Our fur kids are essential family members, so we dream of taking them everywhere, even when we go camping. However, camping requires a lot of preparation, especially with your dog, since you need to consider several more factors, one of which is pet-safe camping tents.

And, with the right tent, you and your loyal friend can enjoy camping trips together for years.

Key Features of Dog-Friendly Tents

When buying the necessities for your fun camping trip with your canine companion, there are several features of dog-friendly tents to keep in mind, including durability, space, easy access, and ventilation.

  • Durability – Polyester and ripstop nylon camping tent materials and pets go together nicely since these materials are excellent for standing up to nails, paws, and rough play. You should also reinforce mesh panels.
  • Size – Buy a tent with plenty of interior space, especially headroom, so your dog can move freely. For larger breeds, a tent with several rooms is perfect.
  • Easy access – Wide doors, numerous entrances, and lobbies are ideal for dogs. Look out for tents with two doors opposite each other so your dog can enter and exit quickly.
  • Ventilation – Proper airflow will keep the tent cozy for your dog. Choose a tent with windows, roof vents, and mesh panels, the latter especially essential for hot weather. Mesh also prevents insects from getting in.

Selecting the Right Size and Material

Selecting dog-friendly camping tents includes considering their size and material as two of the most essential factors.

You need a spacious tent for you and your pooch to move around comfortably, with extra room for supplies. Opt for a large floor plan tent, like a 6-person tent for two dogs. Moreover, a tent with a bathtub floor keeps out moisture in case of rain.

While canvas tents are among the most durable tents for dogs, they can get stuffy. Polyester tents strike a good balance, being both breathable and rugged.

Breathable tent materials like nylon mesh help maximize ventilation and prevent overheating. However, nylon tents are lightweight but prone to tearing if your dog’s nails or teeth get caught.

Look for spacious tents for dog owners designed with features like oversized vestibules for gear storage, sturdy zippers, and an easy-access mesh door or panel, so your dog can come and go as needed.

selecting the right tent for your dog

Setting Up Your Tent with Dogs

Setting up a tent with a dog should be simple if you know what to do.

Make the proper foundation to prevent rips or tears in the floor from dog nails or rough terrain by laying a tarp or ground sheet under the tent. Remember to secure it to the ground to avoid tripping hazards.

After you have secured the tent floor, assemble the tent poles and raise the walls, after which you should tie off the guylines.

Regarding the inside of the tent, you should make it as comfortable as possible. To do that, include food and water bowls, as well as a blanket, dog bed, or a sleeping pad for your canine companion. These will also contain pet hair and give it its own dedicated space.

Top Tents for Camping with Dogs

If you are wondering what some of the best tents for camping with pets are, here are several high-rated ones you should pick from.

  • REI Co-op Base Camp 4 – This tent comes with plenty of space for both pet owners and their dogs. The tent also boasts a polyester floor that will stand up to the rough ground and large dog claws, while it also has a lot of windows and vents to give it enough ventilation, even on hot days.
  • Coleman Evanston Dome Tent – This tent features excellent value, quality, and materials, and it can also be put up in 15 minutes by a few people after practicing a few times. The most significant feature of this tent is the screened-in porch, an excellent place to leave your dog while you are busy cooking.
  • Big Agnes Dog House 6 Tent – This tent boasts the perfect size if you need extra space for your dog to move around. It’s tall enough to stand up in, while the zippers are incredibly tough, which is nice when dogs run in and out of the tent all day. It features two ventilating windows that will help keep your dogs cool.
camping with a dog in tent

Preparing Your Dog for Tent Camping

One of the tips for camping with dogs states that you should get them accustomed to tent life before embarking on your adventure. You can set up your tent in the backyard and let your dog explore it while giving it treats and praise.

Next, you should let it sleep in the tent overnight with you to help it associate the tent with positive experiences and prevent anxiety.

Bring essential supplies for your dog, like food and water bowls, bedding, towels, waste bags, medication, and any gear they’ll need for activities. Ensure your dog’s ID tag has up-to-date contact information in case they wander off.

Maintaining and Cleaning Your Tent

Maintaining a tent requires careful care, especially when camping with pets. You should make it a habit to examine your tent after every trip since your pet’s nails, hair, and occasional accidents can have devastating consequences if left unchecked and are not repaired immediately.

If you are faced with stubborn odors, set up the tent and leave a few bowls of activated charcoal, baking soda, or odor-eliminating crystals in the tent for a day or two before storing it.

Ensure all zippers, straps, poles, pegs, and seams are secure and undamaged. Seal or patch everything to maintain waterproofness and prevent further damage. Consider waterproofing, especially if you are camping in humid environments.

Safety and Comfort Tips

If you consider camping with your dog, you should prioritize its safety and comfort.

Firstly, don’t leave your furry companion unleashed outside the tent, especially at night, because you never know what wildlife may be prowling around.

You may take extra precautions depending on the place you camp. When camping in bear country or areas with wildlife, store food, trash, and scented items in bear-proof containers away from the tent.

Place a blanket, dog bed, or sleeping pad inside the tent to make your dog cozy. Remember to pack extras in case of rain or spills.

Check for weather forecasts and be prepared for temperature changes. You may need to pack coats, booties, and sweaters to keep your dog warm on chilly nights.

Additional Camping Gear for Dogs

Camping requires a lot of baggage, especially when camping with dogs gear. To make the adventure as enjoyable as possible, you need to pack some essentials:

  • Food and water bowls – Bring separate bowls for food and water, and choose collapsible bowls that are perfect for camping.
  • Dog’s toys – Bring some of your dog’s favorite interactive toys that dispense treats to help keep them entertained.
  • Bed – Bringing your furry friend’s bed from home will give it a familiar place to rest. Look for a durable, water-resistant bed that’s easy to clean.
  • Grooming items – Pack the most crucial grooming items, such as shampoo, brush, nail clippers, dental care products, fly/tick repellent, and any necessary medication.
  • Hiking gear – If you plan hiking, you may need a harness, leash, backpack, booties, and a coat. Choose equipment that suits the activity and meets your dog’s needs.


Whether just a weekend drive through the mountains or a week-long trip to a national park, camping is the best time to enjoy the outdoors with your canine companion. But, to not become too overwhelming and just be a fun and rewarding experience, you need to do some extra planning and preparation for your pet.

Purchase a tent with plenty of space for your furry friend, but also remember several other factors that play a role in which tent to choose, like ventilation, easy access, and durability.

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