Winter Camping With Dog: 10 Best Tips To Keep Your Pet Warm

Winter camping with dog: All you need to know about how to keep dogs warm.

Winter camping with a dog is a non-standard pleasure for travelers. Dogs need protection from the cold just as much as we do, so it’s important to think ahead about what you’ll take with you on a trip.

Usually, those who are going camping with a dog in the winter have many questions about how best to organize such a vacation. We will try to answer the most popular ones.

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How cold is too cold for camping with a dog?

At temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, small dogs that are hairless and short-haired cannot sleep in a tent without a warm blanket or other support. Larger dogs, insulated with thick wool, can feel comfortable hiking in low temperatures or when temperatures drop. What is the reason for such a wide range? 

Dogs can be of different breeds, but in any case, they will have a wide range of cold tolerance variations. Think about how you can leave a 5-pound short-haired Chihuahua and a shaggy, coarse-haired St. Bernard in the same conditions for spending the night long in winter? It is not difficult to understand that the Chihuahua will freeze faster.

To determine at what temperature your dog may freeze, you should familiarize yourself with the thermoneutral zone, which is a temperature range that allows the animal to feel comfortable at any time of the year by regulating its own body temperature.

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In this case, the dog does not spend additional strength in order to keep warm or warm his body. The most common temperature at which a dog is comfortable is between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are many factors that affect the temperature at which your dog will feel comfortable in a tent. To ensure the safety of your puppy on a cold weather camping trip in colder temperatures below 50 degrees, you should share a sleeping bag with him, especially for toy breed puppies.

Do not use the tent at temperatures below 35 degrees to accommodate a small puppy.

Conversely, Huskies that are accustomed to winter temperatures will definitely be fine in cold winter weather! You can easily set up camp with a “warmed” thick-haired dog in winter. No wonder the ancient people living in the ice age went with their dogs on long hikes in the dead of winter. 

However, if you are the owner of a dog with a thick dog coat, be careful in the summer, the consequences of a cold are not as serious as those of a body heat stroke.

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How do I keep my dog warm while camping?

Dogs can catch a cold even if they keep warm with their own fur. The owner needs to know how to keep the dog warm while dog camping in cold weather. There are a few tips to help keep your dog comfortable in cold weather.

1. Warming hugs

Cuddling with your dog all night is the best thing you can do at winter camping with your dog. Also, make sure that the size of your shelter is appropriate for the number of people. To reduce the cold and the amount of cold air inside the tent, it is important to choose the right size shelter; otherwise you will have to use additional thermal insulation materials for additional protection from the cold.

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2. Nutritious food and plenty of water

To keep your dog warm on a winter camping trip, fill his belly more food with nutritious that is high in protein and nutrients. The energy provided by these nutrients will be used by your dog to maintain a stable body temperature and keep your dog warm in the winter.

Water also needs to be used to keep your dog warm, so it’s worth giving your dog a drink regularly.

3. Sleep in one tent

In fact, most pet travelers do this all the time, but it’s a good tip for those people who have ever wanted to leave their dog under the stars. If you get quite cold outside, it can be very difficult for a dog to find a natural source of heat near the tent, especially in winter. The best places to keep the dog warm are always in the tent with the owner.

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4. Heating by the fire

When it’s time to camp in a tent for the night, it’s quite difficult to warm up. If you are wintering with your dog, you can create ideal conditions around the fire to keep warm. You and your pet can sit directly on the ground, in a warm place or chairs, if you have such an opportunity. 

So that you do not freeze at night in a tent, before going to bed, take the dog with you and lay it down by the fire. Try to ward off the chills with the warmth of the fire so that your pet is safe and comfortable while sleeping. Keeping your dog warm while camping with your dog by a fire is one way to help prevent hypothermia.

5. Heating pad with warm water

If you’re camping in the winter, keep a heating pad or a water bottle of warm water by your side for the duration of your camping trip. These devices are also a good source of energy to keep your dog warm.

