Must-Haves For Camping With Your Dog

Pet Friendly


Pets are part of the family so it’s only natural to want to take them along on your next RV adventure. If it’s your first time camping with your dog, not to worry – we’ve compiled some must-haves for traveling with your pup in a pet-friendly RV rental. You can also download our handy checklist here.

  • Food  – this one is obvious but be sure to pack enough food to last through each day of your trip, and then pack a little more just in case you decide to extend the excursion. You may also need to feed your pup a bit more than usual if they’ll be burning extra calories on hikes or frolicking around the RV campsite. Prepare individual servings in sandwich bags or pack in bulk using a food-safe plastic tub. 

  • Water (and food) bowls – one of the most important things to keep in mind when traveling with your pets is keeping them hydrated. It’s a good idea to have a bowl of fresh water available both inside the RV and outside so they are able to drink frequently. And make sure to refill/refresh the water and wash the bowls frequently to keep everything nice and clean. 

  • Treats and toys –having your dog’s favorite treats and special toys on hand will help keep them relaxed and occupied. 

  • Collar and ID tags with your phone number – we know your precious pet would never wander off but give yourself the peace of mind knowing that if they do, someone will be able to contact you. You’ll also want to bring copies of vaccination records. 

  • Local veterinarian contact list – be prepared for anything by looking up veterinarian offices and pet hospitals near your campsite and keep the list of addresses and phone numbers handy. This is a good idea for people doctors, too. 


  • Flea & tick prevention – enjoying the great outdoors comes with a few creepy crawly neighbors. Protect your pet before you hit the open road with long-term treatments or take a natural approach and mix up a repellent spray with lemon and eucalyptus essential oils.   

  • Pet-appropriate sunscreen – that’s right, your dog can get a sunburn especially on sensitive areas like the nose, ears and belly. Dogs with light-colored coats are especially susceptible so be sure to protect your pup before hitting the trail. 

  • Plant guide – dogs are notorious for eating all the things, so it’s important to be on the lookout for plants that can be potentially harmful. Here’s a handy guide. Who knew chrysanthemums could be a problem? 

  • First-aid kit – we’re guessing you have one for yourself, but not all first-aid items are appropriate for use with pets. Be sure to pack nonstick gauze and adhesive tape, milk of magnesia and/or activated charcoal, Benadryl, antibiotic ointment, styptic power, eye wash, tweezers and hydrogen peroxide. Under a veterinarian’s advice you’ll be able to treat things like small wounds and accidental ingestion of something your pet shouldn’t have gotten into. 

  • Bed or blanket – bringing a dog bed or favorite blanket will not only provide comfort but give your pet its own space to relax, or retreat, after the day’s adventures. If your pet typically sleeps in bed with you, don’t think that will change because your sleeping arrangement has. Consider bringing an extra sheet to cover (and by that we mean protect) your personal blankets. Camping can be dirty business. 


  • Extra towels and cleaning supplies – speaking of dirt … be prepared for your inquisitive pup to be covered in dust, mud or lake water at some point during your trip. Bring extra towels, and maybe some doggie shampoo, to refresh your pet and keep your RV clean for the duration of your RV excursion. Because no one likes walking around in dried mud.

  • Pet shoes – many RV excursions take campers out for hiking and wilderness exploration so make sure you are ready with pet shoes or pad covers to keep your furry friend’s feet safe. In addition to terrain (is the ground rocky, full of thorns, etc.) consider temperature – both extreme hot and cold can irritate your pup’s pads, especially if they are not used to being outdoors. 

  • Collar lights – it gets DARK out there. Keep your dog well-lit and easy to spot with lights that clip onto their collars. Glow stick also work great for this purpose. 

  • Long-lead leash and stake – even if your dog is well-behaved enough to be off leash, some campsites have strict leash laws and having the option to stake the leash to the ground will allow you to keep your dog safe and not have to hold the leash at all times. 

  • Dog brush – if your pet has long hair this is a must. Comb out tangles – and bits of dirt and leaves and sticks – before it becomes a matted mess. 

Be sure to take frequent pitstops. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) when traveling with your pet, you should stop every few hours to allow your dog to stretch its legs, use the restroom and hydrate. 
Now, go find a pet-friendly campsite (here are some of our favorites), pack up your furry friend and hit the open road. And don’t forget the poop bags.