When planning a camping trip during the cold months, many people leave their dogs behind because of the cold weather. But you don’t have to leave yours behind as there are many ways you can keep them warm.
Note that while dogs have a built-in coat, they can and do get cold. For this reason, you should know how to keep your dog warm while camping in the winter. Today, we share some tips to help you keep your furry friendly snuggly warm during the entire camping trip. Let’s get started.
6 Tips for How to Keep a Dog Warm While Camping
1. Carry a Dog Sleeping Bag
If your dog prefers having his own space, consider purchasing a sleeping bag. Thankfully, there are many great options available. So you can easily pick the one that suits your dog. When it gets cold, you can put the dog in the bag and let him sleep next to you.
Sleeping bags aren’t a necessity. But, your pet can benefit from them, especially during the cold months. They are specifically designed for dogs to sleep in, making them a great addition to the dog’s camping gear.
These bags trap air around a puppy’s body. Then, the dog’s body heats up the air to keep him warm. Also, they come with a great fabric that creates a barrier between the dog and cold ground, as well as the outside air.
But please remember to choose a sleeping bag with smaller spaces as these allow fast heating, retain the heat efficiently, and would be perfect for stealing camping.
2. Cuddle and Keep Him Dry
Dogs, like human beings, love to cuddle. Cuddling is simple, inexpensive, and a good way to bond with your dog. Bear in mind that camping tents are small, so sometimes, you may not have much choice but to cuddle your dog.
Unless he dislikes you, your furry friend will enjoy snuggling next to you during the entire night. Even if you have more than one dog, you can still cuddle them all night to keep them warm, cozy, and happy.
Another simple tip is to ensure that your dog is dry in the evening. Nobody likes a wet dog in their tent anyways. Plus, if their skin is wet, they’ll probably get cold. After swimming, ensure you have enough time to let your pet dry up before bedtime. Also, have some towels to dry your dog when they’re wet.
3. Invest in Warm Bedding
Consider several things when preparing your dog’s bed. A portable bed is a wise choice for a ground that gets too cold. It keeps the dog warm by preventing the cold ground from stealing his heat. Also, think of pairing it with a sleeping bag or a few warm blankets.
Again, always remember to carry some extra blankets in case it gets too cold. Additionally, if your pet loves their bed at home, you can bring it to your camping trip if you have the space. A familiar place will make your pup comfortable instead of sleeping in a strange and new place.
Also, please keep your dogs inside the tent at night. The body heat you and your dog produce will make the tent warmer. Therefore, it keeps everyone inside warm.
4. Pack Hot Water Bottles
Every camper knows how important a hot water bottle is. But, also dogs can benefit from it as well. A hot water bottle is affordable and helps add heat faster. Of course, you’ll need to heat it. You can do this quickly using a campfire or a portable propane grill.
Once heated, this bottle can provide warmth for as much as 5-6 hours. You can place it at the sleeping bag’s bottom just before bed to offer a warm and cozy feeling for your dog when sleeping.
5. Buy a Puffy Dog Coat
A puff coat can easily warm up your dog. Plus, it doesn’t involve a lot of work as you simply put it on your dog when the temperatures drop. Thankfully, many companies are making these coats. But please consider the material before investing in one.
Synthetic material is lightweight and warm. Therefore, it provides warmth to your pup without making him uncomfortable. Also, think about how much space you have in your dog pack or backpack and other features of the coat like side buckles to keep the coat on the whole night.
6. Feed Your Dog Well
Food ensures that the dog has the extra energy needed for keeping themselves warm. So feed your dog well some days before your camping trip. Also during the camping days, give home food. Make sure that he doesn’t get hungry as he will not be warm.
Additionally, consider bringing a portable heater if it’s going to get cold outside. It can warm the temperatures inside your tent and make it more comfortable for you and your dog.
However, remember to choose an indoor safe heater that has safety features. Buy one that shuts off automatically when it tips off and has a low oxygen shutoff.
How to Tell Your Dog is Getting Cold?
Certain signs can tell you when your pup is feeling hot in summer or cold in winter. Like humans, dogs also do certain behaviors when uncomfortable and want warmth. Knowing these signs is important if you plan to take your dog camping during cold months.
These include if your dog:
- Feels cold when you touch him
- Is shivering and whimpering
- Is restless, pacing around, and lethargic
- Is looking for shelter
If you see any of the above signs, wrap him with a blanket, put the coat on him, or do any other thing to warm the dog up. Note that your dog can get hyperthermia if they are too cold for a long period.
How Cold is Too Cold to Take a Dog Camping?
Well, the answer depends on various things. For instance, nighttime temperatures of 60 degrees F and below are too cold for small, old, and short-coated dogs. In that case, you need to provide blankets and other things to support warmth.
Healthy dogs, on the other hand, with a thick coat can handle much lower temperatures. They may even camp comfortably in freezing temperatures.
This difference is brought by the species variation. A five-pound Chihuahua with short hair and a Saint Bernard with a thick coat won’t get cold at the same rate. Consider your dog’s thermoneutral zone (TNZ) when determining how much cold he can handle.
TNZ means the temperature range that an animal can retain their body temperature before using too much energy to warm them up. It is mostly 68-86 degrees F for most dogs.
Camping is a great time for both you and your dog. But since he can get cold, use the above tips to ensure that he’s always warm.