There's nothing better than sitting back and enjoying what Mother Nature has to offer with your canine companion. Camping is an opportunity to get away from it all and be one with the environment. Chances are, your pup is more than ready to accompany you on your outdoor adventure!
Dogs make great camping buddies. While they won't help you assemble your tent or start a fire, their natural excitement is endearing. There's a whole big world out there and your pooch is just rearing to start exploring it!
But before you head out for your favorite campsite, there are some bases you need to cover! The biggest is your shelter.
When you're hitting the trail with your pup, you need to bring along a tent that will work for you both.
A standard one-person tent just won't do. You need a shelter that's going to make your dog feel safe and comfortable no matter where your journey takes you.
Finding a suitable tent is no easy task. Luckily for you, we've done most of the hard work! Here are some of the best tents for camping with dogs.
5 of the Best Tents for Camping with Dogs
1. Coleman Elite WeatherMaster 6 Screened Tent
With enough room for six people, the Coleman Elite WeatherMaster tent is perfect for taking your dog on an adventure! The inside of the main compartment is spacious enough to fit two queen-sized airbeds. Plus, it has a generous ceiling height of more than six and a half feet.
But that's not all. Attached to the main room is a screen-in porch. Measuring nine feet long by about six feet deep, the porch is more than enough room for your pup to get comfortable.
The main entrance is on the side of the tent rather than in the screened room. It's not like a traditional vestibule, which could be beneficial if you want to keep your pup contained.
The tent itself is built to withstand a lot of wear and tear! It's made of polyester taffeta. Coleman also went above and beyond when it comes to construction.
First of all, the entire tent is fully contained. That means it has connected waterproof floors. No more waking up to damp soil or grass!
Secondly, all of the seams are fully protected. Coleman uses inverted seams, which hides any vulnerable spots and keeps them protected from exposure. Even the zippers are covered for added durability.
Inside, you'll find a lot of versatile features, too. A battery-powered LED lighting system is ready to illuminate the night. Meanwhile, a removable skylight lets you and your pup gaze up at the stars.
2. Browning Camping Big Horn Tent
The Big Horn tent from Browning Camping takes outdoor living to a whole new level! This is a luxury tent with everything you would ever need to keep you and your pup comfortable.
The tent is built out of some hardy materials to get you through many adventures. Meanwhile, the core design of the tent is designed with comfort in mind.
The sidewalls are nearly vertical, which provides plenty of headroom. While vertical walls usually mean that the tent is less sturdy, that's not the case with this model. It's a freestanding tent that uses steel uprights for added rigidity. The ceiling uses flexible fiberglass poles.
Speaking of the ceiling, this tent comes with a removable cover. When the weather is beating down on you, the cover will keep you dry. Pair that with the sealed seams and you have reliable watertight shelter. Once the skies clear up, you can remove the ceiling cover to maximize ventilation and enjoy the view.
There isn't a dedicated porch or vestibule. But, the tent does have the option to create two separate rooms. A simple wall divider allows you to create a space for your dog to enjoy. Open up the screened windows for your dog to see and they should be just fine taking a load off.
3. Coleman Dome Camping Tent with Screen Room
Here's a traditional-looking tent that's hiding some great modern features. From Coleman, this tent takes on a dome shape. The design helps to stabilize the shelter and prevent strong gusts of wind from blowing it away.
Up front, the tent has a convenient hinged door. The door leads out to a screened-in vestibule. The spacious spare room is large enough for both you and your pup to enjoy. In total, it measures about 10 feet wide by five feet deep.
Inside, you're getting plenty of room, too. This particular model can hold eight people comfortably. When fully assembled, it measures roughly 15 feet by 12 feet. In terms of vertical space, you have six feet of room in the center.
From a construction standpoint, Coleman doesn't disappoint. Like the previous Coleman model, it has protected seams, a waterproof floor, and weather-resistant zipper covers. Thanks to the dome design, the frame is robust as well. it can withstand considerably strong winds, making it perfect for those mountain campsites.
The fabric of choice for this tent is polyester. It's strong enough to hold up to rambunctious canines. It can also keep you dry in rough weather conditions.
4. Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent
Rain or shine, the Wenzel Klondike tent has you and your pooch covered. This is a unique tent in terms of shape and design. It doesn't have a fully domed shape. Nor does it have only vertical walls. Wenzel combined the two design principles to create a distinct tent with plenty of space for you and your family.
In total, this tent can hold up eight people. The large main compartment has about six and a half feet of headroom. You can close up the main room for a bit of privacy or keep it open to take in the ventilation from the vestibule.
The vestibule is almost as spacious as the main room! Measuring six feet long by six feet wide, it has more than enough room for your dog and some family members to relax.
