If you’re wondering do dogs sleep in the tent when camping, rest assured, it’s common for canine campers to bunk with their owners. Considerations for space, temperature, and safety are paramount to ensure a peaceful night under the stars for both you and your pup. In the following sections, you’ll discover how to make tent-sharing a success, what alternative sleeping solutions exist, and tips for your dog’s comfort that cater to every type of outdoor adventure.

Key Takeaways

  • Make your tent dog-friendly by choosing the right size and bringing familiar items for comfort, ensure safety by keeping zippers closed and considering a leash or crate at night.
  • Prepping your dog for camping includes familiarizing them with gear and doing practice runs to ease stress, plus bringing the right dog bed to keep them comfortable and secure overnight.

Tent Sharing with Your Canine Companion

Dog and owner inside a tent

When you share a tent with your dog, they can act as an extra source of warmth on those chilly nights. But it’s not all about snuggling. It’s crucial to make the space comfortable and safe so your furry friend can have a restful night and wake up ready for the day’s adventures.

Consider your dog as another person when deciding on the tent size. If it’s just you and your playful pup, a two-person tent should suffice. But if you’re camping with family or friends, make sure there’s enough room for everyone, including your dog. You wouldn’t want your pooch to feel cramped or uncomfortable during the trip.

Creating a Dog-Friendly Tent Space

Creating a dog-friendly tent space enhances the camping experience, turning the tent into a second home for your dog. Start by choosing the right size tent. If it’s just you and your dog, a smaller tent like the Vango Ascott 500 with full standing height should be perfect. For a family and a dog, a 3-zone tent with plenty of space would be ideal, especially if you’re considering rv camping.

To make the tent feel like a home away from home for your dog, consider the following:

  • Bring along familiar items like their favorite toys or their own dog bed. This will help your dog feel at ease in the new environment and ensure they have a comfortable place to sleep at night.
  • Put a protective barrier on the tent floor to prevent any accidents or damage.
  • Keep the zippers closed to keep bugs and other animals out of the tent.
  • Provide your dog with a comfortable bed and blankets to keep them warm and cozy.

By following these tips, you can create a comfortable and safe space for your dog in the tent.

Managing Temperature Inside the Tent

When settling down for the night, managing the tent’s temperature becomes paramount. Dogs, like humans, need a comfortable environment to have a good night’s sleep. For most dogs, the ideal temperature inside the tent should be between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re camping during the summer, consider getting a cooling dog bed or finding a shady spot for the tent to keep your dog comfortable.

Winter camping presents a different challenge. The cold weather can cause discomfort, especially for older dogs. To ensure your dog stays warm:

  • Provide extra bedding or insulation inside the tent
  • Use a foam mat for a comfortable surface and better insulation
  • Use a tarp over the tent to keep the wind out.

Nighttime Safety Measures

Maintaining your dog’s safety at night is just as important as their comfort. Implement safety measures to prevent them from wandering off or encountering wildlife. One way to do this is to attach your dog’s leash to your cot and zip the tent door all the way up. This will ensure your dogs sleep safely in the tent with you.

Another option is to use a crate. A crate can provide a safe and comfortable spot for your dog and prevent them from wandering around at night. You can also use a hands-free leash or a tether system like the Ruffwear Knot-a-Hitch to keep your dog secure while camping.

Alternative Sleeping Arrangements for Dogs Camping

Dog resting in a dog tent

Selecting the Right Dog Bed for Camping

Portable dog bed for camping

A good night’s sleep is crucial for your dog, especially after a day filled with outdoor adventures. Choosing the right dog bed for camping can make a world of difference for your dog’s comfort and rest. When picking out a dog bed, go for one that’s:

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Tough
  • Waterproof

These qualities will ensure your dog stays comfy all night long.

In colder weather, consider a dog camping bed made from insulating materials, like fleece or down, or even a dog sleeping bag. These blankets are light, easy to pack, and can really help keep your furry friend warm in their own sleeping bag or on a sleeping pad.

Portable Dog Beds

Portable dog beds are a fantastic choice for camping. They’re lightweight and easy to transport, making them ideal for camping trips. When choosing a portable dog bed, think about the comfort and size of the bed. Measure your dog from their nose to the base of their tail while they’re snoozing, and then compare those measurements with the product dimensions given by the manufacturer to find the best fit for your dog.

There are plenty of good options for portable dog beds out there. Some top-rated ones include:

  • Kurgo Wander Loft Bed
  • Whyld River Doggy Bag
  • Carlson Products Portable Cot
  • Furhaven Outdoor Travel Dog Bed

So, you have plenty of options to make sure your dog gets a good night’s sleep.

Elevated Dog Beds

Elevated dog bed for camping

Elevated dog beds are another great option. They allow more air flow around your pup, keeping them cool, and also keep your dog clean by keeping them off the dirty ground. When choosing an elevated dog bed, consider the durability and ease of assembly. Some top-rated elevated dog beds for camping are the Helinox Elevated Dog Cot, The Loft Wander Bed by Kurgo, and Coolaroo Original Elevated.

However, while elevated dog beds can be great for camping, they may not be suitable for backpacking due to their size. If you’re planning a backpacking trip with your dog, consider portable dog beds that are easy to pack and carry.

Preparing Your Dog for Their First Camping Trip

Preparing your dog for their first camping trip goes beyond packing the right gear; it involves helping them acclimate to the new experiences they’re likely to encounter during car camping. Start by introducing your dog to the camping gear like tents, sleeping bags, and crates. This helps them get comfortable with the equipment and reduces their stress during the camping experience.

