When Camping With a Dog Where Does He Sleep? Find Out!

In Beginners Guide by J. PenneyLeave a Comment

It is a common question dog owners will ask before heading off on a tent camping trip. The question remains the same for backpacking campers and also for car-camping campers. “Where will my dog sleep when camping?” The question might seem simple to answer and our answer will be as straight forward as can be. However, there are a few considerations dog owners need to be aware of before making a decision. What might those be? Lets take a look:


The very first thing we need to consider for your dogs safety is the outside temperatures. Yes it might be a nice sunny day out, but during the night temperatures can drop quickly and tremendously. You must be aware depending where you choose for your dog to sleep. Does your dog need a sleeping area with a possible blanket? I am sure they wouldn’t mind on a cold night. Another layer between them and the ground is always a good idea.

Consider the possible dangers of camping for both you and your dog. We know you will not chase every moving animal, but will your dog? Camping is an activity where wild animals are likely to stumble upon your camp. The animals can range from a friendly deer to a grumpy grizzly, you sadly do not  have the control to pick which ones. Keeping your dog tied on or inside is important, we do not want your furry buddy to run off in a unfamiliar location.

Another possible danger is the bugs and mosquitoes outside. The bare-ground can be full of ants and spiders, so it is best to have something between the dog and the ground. Again, this depends on where they are sleeping according to the choices we explain below. Having a protective zone for them to sleep is important too, it would be cruel to let them get eaten alive by flies and mosquitoes.

One question people always want to know,

Will my dogs nails rip through my tent floor?

The quick answer is no they will not, although, it doesn’t mean they can’t! You must prepare before your camping trip because a dog with clean trimmed nails will not puncture a hole. Real backpackers of 5 years plus have said that they have brought their dogs camping for years and they have not had to patch one tent. Realistically, a dog will probably not even need to have trimmed nails but it will reduce the chances drastically. A large dog increases the chances so trimming theirs is recommended. Having a tent floor, such as a blanket or connecting tiles will keep your tent safe 100%, want to know some more comfy tent floor ideas? Read our “Tent Floor Padding Ideas” article for the best 4 ideas.

3 Places Your Dog Should Sleep While Camping

  1. In the Tent
  2. In a Tent Vestibule
  3. In a Dog Tent/Shelter

1. In The Tent

Most people let there dog sleep right inside the tent with them. It is the easiest way to keep an eye on them and hands down the safest. Many dogs are safe to stay outside the tent but it really depends on the temperatures, so keeping them inside with the same safe shelter you have is always a good idea. If your dog sleeps with you or near you at home, this choice is a good one for you because your pup might feel anxious if not put in the same sleeping situation. They can easily curl up and both of you can keep each other warm and cozy.

Looking for a tent? See the best tents for camping with dogs here:

Best Dog-Owner Tents List

2. In a Tent Vestibule

What is a tent vestibule? It is the area outside your tent door, usually the tent rain-fly builds a small shelter. Sometimes the vestibule is a perfect location for your dog, it will have rain shelter and even a floor. Really this choice is an option only if the vestibule is designed in a safe way for a dog. We see some tent vestibules meshed in to prevent flies and other bugs, plus it prevents your little guy from running away. Lets take a look at a list of tents that are considered a good choice because of their vestibule, we see some of these tents on our “Best Tents For Dogs” article.

Wenzel KlondikeColeman WeatherMasterAndake Solo Tent


  •  Plenty of space
  • Ventilated
  • Meshed in Vestibule


  • Large Family Tent
  • Ventilated
  • Meshed in Area


  • One Person Tent
  • Vestibule Fully Encloses
  • Also Roomy Inside


3. In a Dog Tent or Shelter

A dog tent is a camping tent sized down to fit a dogs size. I you have a dog trained to stay in a dog tent this idea can work! It is similar to a dog house, if you have a sheltered area than it is perfect for your dog. The dog tents are available on Amazon and rarely inside pet stores. The tents are great against rain and even bugs. I would pad up the tent to make it as comfortable as possible for your buddy. Simply keep his food and water inside or near the pup-tent depending on the size.

A shelter can be a place where the dog can rest away from the direct sun and rain. However its made it must be durable and set up correctly. It should not be able to collapse ort blow away. Your pup needs a reliable place to stay!

Anyways, lets take a look at a few dog-tents you can actually order today:

Alcott Pup Tent

Yosemite Pet Dome Tent (Luxury)Etna Waterproof Pet Retreat


  • Low price
  • Durable Tent
  • 32″ Wide x 42″ Deep x 30″ Tall
  • Windows for Ventilation


  • Expensive
  • Highest Quality – WeatherProof
  • Large in Size
  • Well Ventilated


  • Mesh Cot -Elevated Off Ground
  • Metal Frame
  • Breathable Floor and Walls
  • Very Tough Material


I hope by now you have a sleeping spot picked out for your doggy! Tent camping is what we enjoy here at Simple Tenting and if there is anything I can do to help dog owners with the activity I will do my best to do so. I have a West Highland Terrier myself, yes the Cesar dog! His name is Spencer and I am excited to take him on a few adventures during next years summer.

If there are any questions you have towards your pets and camping please leave us a comment! I guarantee we will respond with as much knowledge as possible, I want to help my visitors as much as possible!


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