Many campgrounds have ceased to allow dogs on their premises due to other dog owners’ lack of camping with dogs etiquette. Letting the dog run loose around the campground, bringing a dog that barks constantly, bringing a dog that is aggressive towards humans and other dogs, not properly leashing the dog and not picking up after the dog’s waste are the primary reasons why campgrounds either do not allow dogs or have imposed a pet visitation fee. If you are looking for a dog-friendly campground, every listing in our Campground Finder has been deemed to allow dogs by the campground itself.

Everyone at the campground has the right to enjoy their camping trip without worrying about other campers spoiling the event. Here is a handy list of camping with dogs etiquette that all owners should follow:

Pick up after your dog

Just as you would at your local park always pick up after your dog’s waste. Bring a pack of bio-degradable dog waste baggies and carry them on you at all times. When out hiking on trails with your dog, never let them excrete on the actual trail. Try to get your dog to have a bowel movement before taking them hiking. If they do excrete on the trail don’t just pick it up with the waste bags, but brush the area over with dirt, leaves, gravel and the like. Picking up after your dog is not only good will towards other hikers and campers, it is also meant to ensure that bacteria and viruses are not spread via waste matter and that bugs, insects, and undesirable animals are attracted to your camping and hiking location.

Simple Dog Obedience

Be sure that your dog is controllable at all times. This is best done by teaching your dog simple dog obedience command such as “sit”, “stay”, “come”, “lie down”. You can use our Simple Dog Obedience Training Resource to teach your dog simple obedience techniques. Remember, dogs are social animals and they love spending time with nobody more than you. Learning dog obedience can be fun for you and your dog and a great way to create a stronger bond.

Leash Your Dog

When camping with your dog, it is rare that there will ever be a time that they are not leashed. Even at the end of a long day when sitting around the campfire and relaxing, there is a risk that your dog will be startled or excited by an animal nearby that could set off a wild, middle of the night chase. So it is best to always have your dog leashed. Many campgrounds require the leash to be 6’ in length while in the campground. Therefore, you may want to bring two leashes, one that is 6’ and one that is retractable to longer lengths for other excursions. Never leash your dog alone outside. When leashed at the campground, your dog should always have human oversight.

Barking and Aggressive Dogs

If you cannot control your dog’s barking or if your dog is aggressive against people or other dogs you should probably find a friend or family member to watch the dog while you are on your camping trip. Spending a camping trip trying to quiet your dog or having a dog who is intimidating other campers is a sure way to ruin a perfectly good camping trip for everyone involved.


Make sure your dog has all of its vaccinations prior to the camping trip. Many campgrounds and park services will require that you show proof of vaccinations and a health certificate prior to allowing entry.


In addition to your standard dog collar and tag that provides information to identify the dog and contact you in case your dog gets separated from the family, you should also bring temporary identification tags. These temporary identification tags should carry contact information for the campground you are currently staying at as well as the local ranger. These will be your first two stops if you cannot find your dog and it will help the campground and the ranger in aiding you in reuniting with your pet.

Hiking Etiquette

For those hiking trails that allow hiking with your dog, always keep your dog on a leash. When other hikers are set to pass you either from behind or in front, you and your dog should yield to their passing by stopping and stepping off the trail. Your dog should be brought to your side and secured in that position through voice command or holding until the other hikers pass.

We hope these tips have helped you to have a most enjoyable camping trip with your dog. If you have other camping with dogs etiquette tips, please visit our Camping with Dogs Forum or send us a message.

1 Comment

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