Top Tips at Pet Friendly Campgrounds

Top Tips at Pet Friendly Campgrounds


Pets love camping too! (Photo:

Pets love camping too! (Photo:

With the recent increase of pet-friendly campgrounds and RV Parks across the United States and Canada, it is important to remind all responsible pet owners of some common camping. Whether you enjoy sleeping under the stars in a tent or in a plush motor home, these simple tips will keep you, your pets, and your new neighbors relaxed in the great outdoors.

Before Your Trip

Understand that each state and privately owned campground has their own set of rules and regulations when it comes to pet friendly camping. In many cases, only domestic dogs and cats are allowed, though some welcome birds and reptiles. You also may find that your options are more limited if you’re tenting rather than staying in a camper.

In some states, like New Jersey, a Pet Registration and Certification form needs to be submitted to the state park campsite. This form serves as a general disclaimer indicating you as the owner of the pet, your contact information should your pet become missing, and confirmation that all vaccinations are up to date. Along with the Registration and Certification, a campground may want additional documentation to verify that your dog is up-to-date on his vaccinations, especially rabies.

At The Campground

While relaxing and lounging should be the order of the day, bringing your pets along on a camping trip does add an additional level of responsibility. When you check in, be sure to ask about the best place to walk your dog, whether there are some areas that are off limits, and any other rules the park has regarding pets. If your pet has social anxieties, tends to be very overly excited when meeting new people, or is a enthusiastic barker, remember to request a more secluded site where you’ll have more peace and quiet.

As a rule of thumb – always leash your dog. At a campground it is very important to be conscious and aware of other campers’ space. Having your pets close by and leashed will help avoid potential issues.

Next, make certain to clean up after your pets.  No different than if you were taking the dogs to a park or for an afternoon walk, picking up after your pooch is vital. Hiking trails and bike paths are areas that everyone uses during their stay, so when you’re out and about, always keep a dog-waste bag handy.

Lastly, food bowls, waste, and treats should be cleaned up and not left outdoors. Remember, you are camping and the smell of food not only can attract insects and bugs it could attract anything from raccoons or snakes, or even larger unwanted guests. A late night “battle-royal” between a wooded creature and your pet is not the way you want to remember your camping trip!

Amy Burkert runs the award-winning pet travel website,, which makes it easy to plan a trip with your entire family. Her blog, Take Paws, is an encyclopedia of pet travel tips, pet friendly destination advice, and stories of the adventures she and her husband share as they travel full-time in their motorhome with their dogs, Ty and Buster.

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