How To Keep A Dog Warm While Camping

Going camping, backpacking, or walking with dogs is extremely enjoyable. Your pet will be in his element in the wild along with you. The enjoyment and fun can be lost when you don’t think about keeping your pet warm. If you like camping during winter, you be aware of how to stay warm. There are many who go camping in summer, but aren’t aware that their dogs will require to be given a bit more attention in order to keep them warm throughout the night.

6 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Warm When Going on a Camping Trip

The Best Ol’ Cuddle

There’s something better than sitting down and enjoying a relaxing time with your dog. Why not make it part of your solution?

When I first considered camping with a dog, camping with my dog, my first thought I came up with for keeping him warm was cuddling him all night. Woody tends to sleep close to my head when it’s not freezing. When it’s cold, I always try to encourage him to curl up on my arms to keep warm throughout the night. Cuddling is a thing he enjoys to do when we’re at home which is why it’s not unusual for him to curl up. Woody is a tiny West Highland Terrier, however Woody is quite comfortable, so that’s an added benefit.

A different suggestion is to open your sleeping bag just a bit to allow your dog to lie down in the sleeping bag along with you. You can also purchase a sleeping bag that is slightly bigger or even a double-sized sleeping bag that will give the dog all of the space as he wants while making sure that each dog is warm.

Dog Sleeping Bags

Certain dogs prefer having their own space, so purchasing a bed for your pet is smart. There are a variety of choices available, and I’ve used several with Woody. One I really like and the only one that Woody appears to like is available from Ruffwear , which is available on Amazon.

Woody would rather sleep with me in my sleeping bag when it gets a bit cold. In the instances where there isn’t as cold as on a camping trip in the summer, I usually notice Woody beginning the night with me. If he is too hot near me, he’ll retreat to his tiny sleeping bag for the remainder in the evening.

Sleeping bags for dogs and travel beds are a wonderful accessory to your pet camping equipment. The one I’m using has an extremely durable fabric that is easy to clean, waterproof, and dry quickly when you are you are out in the wild. It weighs around 2lbs making it very light for backpacking and hiking and you’ll also be able roll it into a compact bag to carry.

I bring Woody’s sleeping bag along when we have picnics because he loves to lay upon it in the evenings after games and having a small chase around the park.

Hot Water Bottle for Pack

Some of the tricks I’m listing on behalf of dogs are similar to ones I have for people who are looking at ways to keep comfortable in the tents they sleep in. The advice is, however, an exact replica and recommends that you read my other suggestions for humans.

If you’ve prepared for your camping trip then you’ll be equipped with an insulated hot water bottle as well as the capability to warm water for it. Water bottles that are hot an excellent solution that can work at the coldest temperatures. I’ve tried it several times and it’s definitely working fantastically.

I would recommend heating the water to the highest temperature you can. and then filling your hot water bottle, and then put the bottle in the shirt. The bottle being in a t-shirt will prevent your dog from burning themselves in the event that the water is too hot. I usually test hot water bottles on myself to ensure it’s not burning too hot.

Woody likes to sit with hot water bottles till his bum becomes too hot.

Find His Coat. It’s cold

Similar to when you’re cold and require a few more coats, the dog can do similar. A lot of dog owners have a coat for winter walks, and you could use it when you own one. I prefer an Hurtta Summit Parka pet coat for Woody. It’s perfect for cold temperatures and winter camping is why it’s perfect well for colder nights and during winter.

If Woody and I are for a camping trip I usually put his parka on him to determine if he’s willing to wear it or not. Woody has and I discovered an effective method where I put on the coat when I feel it’s cold, then wait 30 minutes. After that, I begin to take it off him. If you pull it off and wants to stay with it, he can put it back on throughout the evening. The only time I’ll insist on taking it off is if he begins to become too hot or when the coat is wet.

It could be the only item I can assure that my pet will be warm throughout the night long while camping.

Bring Your Dog’s Blanket

My Dog – Woody with one of his many blankets

Blankets are excellent to keep both of you and your dog cozy. The warmth of a blanket can be perfect to bond with your dog and warming each other up. If you’d like to see things flow more smoothly and more enjoyable, I suggest you bring a blanket your dog is aware of and allowed to use within the home.

Woody has several blankets that he is sure are his, and he uses to stay warm and cozy. When I first started camping with Woody I would bring his blanket from home. It worked well and Woody enjoyed having an item that was completely his own in the tent. The issue was that it was a thick blanket that was quite heavy. When it became wet from Woody’s paws it would be nearly impossible to dry in the camping.

In the end, I decided to get an outdoor blanket that works great. I have two of them, one as backups and the other one is currently being utilized. When we aren’t camping, the blankets are utilized in the house to play Woody which is why we have one sitting on our Sofa and one beneath my desk at my home office.

I’m currently using my wool Arcturus Blanket available on Amazon at a reasonable price. It’s lighter than many blankets for home use and is ideal for keeping the dog and you warm inside the tent. It can also be used on the couch during film night.

A Bit More Food Can Be of Help

The last and probably the most important point. Dog owners are aware that during winter months , they need to reduce the amount of calories that their pet consumes due to the lower level of activity, the colder weather and shorter walks. If you’re camping, your exercise and movement is likely to be greater than normal which is why an increased intake of food can be a good option.

There’s more but in the form of PetMD have mentioned:

“Studies suggest that dogs subject to low temperature exposure need two to three times the normal calories as they need at a more moderate temperature”.

My advice is to exercise your best judgement while camping and be aware of the temperature. If you feel that it is colder than the temperature your dog is accustomed to, perhaps even adding more food to go. I am sure that your pet will be thrilled with all the additional snacks and food.

Is My Dog Too Cold? Warning Signals

You can discern if your dog’s cold enough because the symptoms are the same as those for humans. It is important to keep your dog’s temperature high and make sure that they’re warm and cozy. There could be instances that are simply way too frigid for your pet.

If you suspect that your dog is acting strange or isn’t being themselves, don’t hesitate to return to normalcy and see a veterinarian.

The Signs That Could Mean Your Dog is Cold

  • Cold to the feel
  • Shivering and curling up
  • Whimpering
  • The restlessness or the pacing
  • Lethargy, sleepiness or insomnia
  • If you feel your gut telling you that something is not right in your pet, follow your instinct and don’t be a gambler.

Roundup of Keeping Your Dog Warm When Camping

Camping can be a wonderful experience , and spending it with your most beloved pet is the best choice you can make. Make sure you are aware of the risks you’re taking when camping with your pet. In time, you’ll know the way your dog reacts to various weather conditions and types. In addition, you will probably have some of your suggestions, so be sure to return and discuss them with the rest of us here at The Wilderness Dog.

Was this helpful?
Den Kyle

Den Kyle

I'm the founder of Dens Camp Guide. After many years of hiking and trekking worldwide, I decided to share my experiences by making my guide website! Former science teacher, Ohio State graduate, and now full-time adventurer!