9 Easy Tips to Keep Your Dog Warm While Camping

Have you ever wanted to go camping with your dog, but are unsure of how to keep your them warm on those cold wilderness adventures? Well, here’s good news for you! It is easy to keep your dog warm while camping; in fact, there are many ways you can keep your furry friend from feeling the bite of that chilly air!

By following the steps below, you will be ready to take your dog on your next camping trip! Remember, you probably are going camping to have a fun experience. Make sure your dog has just as fun of a time by keeping them warm and comfy!

Make Sure Your Dog Is Properly Groomed Before Going Out

Making sure your dog is groomed is vital, even when it is cold outside!

Your dog’s undercoat helps keep them warm in the winter. Because of this, you need to groom your dog and allow the undercoat to breathe. Not doing this can result in an undercoat that, “takes forever to dry, [is] wretchedly uncomfortable, and it can even begin to smell!”

So, make sure you keep your dog well-groomed, especially before going on a camping trip! This is such an easy way to make sure that your dog stays nice and warm, that it would make no sense to not do this!

 If you are unsure of how to groom your dog, this is a great article to help you get started.

While you should keep up with things such as brushing the dog and cutting their nails, you should not shave them down to their skin. This will just make it much colder to them as they will no longer have that natural coat.

Like I mentioned above, too, lack of grooming can make your furry friend, well, a bit smelly. So, if not for anything else, groom them so that they won’t stink up your RV or camper

Make Sure Your Dog Spends Time Inside

Make sure that you allow your dog to spend time inside your RV or camper so that they don’t get too cold.

This is especially important if you are camping in a place that will drop to very low temperatures

Contrary to popular belief, dogs can succumb to hypothermia and frostbite.

Thus, have them come inside every once in a while to make sure they stay safe.

Cuddle Up

Another way to keep your dog warm, and grow your bond with them, is by cuddling up!

Historically, dogs would cuddle against each other for warmth when they lived out in the wilderness. This instinct of cuddling for warmth that your dog has makes them want to snuggle up to you, especially on those cold nights.

So, next time you camp with your dog, cuddle up next to them! It will help keep both of you warm when camping on a chilly night!

Bring the Blankets

Bringing a blanket for your dog is another great way to keep him warm, especially when you are just hanging out by the fire!

Your dog will be thankful for a nice, warm blanket to wrap up in!

Since you are camping though, it may be a good idea to get a blanket that is not made of a heavy material like wool. If your dog gets wet and then lays in the blanket, it will weigh the blanket down with water and will not be as warm.

It may be better to get a waterproof blanket so that this does not happen. Just make sure the blanket will be warm enough, though!

Build the Right Bed

Above I talked about how it is important to bring blankets that your dog can cuddle up in to stay warm.

Another thing you can do to keep them warm at night is to make them a raised bed! The reason you want their sleeping area to be raised is so that they don’t have to lay on the ground, which will be cold and uncomfortable.

With the use of a dog bed or a few blankets, you can create a comfortable sleeping spot that will help your furry friend have a deep and restful sleep after a long day of camping adventures!

Give Your Dog an Extra Coat

Whether in movies, TV, or just on the street, we have all seen at least one dog walking around with a coat on. Some may find this silly, while others find it fashionable. Whatever you think of them, they can help keep your dog warm while camping.

This can especially be helpful for smaller dogs such as chihuahuas and min pins which have, “relatively more surface area through which to lose heat than big dogs.” Also, “smaller dogs benefit from coats at higher temperatures than bigger dogs.”

So, if you are going camping with a small dog, it is probably a good idea to bring a coat for them.

You should know, though, that larger dogs with thick (sometimes double) coats, especially those bred for colder climates, do not need a manufactured coat as often. Their fur should keep them warm. Remember, though, if they look like they are cold, then it never hurts to give them that extra layer.

It is also important to make sure your dog is not overheating in their coat; signs of this include heavy panting and glazed eyes.

Heat Packs for Warmth

Heat packs are a great way to keep your pet warm. You can stick it into their bed, blanket, or into anything else they will be laying on.

The warmth from the heat pack will help your pup stay comfy despite the cold air outside.

This is a great alternative to things such as heat blankets, which you most likely will not be able to use if you are camping!

Play Fetch!

Seriously, play fetch, play tug of war, chase your dog around, play whatever game they love!

This will get their blood pumping and help warm them up!

This method is great because you are not only helping them keep warm, but you and your dog are having fun and probably creating lots of memories for years to come!

Remember, though, if it is very cold outside, you will still want to limit the time they are out in those cold temperatures, especially when it is snowing out!

Cook Up a Warm Meal

We have all experienced those cold days where all we want to do is get home and eat a warm meal. And, well, your dog may want the same thing.

Dogster notes that this is particularly true among old and sick dogs and flat-furred dogs. They note though that really any dog benefits from a warm meal.

Just as with humans, warm meals warm up their bodies from the inside out, giving them comfort on a cold day.

So, a warm meal is a great way to keep your dog comfy on those chilly camping days. Just remember to make sure that whatever you make them is not to hot!

Dog Camping Products

Some companies make camping products specifically designed for dogs. Here are some examples:

  1. Elevated Dog Beds– This dog bed that is elevated by steel framing and uses polythene fabric as the “bedding.” It is also easy to clean. This is a great way to keep your dog off the ground and can be even made more comfortable if you put their favorite blanket on top
  2. Pet Sleeping Bags– Companies also make sleeping bags for dogs. Yes, you heard me right, sleeping bags for your dogs! Other than this being extremely cute, these warm sleeping bags are a great alternative if you don’t want to bring blankets from home!
  3. Dog Tents– If you would rather have your dog stay outside of the RV during the day, then there is an option for that too. There are easy to transport soft crates that are a great little place for your dog to hang out. Just make sure to make it warm with blankets! Also, it is best to still let them sleep in the RV during the night; that way, they don’t get distressed while all alone at night.

An Important Note on Snow

If you are camping in an area where snow or ice will get lodged in your dog’s paws, then I cannot stress enough how important it is that you regularly remove the snow.

Often, if dogs have snow or ice in their paws, they will chew it out. There may be chemicals such as antifreeze in the snow they walk through, which is very harmful to them and could be deadly. Because of this, you need to clean out their paws to make sure they stay healthy and safe.

When camping in the cold, remember that if you are uncomfortable, so is your dog. So, make sure that you do your best to make sure both you and your furry friend and nice and warm so that you can enjoy that great camping trip and have the time of your lives!


Keeping your dog warm while camping is not hard at all. There are many things you can do in order to keep them warm. All these steps are easy and require minimal work to no work at all. The steps include things such as keeping up with grooming, making sure they have time inside, and buying them winterwear.

Recommended reading

For more helpful articles about RVing please check out our articles below:

Dogs in Travel Trailers: Here is What You Need to Know

Do RV Rentals Allow Pets? (Pet Friendly Companies)

Jessica Gilmour

Jessica is co-founder of RV and Playa and loves sharing her enthusiasm for the Beach- and RVing lifestyle. As a full-time RVer since December 2017, Jessica playful writing style helps make learning about RV a bit more interesting. Nothing is as freeing as being on the beach (Playa), lacing your feet with the sand, having the water lap your legs and becoming one with nature.

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