The tent is made out of polyester fabric. A water-resistant coating of polyurethane is applied over the polyester for better water protection. The tent does a fantastic job of keeping you safe from the elements. Thanks to the included rainfly cover, you can enjoy the outdoors even in a sprinkle.
During the warm summers, you'll appreciate the numerous windows. There's mesh everywhere you turn, which can help increase airflow. Not only that, but the tent has some special ventilation features. There are protected vents on the bottom of the sidewalls and up on the ceiling. This creates high-low ventilation even in inclement weather.
5. Mountain Trails Grand Pass 10 Person Tent
Last, but not least, we have the Grand Pass tent from Mountain Trails. Designed to accommodate 10 people, this is a behemoth of a tent! When set up, it measures about 18 feet wide, 10 feet deep, and 6.3 feet tall.
Speaking of setup, Mountain Trails has made this thing as simple as possible to assemble. You can do it even if you have to keep an eye on an excited pup! The Stow-N-Go duffel system keeps all of the components contained in one bundle. Unroll the tent and the stakes are ready to hold up the shelter. When you're packing things up, tearing the tent down is just as simple. Just wrap it up and you're good to go!
The inside of the tent is versatile enough to provide privacy when you need it. You can hang up a privacy wall to essentially create a duplex tent. The entrance door opens up from both sides of the partition, allowing everyone to have their own little private space.
The tent is quite durable. It's made of nylon, which can withstand some damage from your dog. There's also plenty of protective features to keep the weather out. This includes a welded polyethylene floor, mud mats, and several ventilated windows.
Why Do You Need a Special Tent for You and Your Dog?
If you're a seasoned camper, you probably have a trusty old tent that you've used a million times! So, why not just use that for your camping trip with your dog?
Well, it all comes down to making the experience as safe as possible.
Your pup might be the most well-behaved canine on the block. But when you go to a new environment, things will change. All of a sudden, your dog is surrounded by exciting new sights, sounds, and smells they're not used to!
While it's undoubtedly a fun experience, it can also be a bit overwhelming. It's not uncommon for dogs to misbehave a bit or ignore commands. There are just too many fun things to explore!
As an owner, you must prepare for the worst-case scenario. That doesn't just mean keeping your pup on a tight leash. It means making them feel secure while also creating a safe barrier against any potential issues lying outside the walls of your tent.
To put it simply: you need a tent that's tough! Simple one-person tents are usually made out of flimsy materials. All it takes is for one simple tear to make the entire tent come crashing down!
Needless to say, that's not going to cut it when your pup's safety is on the line. To keep them safe, you need something a bit more robust.
What Makes a Good Dog-Friendly Tent?
The tent market these days is quite impressive. Gone are the days of simple tarp tents! Walk into any sporting goods store and you're likely to see a sizable collection of tents with all the bells and whistles you didn't know you needed.
Before you settle on the flashiest one, you need to make sure that the tent is suitable for you and your camping buddy. Here are some things to keep in mind while you shop around.
The bigger the tent, the more comfortable it will be! Even if you have a smaller lap dog, it pays to have more room. Canines can feel cramped pretty easily. You want them to enjoy the experience, right? Then the last thing you want to do is make your dog feel like they're in a cramped kennel.
Choose a slightly larger tent than you would normally use. If you typically go for tents that can comfortably house one or two people, choose a model that can hold three or four.
This will provide ample room for your dog to move around inside. They'll feel comfortable enough to cuddle up and get to sleep, which is important.
Related read: Best Extra Large Dog Houses for Big Breeds
This should go without saying, but rugged materials are a must! Let's face it: dogs are destructive animals! When they're feeling super excited or anxious, that need to scratch or chew things gets even stronger.
Your tent needs to be able to hold up to whatever your dog decides to throw at it.
Most tents are made out of synthetic materials like nylon. You can find other options, such as canvas or cotton. But, nylon provides the most weather protection without the added bulk.
Make sure that the nylon is thick and reinforced. Look out for extra stitching and protected seams. If the tent is marketed as "tear-resistant," you're on the right track!
Also, pay close attention to the floor of the tent. This is an often-overlooked aspect that could easily spell disaster. The tent's floor should be just as hardy as the rest of the shelter. Your pup's nails could easily puncture thinner materials with a jump of excitement or light scratch.
For some extra peace of mind, it's a good idea to give your dog's nails a trim before heading out to the open wilderness. Use a grinder or nail file to smooth out those rough edges. Your tent will thank you later!
Many large tents have an extra room that acts as a vestibule. Think of it as a screened-in porch or lobby. These extra rooms can come in handy when you're camping with your dog.
