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Tips for Camping with Dogs in Colorado


Learn tips for camping with your dog and be prepared to bring your four-legged friend on your next adventure!

Man’s best friend is a great companion for camp trips, but they do take some extra effort. Taking your dog camping for the first time can be intimidating, but with the right gear, knowledge and expectations it is a blast.

In this blog learn tips for camping with your dog and be prepared to bring your four-legged friend on your next adventure!

camping with dogs in Colorado

How to Camp with a Dog

We’ll go over tips for camping with dogs, RV camping with dogs, camping with dogs in Colorado and gear for taking your dog camping.

It’s On You

First things first: you and no one else is responsible for your dog. If you want to take them camping with you, you must first know them well enough to know their strengths and weaknesses, and the situation that you are taking them in. Your first weekend with them is not the time to take them on a camp trip.

Questions to ask yourself before heading out include:

  • Will my dog be comfortable? Are they so anxious that being in a new environment will stress them out?
  • Are they good around other people? Those you’ll be camping with and those who may be at campsites nearby?
  • Are there going to be times when I can’t bring my dog with me? Do they have separation anxiety that would make that difficult?

Know Before You Go

If you’re confident in the answers you gave to those questions, the next step is to do some research about where you’re headed.

  • Make sure dogs are allowed. Most national parks restrict dog access, and many state parks do as well.
  • Check leash rules. Many areas with designated campsites require that dogs remain leashed. If you are heading to a dispersed camp area you will most likely be able to keep pooch off leash, IF they return when you call them.
  • If you’re going with another group, ask if there will be other dogs coming. Make sure they are good with other dogs.

Dogs + RVs

Camping in an RV comes with a few other aspects to have in mind before you venture out.

  • Where will they sleep? Is the RV big enough for you, fellow campers and the dog(s)? On the Boreas XT many choose to set up the doggie bed in the enclosed room of the awning. This also eliminates some of the extra dirt their paws would track in your bed! Which leads us to…
  • How will you clean them if they get really dirty? Dogs seem to find (especially when they’re off leash) ALL the cow pies, puddles and bogs. If they’re really dirty do you have a way to rinse them off? The hot water shower on the Boreas XT comes in really handy for this exact purpose!
  • Where will they stay if they can’t come with you? If your RV is a basecamp for some adventures where the dog can’t come, will they be able to stay inside the RV? Don’t forget it can get hot during the summer!

camping with dogs

Camping with Dogs in Colorado

Camping with dogs in the Centennial state is a favorite past time, but there are some special things to consider if it’s your first time:

  • Do you have enough blankets/layers? If you’re heading to the Rockies or the desert, it can get surprisingly chilly when the sun sets because of the elevation and lack of humidity in the air. While it’s fun snuggling with Rufus it’s more fun if you have enough blankets to make sure you’re both comfortable.
  • Does your pup have all of their shots up to date? The rabies, parvo, lepto and Bordetella vaccines are common in Colorado for pups to protect them from diseases they can meet in the wild out here. Talk to your vet to make sure your dog’s prepared for an unexpected encounter while out in the wild.
  • Speaking of which, are you prepared for wildlife encounters? Small dogs are nice snacks for larger prey animals so make sure you have eyes on your buddy and they don’t stray too far from camp. Also be aware that if elk or deer are nearby they will be tempting to chase after. So make sure your dog is on leash or under control.
  • Are you heading to the desert? If so, make sure to watch that paws don’t get too hot, and there is a way to provide shade for your #1 buddy if there’s none available when you show up. If it’s too hot for you to walk on with bare feet it’s too hot for them!

tips for camping with dogs

Gear for Camping with Dogs

There are some items that help to make camping with dogs easier on everyone. Having a checklist when you go camping is helpful for making sure you don’t forget anything.

  • Food
  • Water
  • Bowls
  • Treats (helpful when enticing them to stay around camp)
  • Harness
  • Leash (a short one for walks and long one to give them a larger roaming radius if they will stay on it while at the camp area)
  • Bed/blanket to lie down on 
  • Poop bags (make sure to pick up after your pet)
  • Sweater/jacket (especially if your dog has short hair, not much extra fat, and you’re going somewhere that could get cold)
  • Booties (for areas with terrain that will be extra hot/cold/prickly/rocky)
  • Socks (if you are on a sleeping pad watch out for those toenails, they can puncture one easily)
  • GPS tracker (especially handy if you’re going camping where they can be off leash. We like the fi smart dog tracker but there are many options available)

Have fun camping with your dog!

This may sound like a lot, but it’s so much better to be prepared the first time you go camping with your dog, and it gets easier the more you do it. And seeing your dog happy in nature is one of the purest joys there is!

With some initial prep and research you can have an amazing time with your dog while camping. Enjoy!

camping with dogs in Colorado

Dogs love camping in the XT!

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