-friendly tents.
The factors I considered when selecting these tents are durability and durable materials, the structure of the tent, vestibule areas, overall space, ventilation, and any weathertec systems.
Tips and Tricks to Avoid Tent Damage
1. Trim your dog's nails
Their nails are sharp and can easily cause tears simply by walking. Trim and file your dog’s nails to avoid this.
2. Get all your dog's energy out during the day
Your dog is far more likely to sleep in your tent and have calmer energy if they get to run and dig and jump during the day. Give them plenty of exercise!
3. Teach them “place”
“Place” is a great trick to teach a dog. Essentially, it asks them to go to a designated spot (i.e. a dog bed) and lay down, relax, and stay until otherwise noted. This can help give your dog a task and a designated spot to sleep.
4. Bring along a dog sleeping pad or extra blankets
Using extra layers on your tent will avoid direct nail-to-tent contact.
5. Give them a melatonin dog chew
This calming treat will help calm their nerves and put them in a deep sleep for the night.
Now, let's get into the tents!
This is the perfect tent for a beginner camper just testing the waters. It is one of the cheapest tents on the market and is very easy to set up. This is a great budget tent for campers who aren’t sure that camping with their dog will become a regular activity. The large mesh windows are great for your dog to look out if they are a bit nervous being in a tent, and the mesh pockets are great for storing toys, treats, a leash, and anything else you might need to help keep them calm.
If you need extra space for your dog (or dogs!) to move around, the Big Agnes Dog House 6 is the perfect size. In the summer and warmer nights this is a great option because of the two ventilating windows that will help keep your dogs cool! This tent is a heavier option at 13 pounds, so park closer to your campground to avoid lugging your tent far to set up.
The Eureka Suma 3 Tent is a great option for you, a friend, and your smaller dog—or you and your larger dog! It is very budget-friendly, and for the price, it is fairly lightweight. This three-person tent weighs 4 pounds 13 ounces and the two-person size is even lighter. There are many organizational pockets, an integrated gear loft (to hide things you don’t want your dog to chew on), and incredible ventilation to keep them comfortable on warmer days.
This is a four-season tent that will keep you and your dog warmer if you go exploring in colder times of the year. Remember, camping with your dog is about keeping them safe! Bringing the right gear is crucial to do that. The Eureka Mountain Pass 2 tent will surely keep you and your furry friend safe from colder temperatures. It comes with an included footprint, removable side panels that add or decrease ventilation, and five interior pockets to organize your gear and your dogs gear.
The Nemo Aurora Tent is one of my favorite options for those camping with dogs because it uses Pawprint compatible fabric. This is a new technology that Nemo designed for dogs and people seeking additional durability in their tent to protect from dirt and claws. It also has vertical sidewalls that create extra space and a large vestibule to store extra gear outside of the tent. Their strutted vent systems help to fight condensation and add ventilation.
The Coleman Skylodge Cabin Tent is another budget-friendly tent with plenty of room for eight people and comes in a twelve-person size as well. This is a great option for those camping with dogs who need a bit extra height or for tall people! This can easily fit two queen-size mattresses, multiple dog cots, and plenty of space for gear. The wide door, storage pockets, and easy to set up system makes this tent great for families with a pup.
This two room tent is filled with opportunities for campers with dogs. Maybe you are camping with someone allergic to dogs who needs a different space. Maybe the dogs can’t be with the children because they will run around all night long. Maybe your dog has loads of energy and will run back and forth in the tent in the morning. This tent has space for it all! It is quite a beast—weighing in at 34 pounds. Best not to run far from your car with this tent. There are two doors, nine poles, and 144 square feet of space to move around.
Safety Tips for Camping with Dogs
The comfort of your dog is crucial to enjoying your camping trip. Are you backpacking or car camping? What is the portability of your gear? How can you make moving efficient and simple?
Bring a first aid kit
First aid kits for dogs are quite different from ours, although some pieces do overlap—like tick remover pieces. Ticks are the worst, and they love our dogs. Make sure to do a thorough tick check at the end of each day and at the end of your trip. Additionally, you never know if they may step on something or scrape against something that can cut through their skin. Be prepared to bandage them up, haul them out, and know where the nearest vet is.
Have an extra ID tag and keep it on them at all times
If you are at a full campground with other dogs and people, your dog may wander off and play. Having a dog tag on them at all times is crucial if your dog tents to walk off. It wouldn’t hurt to pack an extra collar too in case one gets soaking wet or covered in mud. Dog booties also can protect dogs’ paws from ice, sharp objects, or hot asphalt.
Dog booties are important to protect paws
Whether it be ice, sharp objects, or hot asphalt, dog booties will keep your dog safe and comfortable in any terrain. Check out this list for other important pieces of dog gear to bring on your trip.
Bring their favorite toy
Camping can be overstimulating for many dogs. New smells, new places, new things to pee on—it’s all so exciting. Having something from home, like their favorite toy, will be very comforting for nervous or anxious doggos.
Don’t forget an extra food or water bowl
I prefer to bring silicone collapsible water and food bowls when I go camping because they are light, easy to clean, and compact. I also can clip them to the outside of my backpack for easy access for water on the trail.
If your dog likes to sleep in a crate at home, consider a pet tent
A pet tent is a tent made for your pet's size. It can easily fit into your own tent but will give them a space similar to their crate to feel safe in.
As always, don’t forget the rain fly
Even if it doesn’t look like it will rain, bring the rain fly. You can also use this to create shade on warmer days.
After you finish preparing and have all your gear, head on out to explore. Camping with dogs is an amazing experience for both you and your pup. Spending time with your dog outside helps build their confidence and creates a stronger bond between you two. Remember to move at their pace and help them get comfortable with the temporary home. Do you have any tips for camping with dogs? Hit up a Camping Expert on Curated to chat about all things outdoors.