First of all, it adds an additional layer of protection to keep your pup contained. If they're sleeping in the main compartment with you, your pooch has two doors they have to get through to get to the outside. Having that peace of mind can make all the difference with dogs that like to explore in the dead of night.
The vestibule will also keep your dog separated in the event that they need sequestering.
Say, for example, that you just came back from a rigorous swim in a nearby creek. Your dog is going to take a while to dry off.
The last thing you want to do is let them relax in the main tent. They'd only get your sleeping bag and clothes all wet! However, you can't let them stay outside of the tent either. In this scenario, the vestibule will be a lifesaver!
The extra room can also help you keep an eye out on your dog when you can't focus all of your attention on them. Maybe you're cooking or helping your family with something. Instead of locking them away in the main tent, keep your pup in the vestibule. They can still see the action, which will avoid any destructive behavior.
You can even let your dog sleep in that extra room. Leave the main door open to keep a watchful eye on them at night. Your dog will love the extra freedom as they doze off under the night sky!
Most tent vestibules have adjustable screen windows. However, it also pays to have some panels in the main compartments. Tents can accumulate heat pretty fast. This is especially true if you have a panting dog laying next to you.
Screened panels allow you to increase ventilation in the tent. They'll keep the space cool while also keeping pests out. Campsites are filled with mosquitos, ticks, and a litany of other bugs. Many of those bugs could transfer disease to your dog, so having some protection against them is a must.
If you have a family of campers, more than one door in your tent can be very convenient. People can get out of the tent without having to climb over each other or your pup.
A second door can also prove to be useful when you're loading gear in and out. Your pup can relax inside while you're using the other door to get set up.
Other Things to Consider
Beyond features that will benefit you and your dog on your adventure, there are some basic specs you'll want to pay attention to as you shop.
We can't always trust that Mother Nature will cooperate on camping trips! In the event that it starts raining, you'll be glad to have a tent that offers weather protection.
The most basic line of protection is going to be the material itself. Most synthetic materials are already solid enough to let water slide right off. However, it pays to have some type of water-resistant coating for added protection.
Avoid any soft fabric tents, such as cotton. They'll only soak up the water and turn your trip into a nightmare!
Also, look out for rain covers. Raincovers should protect the ceiling from leaks. You'll also want protective flaps around the zippers to prevent unwanted corrosion.
You can't expect tents to have a ton of storage. But, some light storage is very convenient. There's a good chance that you'll have a ton of extra gear with you because of your dog. Having the ability to keep all of those extras nearby can make all the difference.
Many tents have simple pockets on the side walls. They're perfect for storing the essentials, such as cell phones, dog leashes, and more.
Of course, you want to choose a tent that'll stay put! Not all tents are made for areas with high-wind. For example, models with vertical walls tend to offer less stability than dome-shaped ones.
Check out the poles and anchors. Flexible fiberglass or composite poles are the norm. However, you can also find steel frames or anchors that offer superior stability. Go with those tents if your favorite spot is prone to heavy winds.
Tips for Camping with Your Dog
Taking off with your dog in tow can be an exciting experience. But, you have to make sure that all of your bases are covered. Camping can be dangerous if you're not adequately prepared for what's to come.
Here are some tips to help you get ready for your adventure.
Keep a Watchful Eye
The most important tip that we can provide is to keep your dog contained. As we mentioned earlier, your dog is going to be all over the place mentally. This is an exciting time for your pup. They'll be over-excited, which can lead to some problems if you're not careful.
Never let your dog roam without a leash. There's no telling how your dog will respond when they see a new piece of wildlife they're not used to. The last thing you want is your dog chasing a squirrel down a ravine or following a bear.
If you can't hold onto a leash, put them in the tent. Use the tent's vestibule or windows to get eyes on them at all times.
Expect Stomach Problems
With new experiences comes a chance to taste everything. Dogs are going to try to east things they find in the campgrounds. There's no getting around that!
Unfortunately, this often leads to stomach issues. The worst-case scenario is that your dog starts suffering from diarrhea. As long as the issue subsides within the day, there's no cause for concern. However, chronic diarrhea could be a sign of potential poisoning. In that case, you'll need to pay a visit to the nearest vet.
Try your best to keep your dog from eating things they shouldn't be. This can be tough, but it's the best way to avoid messy situations from ruining your camping trip.
Don't Forget the Essentials
You can't expect to load your dog up into your car and call it a day. There's a lot of gear you must bring with you to ensure that your dog stays comfortable, safe, and healthy.
Here are some essentials that you should consider taking with you:
A high-quality tent can make your camping trip that much better. It'll keep you and your pup safe while making sure that everyone can get comfortable.
Camping with a canine is a memorable experience. It gives your dog the chance to experience something new while bringing you both closer to nature. Pick up a tent and get packing! Adventures await you and your dog!