Some people may think that the cold weather means their dog can’t come with them on their winter camping adventure. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of steps that you can take to keep your dog happy and warm while you camp.
Firstly, it’s important to know your dog breed and how they can handle cold temperatures. That will determine what extra protection is needed. After that, other important factors are their clothing, sleeping arrangements, and getting the right tent.
Keeping your dog warm
The first thing to think about is the needs of your dog. A breed such as a German Shepherd isn’t going to need much assistance as it has a double-coat and is well adept for the colder weather. A Dachshund, on the other hand, only has a thin coat and would struggle in low temperatures.
Before you read on, it’s good to consider how it all applies to the breed of your dog as some will require a lot more help than others.
Jacket – The best thing that you can do to keep your dog warm is to invest in a high-quality dog jacket. If you take your dog out for winter walks then there is a good chance it has one already and you’ll just be able to use that. A good idea is to bring a spare in case the jacket gets wet.
Boots – Another solution is to get them a pair of boots. There are many different sizes available and this can protect their feet and allow them to easily walk in snow. They may be a little resistant at first so it’s a good idea to get them used to the boots before your trip. When they do, it can give them an extra layer of warmth.
Cuddling – One great way to keep them warm at night is to allow them to sleep right next to you. This sharing of body heat will allow them to keep a warm while, in turn, keeping you warm too. Dogs usually love this and you can even get a double sleeping bag to give them room. It also keeps your dog close so you can easily see any changes in behavior.
Sleeping bag – If you don’t want to share your own sleeping bag, there are plenty of great dog blankets out there. It should have the same qualities as your bag of being lightweight and weather resistant while still providing an adequate level of insulation.
Blanket – Another great idea is to bring a blanket with you. Using their regular blanket will not only give them warmth but also comfort. It’s best to wait until they are dry to give them the blanket as regular blankets usually take a long time to dry out. There are some made for camping that will be lighter and more washable than a standard blanket.
Sleeping pad – Sleeping pads are important as they put an insulating layer between you and the cold floor. There is plenty that is made just for dogs which are often waterproof and easy to clean. This can play a huge role in keeping them warm during the night.
Extra steps for keeping your dog warm
Towels – Us humans know how uncomfortable it can be to be cold and wet, dogs are the same. Before they get cozy in the tent, they must be as dry as possible. It’s a good idea to get a microfiber towel that will dry rapidly.
Portable heater – You always need to be careful with portable heaters but many have been made specifically with camping in mind. These can heat up your tent quickly and fight against the cold winter weather outside. It’s a rapid and easy way to keep your dog warm.
Water bottle – Water bottles have been keeping us warm for decades and they’re a great idea for a tent. It will give your dog a constant source of heat and something to cuddle up to should they get too cold. All you need to do is make sure you have a safe way of heating the water and getting it into the bottle.
Tent – All tents will be rated for their warmth and insulation. Most tents aren’t designed to be used in winter so make sure you get one that is. This isn’t just important for your dog but also for your own comfort. These tents usually have incredibly waterproofing and more than one layer. They’ll do a much better job of keeping out the cold compared to regular tents.
Feeding – You should give your dog plenty of food while out camping. They’ll be burning more calories than usual and need the extra energy it will provide. It will be able to convert that energy into the warmth and allow it to cope better with those low temperatures.
Signs your dog is too cold
It’s important to know the signs that will show your dog is getting too cold. If you see any of these then it’s time to take action to warm them up.
- If their breathing has noticeably slowed
- They start shivering
- Your dog stops walking freely
- Their pupils are dilated
- Their body is cold to touch
- If they become lethargic or overly sleepy
Before you head out on your camping trip, it’s important to be prepared. Make sure you take all of these things with you which will give you and your canine friend a wonderful camping trip. If you have all of this then you’ll both stay warm and cozy even on those cold winter nights.