In the cold weather, there is one thing you don’t want to do: freeze!
This does not only apply to winter camping.
For you, as a dog owner, the question you should be asking if you decide to take your dog camping with you is: How To Keep Your Dog Warm While Camping?
We looked into this question and researched the best tips for you.
Avoid cold floors
This tip is particularly relevant for camping with a dog. Before you travel, you should think about how you can protect your four-legged friend from the threat of cold and freezing temperatures.
This also includes choosing a suitable place to sleep. We have already reported on this in our guide to camping with dogs.
While up to 30 minutes in frosty temperatures are not a problem for most dog breeds, constant freezing temperatures at night require suitable aids.
Cold floors are mainly problematic when camping. In many parts of the world, it can get freezing cold at night even in the summer months.
Even in mobile homes and caravans, the floor can quickly become too cold for your furry friend if there is insufficient insulation.
Depending on the size of the dog, it is enough to give your four-legged friend a place on your camping chair. In the end, any solution is better than the cold tent floor.
Rising cold is a problem for most dogs, especially in the cold season. This is especially true for dog breeds in which the stomach is close to the freezing cold ground (Maltese, Dachshund, etc.).
If it is unavoidable that your dog has to spend the night on a cold surface, ensure that you have the right equipment in good time. You should get your four-legged friend used to new dog accessories long before you start your journey.
To keep the rising cold away, a high-quality dog sleeping bag, several blankets, and a dog coat are particularly suitable.
Protect their paws with some booties
The cold ground is not very kind to your dog’s little paws.
They can become cracked or even cut open if they spend too much time walking in the snow or ice.
To combat this I suggest that you take a look at buying some special little shoes for your dog.
These are the ones that I bought for my dog and they are perfect: XSY&G Dog Boots
Use a decent (but safe) Tent heater
As I covered in an earlier post, there are many ways you can heat up your tent when it is cold, but by far the most effective way to do it is to use a portable heater.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive one on the market, but just make sure that you get one that has a safety feature in case either you or your dog knocks it over.
The one that I find to be the best is this one: Honeywell HCE100B Heat Bud
It comes with tip-over safety features and the thing I love most about it is that it is TINY (but still gives off enough heat to warm your tent)
The sleeping bag and dog coat keep them warm
Especially for tent campers, it is worth taking a look at special dog sleeping bags.
Of course, you could provide your furry friend with your own sleeping bag. There are now smart sleeping bags that have been specially designed for dogs.
The ideal sleeping bag for dogs is light and portable. In addition, it should be weatherproof and ideally dry quickly if it does get wet. Because it meets all the criteria for a good sleeping bag, this one from Ruffwear is particularly recommended.
The main advantage:
Having your own sleeping bag is beneficial for sleeping comfort. So your dog has enough space and it doesn’t get too warm or tight in the sleeping bag.
You can also use a dog sleeping bag for other purposes, for example as a pad in the park or when you visit a friend at home. After your fur nose has romped around all day, he is finally looking forward to the well-deserved break and nap.
A pleasant side effect: You get them used to your camping gear.
A warming fleece coat is also a great solution:
The extra textile layers in combination with the fur keep the body warm in frosty temperatures.
The following also applies here:
Get your dog used to the new gear before taking them on a camping trip.
Combine treats and favorite toys as soon as you put on your coat. In this way, the animal associates positive things with the dog coat and gets used to the initially unknown wearing comfort more quickly.
The one that I really recommend is the KUDES Dog Sleeping Bag.
I bought this bag to replace my Ruffwear one, and in my opinion, this one is better.
With dog coats, be careful not to get them wet. If you do, you should quickly remove the coat and dry it. Wetness is problematic, especially in freezing temperatures.
Take enough blankets with you
A dog blanket is almost a must at low temperatures. You kill two birds with one stone:
If you have a blanket with you that your furry friend already knows, it will relax more easily in the camper or tent. The dog associates positive experiences with the well-known blanket, for example, because it always serves as a base in the dog basket at home.
Second, a dog blanket is another layer of protection from the freezing cold of the floor. The more layers, the greater the effect.
When choosing a dog blanket, make sure it is not too thick! After all, on a camping trip with a tent, every kilogram that you have to carry counts. In addition, thicker blankets are more difficult to dry if they should get wet. You want to avoid that, especially when camping in winter!
We recommend that you have at least two thinner blankets with you. So you can swap them out when the first blanket gets damp.
More food on cold camping days
A very simple basic rule is: feed your dog more while camping as soon as it gets uncomfortably cold outside. The extra calories give him energy and warm them from the inside out.
Dogs also need more energy, because the additional walks – especially in the freezing colder weather – require strength.
Active dogs need two to three times as many calories in low temperatures as in warm weather. This has been proven in a study
On particularly cold days, however, you should significantly limit your outdoor activities or hiking.
Cuddling against the cold
Cuddling helps against the cold – this not only applies when I cuddle up with my wife.
If you snuggle up close to your dog, especially at night, you will keep them warm.
Many dogs really like it when you lie down next to them to sleep.
Do you have a particularly big and fluffy dog? Then sharing body heat is particularly effective, also for you.
Snuggling up works especially well in spacious sleeping bags. Try a double sleeping bag like this extra large XXL sleeping bag if it gets too tight. So you won’t wake each other up so easily.
Hot water bottle
You usually have hot water, especially when camping in a caravan or mobile home. You can use it to fill hot water bottles that release heat to the outside for a certain period of time.
You should make sure to put the water in the hot water bottle as hot as possible. Be careful when handling hot water bottles, however – after all, you don’t want to risk any burns.
A good solution for this is to wrap the hot water bottle in a towel, blanket, or shirt. This is how you avoid direct skin contact.
We recommend that you try out the hot water bottle yourself before giving it to your dog. It may still be too hot despite the towel wrap. Wait until the warmth is comfortable or wrap it with a second layer of fabric.
Buy the right Tent
There are lots of good tents on the market right now, but if you are deciding to take your dog camping with you then you should choose the right one.
I am not going to go into details here, however, I suggest that you take a look at this article I wrote for more info on this.
Watch out for signs that your four-legged friend is freezing
The following warning signs indicate that your dog is freezing:
- The animal whimpers or trembles.
- The skin contact feels much colder than usual.
- They are unusually lazy. However, this can also indicate an illness. Therefore, pay close attention to his behavior.
- Your dog is restless or constantly pacing back and forth.