It’s so fun to have your dog join a camping trip. But it would help if you consider where you’re going and the park’s rules. Call ahead with questions and ask about reservations. Finally, it’s always important to start organizing your trip early.
If you’ve never gone camping with dogs before, you may consider camping near familiar hiking trails rather than trying something new. Having some comfort level with where you plan to hike during the day will remove some of the stress and anxiety of camping for the first time.
Try camping in your backyard. Ensure you have the right equipment and set it up in your yard. See how it goes. A trial run will allow you to troubleshoot problems before heading out.
What are the park’s rules?
Towards the bottom of this article, we found five camping sites in Oregon that are friendly to camping with dogs. We recommend visiting each site and asking the following questions:
- Pack in, pack out, including poop: Where is it safe to potty your dog?
- Pet owners should always keep their dogs on a leash and have their dogs under control. Is it ok to tie out your dog?
- Are there any areas where dogs aren’t allowed? What’s off-limits?
Tie-outs may be an option for well-behaved dogs
There are some safe tie-outs available for dog owners, and if your dog is trained to sit and hang out with you calmly, this may be a possibility. A dog on a tie-out should be comfortable wearing a harness, and you should tie him out at home in your yard supervised to see how he responds to distractions.
All camping grounds are different
What if your campsite is right next to another site? Campgrounds are super busy, and it’s a good idea to research the layout of the entire park.
Tent versus RV camping
Camping in a tent with your dog can be comfortable and stress-free if your dog doesn’t bark at every noise.
Researching how far apart the campsites are will always provide helpful information about camping with dogs. For example, my dog barks a lot and at any noise. He is not a good candidate for camping, but he’s a great candidate for an RV.
Are there hiking paths or trails that get crowded?
Ask the park folks about the trails near the campsite that are incredibly crowded and the best hours to avoid lots of hikers. Have a plan for the first few days and where you want to walk your dogs, so the beginning of the trip is positive for the entire family.
What about the terrain?
The last thing you want to do on your hike is carry your dog back to the campsite. So make sure you know about the landscape before heading down a trail. No one likes to be surprised after walking for two miles. Perhaps stay away from switchbacks and vertical inclines on warm days.
Always have emergency information and a first aid kit
We have tips for dog owners, and having a first aid kit on your trip is essential. There are smaller kits available for day hikes and backpacks.
Oregon’s five top parks and campsites for camping with dogs
Oregon and SW Washington have so many beautiful places to camp, and after a lot of research, we narrowed them down to these five:
- Cold Water Cove Campground in Sisters – dogs must be on leash
- Hood View Campground – dogs must be on leash
- Cape Lookout State Park – dogs must be under control of their owner
- Loon Lake Campgrounds in Reedsport – dogs must be on a leash
- Trillium Campground on Mt. Hood – dogs must be on a leash
Please ask our staff about camping gear and first aid kits too.
If you like this article about camping with dogs, please look at “Dog Sports are a Wonderful Activity for All Canines.”