Bark About! Blog

A puppy pile of dog information and stories

A woman and small dog looking out the window of an RV camper van smiling and looking at the ocean outside

Dogs Make Happy Campers Happier

Published February 21, 2024
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We all want to get away from the hustle, the bustle, the daily stress and the people, all those people! Camping allows us to see new sights, be alone, figure out stuff, bonds us as a family, creates life-long memories and reminds us how lucky we are to live in this beautiful country. It’s good for our minds, bodies, and souls.

It would be a shame to take this journey without your dog. Dogs are the domesticated ancestors of wolves. They have the instinctive drive of wild wolves to explore, hunt and sniff, but they also have the domesticated need for love and protection by their humans. Camping allows dogs to be “wild” yet still be in their secure and safe world…with you. RV’s and campers take us outside our comfort zone into a world of big spaces, beauty, adventure and exploration, yet brings us closer as we hang out by the fire and sleep in a pack, just like the wolves.

This is why exploring in an RV or pulling a trailer with your best buddy (the one who doesn’t back seat drive) is a win/win for everyone.

A few things we’ve learned in our travels:

  1. Most RV parks allow dogs. These days, smart business owners know the importance of allowing ALL family members. Very few RV parks prohibit dogs, some restrict certain breeds, most allow all dogs and some even encourage dogs by providing mini dog parks and poop stations throughout. Be sure to check before loading up the pups.
  2. Bring puppy necessities. These include, but not limited to:
    • Dog food and the feeding bowls they use at home.
    • Chew toys for the long trip and passing the time between hikes.
    • Spill proof water bowls (life saver).
    • Illuminated or flashing collars.
    • Dog beds from home. The familiar smells will be calming to them.
    • Foldable fencing. Lightweight and free standing is fine for most unless your dog is an escape artist, then there are ones that anchor to the ground.
    • Outdoor rug for where the dogs will be hanging out. Plastic woven ones are the best for easy cleaning, keeping dirt off paws and keeping your RV clean.
  3. Not all national parks and trails allow dogs. Reasons being, for the safety of the dog, and/or for the preservation of the natural wildlife. Most require the dog to be on a leash, and some don’t want dogs on the trails at all. Pawrent Adventures and Bring Fido are two of many resources that list dog friendly national parks and trails.

Personally, we alternate trips with the dogs as we’ve learned that camping with our dogs does change the entire experience.

Without the dogs, we can disconnect the Airstream and go into town for a nice dinner or meet up with old friends and not worry about leaving the pups alone. These trips are selfishly all about us.

With the dogs, the trip is all about the dogs, their entertainment, and their safety. We tend to cook in, stay close to the trailer site, meet new dog owner friends, find dog friendly restaurants and discover our immediate surroundings. It’s two different kinds of fun and we love both!

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