After your dog has become familiar with the camping gear, it’s time for some practice runs. This could be as simple as setting up a tent in your backyard or going on short camping trips. These practice runs help your dog adjust to the new environment and make the actual camping experience less stressful.

Familiarization with Camping Gear

Acquainting your dog with camping gear is a vital step in preparing them for camping. Start with the tent. Set it up in your yard or inside the house, and let your dog explore it at their own pace. If they seem interested, give them a treat to create a positive association.

Next, introduce them to the sleeping bag. Here’s how:

  1. Lay it out on the floor and allow your dog to sniff and explore it.
  2. Use treats to encourage them to go inside or walk through it if it opens on both ends.
  3. If you’re planning to use a crate, try feeding your dog their meals inside it to create a positive association.

Practice Runs

Carrying out practice runs is crucial in preparing your dog for camping. They help your dog get used to new environments, provide physical activity, and strengthen the bond with their owner. You can make these practice runs fun by including toys and treats. Try interactive play sessions and reward your dog with treats and toys for good behavior during these practice runs.

These practice runs can be as simple as setting up a tent in your backyard and spending a few nights camping out there before heading out into the great outdoors. It’s all about making your dog comfortable and confident in a new environment.

Keeping Your Dog Comfortable All Night Long

Maintaining your dog’s comfort throughout the night is key to a successful camping trip. It’s not just about providing a cozy sleeping space, but also about monitoring the temperature and offering familiar items. You can keep your dog comfy by bringing their favorite toys or their own dog bed. These familiar items will help them feel relaxed and comfortable when dogs sleep when camping.

Remember to monitor the temperature inside the tent to ensure your dog is comfortable. If you’re camping during the summer, consider getting a cooling dog bed or finding a shady spot for the tent. In colder weather, provide extra bedding or insulation inside the tent to keep your dog warm.

Responsible Camping with Dogs

Responsible waste disposal while camping with dogs

While camping with your dog can be a lot of fun, it’s crucial to camp responsibly. That means following the campground rules, keeping your dog on a leash, and properly disposing of their waste. Always pick up your dog’s poop and dispose of it properly. No one wants to step in dog poop, and it’s not good for the environment.

Keeping your dog on a leash is also essential to prevent them from wandering off and getting into trouble. You can tie the leash to a tree, picnic table, or use a dog tie-out that’s anchored. This will ensure your dogs stay in the campsite and don’t disturb other campers or wildlife.


Camping with your dog can be a wonderful experience, full of adventures and bonding moments. Whether you’re sharing a cozy tent or exploring alternative sleeping arrangements, the key is to keep your dog comfortable and safe. Familiarize them with camping gear, conduct practice runs, and choose the right dog bed to ensure they get a good night’s sleep. Most importantly, always practice responsible camping. After all, the great outdoors is for everyone to enjoy, including our four-legged friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should your dog sleep while camping?

When camping with your furry friend, deciding where your dog should sleep is essential for their comfort and safety. Ideally, your dog should sleep inside the tent with you.

This not only provides them with a sense of security but also protects them from the elements and any nocturnal wildlife. Inside the tent, ensure your dog has a designated spot, such as a portable dog bed, travel mat, or even a dog sleeping bag, which can provide familiar scents and a sense of home.

This spot should be away from the tent walls to avoid condensation dampness and should include some form of padding to insulate them from the cold ground.

If your dog is accustomed to sleeping in a crate, you can bring a collapsible travel crate for them to sleep in within the tent. This can help dogs who are anxious or overexcited in new environments feel more relaxed.

However, if your dog prefers more freedom, make sure they have enough space to stretch out without being stepped on or cramped. Always check the weather forecast and be prepared with appropriate gear to keep your dog warm and dry, such as extra blankets or a canine coat, especially in colder conditions.

Remember, a comfortable dog is a happy camper, and ensuring a good night's rest for your pooch means a more enjoyable camping experience for both of you.

Is it safe for my dog to sleep in the tent with me?

Yes, it's generally safe for your dog to sleep in the tent with you. It can provide them with comfort and security, and it allows you to keep an eye on them throughout the night.

What should I do to keep my dog warm while camping?

When camping with your canine companion, keeping them warm inside the tent is crucial, especially during the chillier months or at higher altitudes where temperatures can plummet at night. The key is to provide insulation from the ground and retain body heat.

A high-quality, insulated dog bed or a specialized dog sleeping bag can be perfect for this. Look for options with a water-resistant base to protect from dampness, and consider materials like fleece or synthetic down that offer warmth even when the mercury drops. Additionally, a bed with raised edges can help to trap heat and give your dog a sense of security, making for a cozy den-like space within the tent.

Another factor to consider is your dog's own coat and breed characteristics. Short-haired breeds or smaller dogs that are more susceptible to the cold may benefit from a doggy jacket or sweater for extra warmth.

Ensure any clothing is well-fitted and comfortable for overnight wear. For additional insulation, you can place a thermal blanket or pad underneath their bed, and if you're sharing the tent, your own body heat will also help keep your furry friend warm.

Always keep the tent well-ventilated to prevent condensation, as a damp environment can quickly become cold and uncomfortable for both you and your pup.

How do I pick the right size tent when I'm camping with my dog?

When choosing a tent size for camping with your dog, consider your dog as another person and make sure there's enough room for everyone to avoid feeling cramped or uncomfortable.

Thank you for reading this article, and have a fun and safe camping trip your fur baby!

Your Friend,


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