Written by Tim Falk
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 06/21/2021, edited: 10/04/2022
Camping with your dog is a wonderful way to spend some quality time with your pup in the great outdoors. But when the weather turns nasty and the rain starts to fall, your dream camping trip can quickly turn into a nightmare. A wet dog in a tent can not only be smelly and messy, but they can also be cold, miserable, and even run the risk of developing hypothermia.
But that doesn’t mean you should let a little bit of rain put you off camping with your dog altogether. With some simple planning and preparation, camping in the rain with your dog is a piece of cake. These 10 simple tips should help you tackle your next wet-weather camping trip with ease.
Before you leave for your camping getaway, check the weather forecast so you know what to expect. Will the weather be warm and dry, or is there a risk of showers or rain? This will give you a better idea of the conditions you need to prepare for and what you should pack.
Of course, we all know that weather can be unpredictable and the forecast isn’t always right, so don’t assume that a prediction for dry conditions will come true. And if the forecast is for day after day of torrential rain, don’t hesitate to reschedule your trip to take advantage of sunshine and blue skies.
If you're camping in the rain and you get wet, it can be very difficult to get dry again. That’s why it’s essential to make sure your tent is as waterproof as possible.
This includes a waterproof ground cover, a tent that doesn’t leak, and a rain cover to keep moisture off your tent. Throw in a tarp to provide shelter for your campsite — and give you somewhere dry to sit outside your tent — and your wet-weather camping experience will be a whole lot more enjoyable.
Doggy rain jackets are much more than just a cute accessory. They’re also a very handy addition to keep your dog safe and dry when camping in the rain. Look for a rain jacket that’s waterproof, adjustable, the right size for your dog, and is easily visible in rainy conditions.
When you’re camping and rain sets in for the day, it can sometimes be impossible to stay completely dry. That’s why it’s important to pack some old towels for your trip so you can dry your dog when they get wet, or even consider using a super-absorbent chamois to remove moisture from their coat. This will prevent a chill from setting in and protect your dog against the risk of hypothermia.
The best way for your dog to stay dry is to invite them into the tent with you. If you’ve set up your tent properly, this will protect them from the elements and ensure that they stay warm and dry for the duration of your camping adventure.
Make sure your dog has their own space where they can get comfy inside the tent. A bed, their favorite blanket, and a chew toy or two should help them feel right at home.
If it’s warm enough for your dog to stay outside and you don’t want that distinctive “wet dog” smell inside your tent, make sure they have a space that is sheltered and completely protected from the elements.
Tents can get particularly chilly on those cold, rainy nights, so warm bedding is a must for your fur-baby. They need somewhere they can settle in for a toasty warm sleep at the end of a big day, so make sure you invest in a good-quality portable bed to keep your pup comfy.
Your pup may also need a cozy dog jacket or some doggy pajamas to help stave off the chill when the mercury drops overnight, while a hot water bottle or heating pad could be a welcome addition too.
When you’re camping or traveling, sometimes things don’t always go to plan. That’s especially the case with wet weather, which can wreak havoc with your best-laid adventure plans.
So if you’re preparing for some outdoor exploration but there’s a sudden downpour, don’t stress. Some outdoor activities can be unpleasant and even dangerous in the rain, so why not just go with the flow? Instead of sticking to your original plan rain, hail, or shine, don’t be afraid to stay closer to camp. Make some hot cocoa, read a book, or snuggle up next to your fur-baby.
Then, once the clouds part and the sun reappears, you can get outside and go exploring once again.
There’s nothing quite like comfort food to help warm you up on those wet and rainy days. So if you’re packing some extra snacks for yourself, don’t forget to include some tasty treats for your dog. You might even like to prepare something warm on the campfire for them to chow into while the rain is falling outside.
Hopefully, your dog-friendly camping vacation will go off without a hitch and you won’t have a single problem. But accidents can happen at any time — for example, in wet weather, your dog might lose their footing on a slippery surface and suffer an injury.
So regardless of whether you’re camping in an RV park or out in the middle of nowhere, it’s always a good idea to bring along a basic pet first aid kit. This will help you provide emergency treatment if needed until you can get your pet some veterinary attention.
If you’re going camping and there’s a risk of wet weather, it’s a good idea to plan some activities for rainy days. This could mean board games, working on some basic training (if your tent is large enough), or even finding dog-friendly cafes and attractions near your campsite.
Finally, what better way to help your dog stay warm and dry when camping in the rain than to snuggle up? We all love cuddle time with our pooches, and your pooch will adore the opportunity to get all snug and cozy inside your toasty tent while the rain tumbles down outside.
Sure, they might be a little stinky after all your outdoor adventures, but as far as camping cuddle companions go, you won’t find any better than your pup.
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