There are so many reasons why you should keep your dog warm when you’re out in the wilderness.
In this article I will be talking about the importance of doing so, why and when you should enforce these techniques, but most of all how to keep your dog warm while camping.
Become knowledgeable about the cold and your dog, so you aren’t left with a shivering furry friend, ultimately resulting in a sick dog and a trip cut short.
Why You Should Keep Your Dog Warm
Everyone loses most of their heat through the ground. The planet actually “sucks” the warmth out of you.
Your dog is no different.
Why treat your dog any differently than any other human being? Sure, they might have fur to keep them warm, but that doesn’t mean it will work good for them at 2 in the morning when the nights at its coldest temperature!
You don’t enjoy feeling the cold, do you? Then don’t make your dog go through it then.
When Should You Enforce These Techniques?
Answer: All the time.
Rain, shine, snow, fall, winter, summer, it doesn’t matter, you need to have a backup plan.
You should always take some kind of warmth/comforter for your dog when you are going on ANY camping trip.
That doesn’t just mean in the winter time, even in the fall and summer, temperatures are known to dip by a lot. And when they do, they dip incredibly fast.
If you want to ensure your dog is going to stay toasting warm, no matter what the temperatures are, then I highly recommend you keep reading.
Keeping Your Dog Warm At Night
Of course your first line of defense against the cold ground is a dog bed.
They provide immense warmth and defense against the elements.
However, there are a lot of variables that go into choosing a dog bed, so read this article if you wish to purchase one that’s going to make a good fit for your dog.
Dog Sleeping Bag
In addition to the dogs sleeping bed, you can provide even more warmth with a sleeping bag as well.
A dog sleeping bag is like a human sleeping bag, but much smaller, and often made with stronger, rugged material to stop the dogs nails from tearing through the material.
Each of these types of sleeping bags have their own pros and cons, while there’s a lot of considerations that go into play when you’re shopping for one as well.
This article teaches you everything you need to know about them.
Right Next To You
There’s nothing wrong with keeping your furry friend right next to while you sleep in your tent during the night. This works like a charm and can actually help keep YOU warm as well.
If you decide to sleep with your dog, be sure to throw a blanket over top of him/her just to provide that all-important extra insulation.
A Wool Blanket
Wool blankets are the best types of blankets to use when you want to keep your dog warm the entire night.
They are small and compact, AND they hold out a lot of cold air.
Often all it takes is a dog bed and sleeping bag, but if your dogs still feeling the cold air, it doesn’t hurt to place a wool blanket over it as well.
Keeping Your Dog Warm During The Day
Provide Lots Of Food
Dog’s can produce A LOT of heat just from eating food alone. Always feed your dog to keep that natural insulator roaring.
Basically, the food is fuel. As long as there’s food in the stomach, there’s going to be constant heat being generated.
Dog clothing perform extremely well when combating the cold elements.
Not many people like putting dog clothes on their furry friends, simply because they think it looks silly.
That’s not to say that they don’t provide a good amount of heat, because they absolutely do!
Don’t Allow Your Dog To Get Wet
If your dog does jump in a river or stream, take it by the fire ASAP!
Dry your dog off with a towel and remove the clothing that you’ve put on it, otherwise it will keep him/her shivering for literally hours.
So focus on keeping your dog warm, comfortable, and dry at all times!
Make A Homebase For Your Dog
Create a comfortable space that your dog can go to when it wants to sleep or relax. The “homebase” needs to be really warm and off the ground to stop any heat loss.
The base can be in the tent, it can be outside the tent, as long as the dog is comfortable and warm, that’s all that matters.
Provide a comfortable area – similar to what the dog has at home – where it can play with its favorite toys, blanket, and sleep in its favorite bed, etc.
Check Their Health, Constantly
You should be constantly checking your dog – how they are feeling, how their blood is pumping, if their ears and feet are warm or cold, etc.
Doing this step can mean the difference between cutting your entire trip short due to your dog getting sick (in this case, you will have to take it to the vet), or having a fun and safe trip that you will never forget!
My Final Thoughts
If you want to go camping with your dog, it’s not JUST about keeping it warm.
If you can’t look after it when you are out camping in the summer time, then you will have no idea what you’re doing during the cooler months either.
You must first know the basics of dog camping before you even consider trekking on a cold, winter trip.
Of course, you will need to have a good camping checklist for your dog as well. This one outlines EVERYTHING that your dog will need while you are out in the wilderness.
How do you keep your dog warm while camping? Put your thoughts and opinions in the comments below 😀
14 thoughts on “How to keep your Dog Warm While Camping”
You know, I couldn’t agree more. Dogs are not different from any other living being on the planet. I couldn’t see why anyone would not want their dog to be warm too. Going camping especially it gets cold at night and if you care about your pet, you want them as comfortable as you are. Go the extra mile to ensure that your dog is comfortable and he or she will love you for it. Just watch for the tail wagging!
Exactly, Rob. I like how you put it 🙂 Haha, I loved the part about the tail wagging. Not to mention – the more you love and care for your dog, the more it will love and protect you back.
Thank you for your informative article Brandon. So many people think Dog clothing is just for ‘show’ but as you pointed out it serves a much higher purpose. Our pets are part of our family and you are right. Taking care of them is a priority.
I’m glad I could help 🙂 I agree that people think it is for show only, but you and I know that there is a much better reason as to why a dog has one of these, especially if they are out and about in the wilderness – or anywhere that’s cold for that matter.
Thanks for stopping by!
Awesome tips Brandon. That’s why they are called ‘best friends’. What kind of friend would not be responsible and provide warmth and comfort? Anyone reading this is going to be all set to provide their dog with the care and comfort it deserves while out there camping with you. Great job and thanks for providing great value to your readers.
That’s exactly my point, Peter. You don’t keep your human best friend cold during a chilly night, so don’t leave your dog feeling cold.
No worries. I’m just happy to help 🙂
I’ve never thought about this before but it makes a lot of sense! it can get really cold outside at night when camping, and it’s cruel to expect the dog’s coat to be enough to keep him warm, especially if it’s a short hair breed. I like the idea of a dog sleeping bag – they still have a defined territory, but unlike a dog bed it also swaddles and goes all the way around them. Thanks for the new information~
I know right, Penelope. Your dogs suppose to be your BEST FRIEND, so treat it like that! And if you want to get the best results, I recommend a dog sleeping bag while he’s/she’s in the dog bed. This will ensure that there will be no shivering whatsoever during the night 🙂
Two of my favorite things: dogs and camping. I had a fun time just reading this article. I learned how the earth stole my heat while I was in the Infantry. I also learned that anyone can be miserable outside, but it takes skill, preparation and the right equipment to enjoy the great outdoors. Now I can do that with some of my four legged friends. Thanks for the post.
Good to hear, Tony. So many people don’t realize how much heat the earth “steals” from us. It’s mind-boggling if you ask me. Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you found my article helpful 😀
I have done a lot of hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail. At night my dog sleeps with me inside my bag. Not only does he stay warm, I do as well. Yes, he has fur but it gets cold at night at the 6,000 foot level and he gets cold.
There’s really NOTHING wrong with that, Hillard. If it works for you and the dog, then good on you. And I agree, it gets very cold at nighttime, it’s best to ensure that your best friends going to stay warm through the entire night as well 🙂
Dogs are man’s best friend and part of the family. Making sure they are kept warm is important. Great information.
It is, Tammy. Thanks for pointing that out 😀