Author: Ferenc Elekes
Winter may be here, but this does not mean you have to give up camping – especially if you are the outdoorsy type. Still, pets may have different needs when it comes to camping during winter. The last thing you probably want is for your furry friend to feel any sort of discomfort.
Preparation is key, especially with your dog tagging along. Here are some tips you may want to keep in mind for your next trip.
The Tent Should Be the Proper Size
Your dog may be smaller than you, but it doesn’t mean they will not take up any space in your tent. And obviously, you want to take them with you in the tent; you don’t want them to freeze out by themselves outside.
So, as small as they may be, they take up enough space for a grown-up person. Remember how they hog your bed, and how you nearly fall off the bed every time just so that they can keep their comfort.
As a result, when getting a tent, think of your dog as another person. If you are traveling with your significant other, don’t just assume that a two-person tent will fit all three of you. Instead, you should go for a more spacious 3-person tent. This way, all of you will be comfortable.
Added Layers to Protect Your Pup
Not every dog has the resistance to cold weather of a Siberian Husky or an Alaskan Malamute. If your dog is only used to average temperatures, you might want to get your puppy some clothes. No, it’s not just a social media trend, and no, it’s not just playing dress-up with your dog.
Dogs get cold, and as humans, extra layers might help them keep warm.
First thing first, make sure to get them a dog jacket or two, especially if it’s snowy and very cold. An absorbent towel is essential, as you can be 100% sure they will get wet as you are camping. You’ll need that towel to dry them off. Last but not least, consider getting a sleeping bag and a blanket for them as well.
Doggy booties are also something you may want to invest in. No, it does not sound silly, and yes, it is essential. If their paws get cold, the rest of their body will follow as well. Ice may also form if they walk barefoot in the snow. So, make sure you give them some paw protection before you set off.
An Activity Plan Can Help Keep You Warm
Unless your dog has a fair amount of activity, there is a very high chance that they will get cold. This is why you need to make sure that your winter camping trip involves some sort of activity. Make sure you pack enough Frisbees, dog toys, and other things to get them up and running.
Plus, one great perk of this is that it will also keep you active. You may also try planning self-activities to keep yourself on the go – because the chances are that your dog will not want to leave your side. It will keep both of you warm so that your core temperature does not drop. Aside from that, you may also want to plan a campfire activity.
You Should Bring More Food than Usual
You may be tempted to pack just enough food that you think they need, but a good piece of advice here is to pack up for more. Because you are hiking and moving around a lot, your pet will burn more calories than they usually do. This also applies to the winter weather. Cold temperatures cause you to burn more calories, and this means your dog will be hungrier than it usually is.
Think of an extra meal or two if you are going camping overnight. The last thing you want is to be caught in the middle of nowhere, hungry and with no food. It might not hurt to bring an extra sweatshirt or blanket a well, to keep both you and your doggy warm.
Consider a Heated Bed and Tent Heater
During the night, things can get very cold. This is why you need to prepare as much as possible in terms of heating. A camping tent heater can help keep the entire place warm, bringing some comfort to both you and your doggy.
An outdoor heated bed can also be a great idea. Since they won’t be sleeping on the ground, but rather on a heated mattress, they will be less likely to get cold. Bear in mind that these units will need some sort of battery or generator to work, but it’s a small price to pay for your pet’s comfort.
The Bottom Line
Camping with your pet can be a great escape, even during the winter season. You just need to make sure that you pack accordingly. We hope our tips will help you stay warm and enjoy your dog’s company to the fullest.