Dog Campground Etiquette
I love to take my dogs camping, and it’s important to me to make sure that we do everything we can so that campgrounds will continue to welcome dogs to their campgrounds! So today we will be talking about dog etiquette at campgrounds!
Clean up after your dog!
And not just at the campground, everywhere you take them. I have packages of poop bags in my RV and in my cars! And many campgrounds have them at the campground! I don't care if your dog's turd is the size of a pencil or the size of a cucumber! PLEASE for those of us that love going places with our dogs, PICK IT UP, so that we can keep enjoying going to those places.
Properly secure them at your campsite.
You might have the friendliest dog in the world, but that doesn't mean all other dogs are the same way. Make sure your dog is properly secured at your campsite. Use a tie-out, and sometimes, the shorter the better, and let me explain why.
Long tie-outs allow dogs to get tangled on everything, but they also give them a running start to hit the end of that rope. In a campground situation where the dog is happy and excited to see everyone, they might run to the end of that line and really hurt themselves, or someone at your campsite snapping them with the line. So the shorter the tie-out the better. Your dogs should be getting walked around the campground for exercise. I use a Picket line for my 3 dogs, and it works perfectly!
Just like at home, don't leave your dog outside alone to bark at every passing car, person, or other dog.
This is not fun for your neighboring campers to hear for hours on end, and although you may be used to your dog barking, not everyone is!
Also don't leave them in your RV to bark for hours on end while you are gone.
Unless you can monitor the temperature, and have a visual of your pet in your RV, with something like a wifi security camera, please don't leave them alone in your RV. So many things can go wrong, but also, the RV is not a house. Your dog isn't as used to the RV, so they might be barking like crazy and you don't even know it.
Don't assume everyone loves dogs.
I love them, and I want to pet them all, but not everyone does. Some people are scared of dogs, some people are allergic, and then some just don't like dogs, and that's okay. So, make sure to keep your dogs close. Most states and campgrounds have a 6-foot leash law. Throw your retractable leash in the trash, and get a proper 6-foot leash! You can always pack a longer leash if you want to take them to an area to get a little bit further out or let them swim. We bring a 25-foot leash for swimming, but we also make sure no one else is around if we do that. Otherwise, we just get wet when they want to swim.
Know your dog.
Your dog might not enjoy camping. Or they might hate other dogs. This can make things very stressful on your dog and could be a disaster waiting to happen. If your dog is fearful, it could cause a dog fight, or if a child runs up to your dog it might react and bite, so you really need to make sure to know your dog!
Advocate for your own dog.
Don’t just allow people to come up and pet your dog without asking. It’s okay to stop them and ask them to back up a bit, or to tell them that they cannot pet your dog. This goes back to knowing your dog. Campgrounds are new places and all dogs will react differently in these situations, so be willing to advocate for your dog. Sometimes this also might be telling someone that their dog can’t greet your dog in that moment. Or telling someone to control their dog. It’s an uncomfortable thing to have to do, but sometimes we have to!
These are just a few tips we have for making sure that your dog enjoys their camping trip, but also so that people who are camping around your dogs also enjoy their trips as well!