9 ways to keep your dog warm while camping & hiking

dog wearing sweater

Research shows that 40 million Americans go camping each year. Another research made in 2016 shows that around 70% of U.S. households owned some sort of pet, this makes me wonder how many people go camping with a pet each year.

Camping with pets has become a common thing these days especially with dogs, but it is not that easy especially in cold weather, but with the right equipment and mindset, it can actually be super exciting.

So, I am a full-time YouTuber and a blogger so I go camping a lot and the winter season probably is my second favorite time to go camping next to the summer season of course.

I normally go camping with my wife and my dog and it gets hard sometimes but we always manage to enjoy every minute of it and finish our trip hoping to do it again.

But it was not always simple I remember my first time camping with my dog was so hard, it went below freezing at night and we were both shivering. Anyways I will share with you things I have learned from my camping and hiking trips so that you can have a more pleasant time.

Are dog sleeping bags an effective way of keeping your pup warm?

So dog sleeping bags are becoming common among campers and hikers who go with their dogs and I would say they one of the most effective ways to keep your dog warm, I love them so much I sometimes want to sleep in them😂.

Dog sleeping bags are just like our sleeping bags but they have a different shape they trap the heat that escapes from your dog’s fur it is like adding another layer of fur on your dog.

I got a dog sleeping bag from a company that sells pet accessories, they wanted me to do an advertisement on my youtube channel and so they sent me one of their dog sleeping bags then I tested it and I did a review of it it was a decent product.

So if you like the idea of getting a sleeping bag for your pup you can try This sleeping bag on Amazon, the thing is this thing might be heavy to carry for backpackers it is literally heavier than my sleeping pad but if you have room to carry it give it a shot it is a fabulous product.

Just make sure you get a synthetic fill cause they are easier to wash

Sleeping pads

A sleeping bag without a sleeping pad can be worthless, so you need a sleeping pad with a good R-value to insulate the cold ground otherwise heat the ground will suck the heat out of your dog.

Most sleeping pads are super lightweight and easy to pack so they don’t even take much of your space even if you are a backpacker, and the best thing is your dog won’t need a full-sized sleeping pad a little one can do. A sleeping pad like Big Agnes Insulated Q Core SLX’s smallest size can fit the biggest dog, or a kids sleeping pad will do.

If you don’t want to spend money both on a sleeping pad and a sleeping bag you can use a sleeping pad and a blanket instead of the sleeping bag

One hack that can save space- buy your dog a back pack and he will carry half of his stuff

A hot water bottle under your dog’s bed can work

Hot water bottle is the first thing that will come to my mind when I think of, off-grid cabins I don’t even know why😂. anyways if you are about to take a stove you might as well take a hot water bottle and keep both yourself and your dog warm at night.

I guess most of you know how hot water bottles work and how much time they can keep you warm so no need for explanation.

Boil some water pour it in the bottle then put it under his bed. just make sure you close it very tight, the last thing you want is water leaking out. make sure there is no direct contact between your dog’s fur and the rubber that may cause skin burn.

Some hot water bottles come with a cover if not make sure to cover it with a t-shirt or a blanket

Cons:

  • Water is not easy to find in some campgrounds and hiking trails if that is the case hot water bottles might not be for you.
  • Mot water bottles might not last the whole night, on average hot water bottles stay warm for about 5 hours which means you can’t rely on them for the whole night.

Cuddling

This sounds silly but me and Ollie have been camping together for some time now and one of the things we use to warm up each other is by cuddling.

You are probably saying “I didn’t come to read this” but trust me it works and it is cute too🙂 you not only give your body heat and you also get your dog’s body warmth, sharing is caring🙂. So my dog is not that big and I mostly use a wide sleeping bags so I can fit him inside and i open the zipper if it gets too hot.

If you decide to fit your dog in your sleeping bag it is better to use a rectangular sleeping bag because a mummy shaped sleepings bag don’t have plenty space so it would be hard to fit a dog unless your dog is a Chihuahua or something.

If I am camping with my wife we use a double sleeping bag so ollie will fit in the middle or on one of our sides.

So yeah cuddling can work but some dogs want their space i mean they don’t like to cuddle so you might have to use other methods.

Blanket

If you don’t want to spend money on new gear you can use a blanket to cover up your dog. most dogs love soft things and wrapping them with a blanket is an amazing way to avoid heat lose while camping.

The thing is blankets can hold up a lot of space especially if you are a backpacker that is almost impossible to carry them.

I don’t recommend a blanket if you are a backpacker but if you are tight on budget and you don’t want to spend money on other fancy things or if you are a car camper it is easy to take a blanket with you.

Just make sure it doesn’t get wet by any means and keep it clean because the last thing you want is to wash it.

Down blanket

If you want to step up the game, you can get down blankets, I mean yeah normal blankets can do well but as you know they are bulky and they might not provide the same insulation as down blankets

Down blankets are made for travel so they pack down to small sizes, If your focus is on reducing packing size, these blankets would be more efficient than normal blankets. and most down blankets are waterproof which is nice if you are going to a rainy place.

I bought this down blanket from amazon about 6 months ago, it feels just like a sleeping bag my dog loves it. you can also use it at home for yourself if you want.

Booties

It’s easy to keep your dog warm inside your tent but it’s a bit tricky when you are outside exploring. Depending on your dog species he/she may have different cold resistance. For example, huskies are good with cold on the other hand Pitbulls can withstand cold.

You probably have watched youtube videos of dog’s first reactions to the first time wearing shoes. yeah first your dog might not like it and they will walk like a clown but after some time they will get used to it and they will love it.

Dog boots are a very good way of keeping your dog’s feet undamaged and warm. if you are going for a hike especially if your campground is snowy booties are a great way to retain the heat they will keep the feet dry.

Ollie’s favorite shoe are these shoe I got from amazon which is waterproof they keep his feet dry and they are non-slippery which make them nice for hiking on slippery ground.

One last thing is to make sure that the hair between your dog’s paws and around his/her feet is tapered, why? it will collect snow and that will make them cold.

Keep your dog dry

When you are outside with your dog it is common for both of you to get wet I mean yeah but you don’t want that if it is cold because that would make you even colder. Water has a very high specific heat capacity which means if it can cool down things easily, that is why we use it to cool engines by the way😀.

Anyways while hiking or generally when you are outdoor with your pup make sure they don’t get wet cause then they will lose heat and it might even lead to hypothermia even while you are in your tent make sure water won’t leak in, use a tarp or a tent footprint to cover up the tent floor.

Jacket/sweater

black_dog_wearing_sweater

Dog jackets are becoming more common and they are a very effective way to keep your dog warm in cold weather.

The second choice is dog sweaters they are less expensive than the jackets and they are aesthetic😀. they are free size to some extent, my dog ollie has a sweater that I bought from amazon which he uses in the winter.

Dog jackets are not that expensive too but I recommend getting them from pet shops where you can get and try if it fit you dog or not, unless you have a famous breed like husky that way you can buy it from online stores too.

Do they really work tho? yes they do, I can see my dog cozying up in 10mins after wearing his sweater.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a condition in which the body temperature becomes too low for normal functioning.

petcoach.co

If the temperature drops too low you should be checking on your dog, things like lethargy or shivering might be a sign that your dog is having hypothermia.

Conclusion: all I can say is make you dog happier than if he were to stay home🙂