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15 Dog Camping Gear Essentials to Keep Your Pup Safe and Happy on Your Next Adventure

Keep this camping gear on hand for a great adventure.

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Hitting the great outdoors and sleeping under the stars is one of the best parts of summer, and bringing your favorite pup along on your camping trip only elevates the experience. In the same way you make sure you’ve packed all the essentials for yourself, it’s imperative to bring the dog camping gear Fido needs too.

Lindsay Butzer, DVM, a veterinarian and PetMeds partner says, “When camping with your dog, bring everything they need for food and water, bowls, their own food, leashes, and crates or dog carriers if you need to cage them.”

She also strongly recommends making sure your pets are up to date on all their flea, tick and heartworm meds, and that you pack a wound care package just in case. This includes some Neosporin ointment, bandages and possibly some prednisone for any allergic reactions that could happen from a bee sting or bug bite.

With all these basics covered, you’ll set yourself and your pooch up for a successful outdoor experience together. We’ve got some specific recommendations for the necessities mentioned above, as well as some other dog camping gear essentials that’ll elevate your time together.

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Ntk Pet Tent
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NTK MyPet Lightweight Pop-Up Pet Tent

If your pooch isn’t sleeping in your tent, they need a place to call their own. Dog tents, like the NTK MyPet Tent, keep them out of the elements so they can enjoy the shade, a reprieve from potential rain and a safe place to sleep through the night. This one’s a great choice for dog camping gear because it assembles in less than 20 seconds.

It comes in two sizes and features a removable UV rainfly cover. Need an idea of where to camp? These pet-friendly national parks are the perfect place to explore with your pup.

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Ruffwear Dog Pad
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Ruffwear Highlands Dog Pad

Go the extra mile and cozy up your pup’s tent, dog crate or elevated dog bed with a cushy pad. The Ruffwear Highlands Dog Pad is lightweight, rolls up to save space and provides a nice cushion off the ground. It also features a non-slip waterproof base and an easy-to-clean microsuede topper.

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Orijen Freeze Dried Dog Food Topper
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Orijen Freeze Dried Dog Food

Your pup needs to eat! Freeze-dried dog food doesn’t require any refrigeration, plus it’s lightweight and easier to carry than other options—simply add water to rehydrate and then serve. Orijen’s Freeze-Dried Original Recipe Dog Food is grain-free, high in protein, and made of premium raw ingredients to keep your pup spry, full, healthy and happy during your camping trip.

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Yeti Boomer Dog Bowl
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Yeti Boomer Stainless Steel Non-Slip Dog Bowl

Water and food dishes are obvious dog camping gear essentials, but it’s wise to pack bowls that’ll survive the elements. Yeti’s Boomer Stainless Steel Bowl is made from a puncture- and rust-resistant stainless steel and holds 8 cups of food or water. It also has a BearFoot™ non-slip ring on the bottom that keeps the bowl in place while they chow down or slurp up.

Nancy Snyder, Senior Shopping Editor of The Pet Collective, is a fan: “While I use an elevated dog bowl at home for my pit bull mix, Ernie, I love using the durable Yeti Boomer for camping and travel. It’s heavier than your traditional dog dish, so it stays put during mealtimes and can withstand wind or accidental knock overs even when it’s empty. It’s also dishwasher-safe, leaving one less dog item to clean after the trip is over.” (Read her full review here.)

Add this item—and other summer camping gear essentials—to your Amazon cart quickly, or purchase directly from Yeti to customize the bowl for an additional fee.

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Editor Tested Springer Water Bottle For Dogs
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Springer Dog Travel Water Bottle

If you find yourself hitting the trails with your pooch, you’ll definitely want to pack enough water for them to stay hydrated, Dr. Butzer says. A portable dog water bottle is a dog camping gear essential since it allows you to easily carry H2O for your pooch. Try the Springer Dog Travel Water Bottle, which squeezes water into the bowl at the top for a quick drink, then recovers any leftover water for the next time your pup needs a sip.

Senior Shopping Editor, Nancy Snyder, enjoys having this portable water source while on the go. “I love having the option to hold and squeeze the water bottle for Ernie to drink while we’re on a trail or in the car, or to fill it, lock it and set it out for him to drink from at his leisure—just like a regular water bowl,” she says.

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Wild One Walk Kit
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Wild One Walk Kit

“To prevent your dog from getting lost, always keep them on a leash—whether it be a long lead or a short leash—that is up to you,” says Dr. Butzer. We recommend the Wild One Walk Kit, which comes with an adjustable 5.5-foot leash and poop bag attachment. The material is waterproof and odor resistant, making it perfect for outdoor adventures. Speaking of water, if you’re planning to do any water activities pack a dog life jacket as well.

