Ever wondered how to fulfil your wishes of camping without leaving your dog behind? Well, the answer to this is simple – take the dog with you! Dogs are descendants of wolves and hence, by nature, have to some extent the capability to handle all weather. It is because we keep them indoors all warm and fuzzy, they would require some preparation and training before heading out to a winter camp.

Preparing your dog but first, test!

Before starting with any preparation, you first need to test your dog. You can do this by taking them on subsequently longer hikes each day, getting them accustomed to the hiking sleep schedule, to learn to what extent they can handle it without any help. This is helpful for both of you, especially the dog, as it starts adjusting to the climate and you get to know how to go about assisting them.

Knowing about the breeds

Depending on the breed, the capacity and ability to strive in mild conditions vary. Some dogs can handle it better than others. E.g., a pug would perform poorly than a husky in cold temperatures going below the freezing point. Physical characteristics of dogs also make a huge difference, e.g., long hair breeds and big size dogs require minimal assistance in adjusting to colder climates.

Some things to know about your dog

Although all dog breeds have different characteristics, you should at least have sufficient knowledge about the breed you own. This includes knowing at what temperature your dog starts feeling cold. If one had to generalise, 0° F is the lower limit for most breeds. As the owner of the dog, you need to look for signs that will tell you that the cold is getting to them. These signs include – shivering, slow breathing, loss of coordination, and whimpering. If your dog gets hypothermic, then you have to get them warmed up and dry them with a towel. Wrap them in a blanket or a sleeping bag and put an insulated pad on the ground to lay your dog in. Putting hot water in a Nalgene bottle and then covering it with a sock to prevent burning of their body also helps. Lastly, smother your dog with warm cuddles to keep them comfortable.

Basic techniques to follow with your dogs

Always keep more food

Consuming more calories will help generate more heat so, make some room for carrying extra food for your dog. It will be wiser to switch to high-calorie dog food as well.

Get some gear for your dog

Just as much as you prioritize your hiking gear, you have to do the same for your dog as well. This will help both of you fight the colder temperatures. Some helpful gears are as follows:

Booties- The paws of your dog are vulnerable to icing up and so keeping them warm and insulated through boots will help.

Jacket- The fur coating of dogs helps them keep themselves warm but a jacket helps in the process under extreme conditions.

Sleeping system- An insulated sleeping pad is perfect to make an insulated sleeping ground for your dog. An additional fleece blanket helps to keep them warmer.

Backpack- It is helpful for you if your dog can share some of the load on the hike.

Camp Towel- A microfiber pack towel to dry your dog comes in handy any day.


Your dog needs to stay hydrated throughout the hike to keep its warm blood flowing at the right pace throughout the body. Carry an insulated water bottle along with a dog dish and keep offering them water at regular intervals or as and when needed.


Now that you know taking your dog with you to camping is an actual possibility, make sure to take all tests and precautions before you and your buddy head out.