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Nite Ize Dog Collar Led Light
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Nite Ize SpotLit LED Dog Collar Light

Keeping your pup within eyesight during the day is easy enough, but come nightfall it can get a bit tricky. “You always want to make sure you know where your dog is, and don’t let them wander off too far or out of your supervision as they might get in trouble with wildlife,” Dr. Butzer says. A light-up tag, like the SpotLit LED Dog Collar Light, can help enormously while camping with your dog. This is also a great gift idea for campers with dogs.

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The Foggy Dog Waste Bag Holder
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The Foggy Dog Canvas Waste Bag Holder

If your leash doesn’t come with a poop bag attachment, it’s important to equip yourself before your camping experience. “To be respectful of others on the trails [and campgrounds], carry poop bags,” Dr. Butzer says. Nobody wants to step in doggy poop, so do your part to keep the area sanitary and smelling like the outdoors—not #2! The Foggy Dog Waste Bag Holder attaches to the leash’s O-ring and comes with a standard roll of 15 waste bags.

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Adventure Medical Kits Dog First Aid Kit
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Adventure Medical Kits Adventure Dog First Aid Kit

Though your pup is generally safe by your side, a safety kit is a dog camping gear must-have. The Adventure Dog First Aid Kit comes with dressings and bandages and a splinter picker/tick remover. Dr. Butzer also recommends packing some Neosporin with your bandage material. “These dog safety essentials are helpful until you can get to a veterinarian for help,” she adds.

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Sgoda Dog Cooling Vest
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Sgoda Dog Cooling Vest

Things can get pretty toasty when camping in the summer and dogs are susceptible to overheating. Lots of water is essential, but be sure to also pack dog camping gear that helps cool your pooch down. For example, the Sgoda Dog Cooling Vest is meant to be soaked in cold water, wrung out and then worn by your pooch. It comes in seven different sizes and is one of the best dog cooling vests to keep on hand when you’re visiting a dog-friendly beach with your pup.

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Carhartt Insulated Dog Vest
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Carhartt Insulated Dog Chore Coat

Even if it’s a hot day, things can get a bit chilly in the evenings. You’ve got a sleeping bag to keep you warm, and some outerwear can help provide your pet with a little extra warmth as well. The Carhartt Insulated Dog Coat is made from a super durable, firm-hand duck canvas that shields your pup from wind and weather, and the quilted liner provides warmth too.

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Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots
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Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots

Whether your pup’s hitting the trails with you or just wandering around camp, a pair of dog shoes or boots can help protect their tootsies. The Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots are made from a tightly woven air mesh that keeps dirt and debris out while still allowing for airflow. The Vibram soles promote traction and are great for all sorts of terrain. It might also be helpful to keep a dog paw cleaner handy.

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Vets Best Flea And Tick Wipes
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Vet’s Best Topical Flea & Tick Wipes for Dogs

Your dog’s fur is a beacon to all sorts of little critters running around in the forest, including fleas and ticks. Nix those bad boys instantly by running a flea and tick wipe over their fur once or twice a day. Vet’s Best Topical Flea & Tick Wipes feature a natural, plant-based formula and are super soft. No doubt your dog will be dirty on the car ride home, so make sure to bring a dog car hammock to keep the interior clean.

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Jiminys Original Cricket Cookies Dog Treats
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Jiminy’s Original Cricket Cookie Dog Treats

Treats are a must during your camping adventure. Stay on brand with a pack of Jiminy’s Original Cricket Cookie Dog Treats, which are made from actual crickets. Before you say, “Ew!”—know that these treats are super tasty and pack three times more protein than a beef-based treat. These treats are also handy dog items to keep in your car.

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Arcadia Trail Water Repellant Duck Dog Toy
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Arcadia Trail Water-Repellent Canvas Duck Toy

What goes hand-in-hand with dog treats? Toys, of course! No doubt your pooch’s toy will get mucky, muddy and slobbery out in the wild, so opt for a toy that’s easy to keep clean. The Arcadia Trail Duck Toy is made from a durable canvas material and is water-repellant for extra protection.

The bright color makes it easier to spot outside, and the fact that it’s a duck keeps your adventure on theme. The best part (at least for your pup)? It squeaks! And don’t forget that dog car seat belt when driving to and from your camp spot.

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About the Expert

  • Lindsay Butzer is a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM), a veterinarian and a PetMeds partner.

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Wendy Rose Gould
Wendy Rose Gould is a Phoenix-based veteran lifestyle reporter covering home and garden, pets, wellness and travel for outlets such as Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, Insider and Reader's Digest. She received her bachelor's degree from Franklin College of Indiana's Pulliam School of Journalism, graduating magna cum laude. She has a second bachelor's degree in Philosophy.