It is worth noting that rubber heating pads are best used for winter camping with a dog due to the fact that they are better at preventing leaks. If you want to prevent your dog from getting burned by too hot water, then you should use special water bottle with cotton caps.

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6. Booties for warming paws

In dog booties, the dog’s feet will not only be warmer to sleep in a tent at night in cold weather, but it will also be more convenient to walk on the cold ground and snow with cold weather camping trips.

On long winter camping trips, small breeds of dogs, for example, are also indispensable, especially if you go for a long distance.

7. Keep your dog warm and dry

During winter camping, a dog can get cold, especially if it gets wet before going to bed. You should not go to bed before the pet has time to dry, it is necessary to dry the dog if you are going into the water before going to bed.

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8. Play more to keep your dog warm

With the help of active play, our dogs keep warm in the cold season. Have a ball game or take a walk around the campground to warm up the puppy before the night in the tent. Take toys with you and play tug of war.

Let the pet chew on the squeaky toy. It doesn’t take much to warm up. Even a little chewing can help. As practice shows, it is recommended to take into account the tips that you use to keep warm, they also work for your dog.

9. Keep your puppy warm with your own outerwear

For extra protection in cold weather, for hiking or winter camping, pets use extra layers of clothing to keep your dog warm in winter. Dogs are well suited for a good jacket or overalls that are made especially for them.

In your cold weather dog proper gear, the clothes can be equipped with the warmest wool that is suitable for dogs to keep dog warm in the coldest temperature.

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10. Pet sleeping bag

If your pet often gets cold in cold weather and wants to get under the covers as often as possible in winter, you should think about choosing a special sleeping bag for him. Many inexpensive options can be found at pet stores and popular online retailers.

In order to choose the right sleeping bag for your dog, you need to know exactly what size your dog is, as well as what temperature you will be winter camping in.

Do dogs need blankets when camping?

In cold winters, dogs can become overcooled while camping. Hypothermia is obtained by pets that spend a lot of time in conditions where their body temperature is abnormally low. An animal can get both mild and more dangerous hypothermia. 

The body temperature of most dogs is 38.3°C – 39.2°C. It exceeds the temperature of the human body. This fact suggests that dogs need to maintain a higher temperature than humans. From here we know for sure that when you start to get cold, your dog is also cold.

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Thanks to the extra layer, the pet will be able to avoid additional energy costs and keep warm. If your dog always sleeps under the same blanket at home, take your favorite blanket with you to winter camping.

This will help your pet easily get used to a new place to dog sleep and hide from the cold even faster. Unlike human children, a dog can easily crawl out from under the covers if it becomes hot or stuffy.

At the moment, there are special blankets that are equipped with a harness that can be attached to the pet at night. In this case, the turtle blanket will always warm your pet, and he will not freeze, spending the night in a tent in winter.

Do dogs sleep well in tents?

Sleeping in a tent in winter is much colder than in a car. Cars are airtight and any warm air that may enter during the day is trapped inside the car. If you get into the car at night, it will be warmer in the car than in the tent, because the tent is not so airtight.

It is usually not difficult for dogs to fall asleep in a tent because they adapt well to new sleeping conditions. A place in a tent should be associated with a pet with shelter, proximity to the owner and safety. 

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It is worth accustoming your pet to sleeping in a tent in advance by setting up a tent at home and putting a dog bed in it, then the pet will get used to such an overnight stay and recognize it by smell when you are about to go to bed at a winter campsite. There are even folding dog tents with dedicated space for a four-legged friend.

Winter insulated tent will allow you to quickly warm up during winter camping.

Do not leave your dog in a tent without proper ventilation. This means that it is necessary to unbutton the scarf at least a little, even in winter, so that the air enters and exits.

It is especially dangerous if the sun begins to shine brightly while you are away from the camp, then the tent can get very hot. In some cases, the tent itself can provide ventilation through the use of mesh material.

How do I know if my dog ​​is cold while sleeping?

There are many ways to find out if a dog is cold while sleeping. If a pet has begun to shiver, it is immediately clear that he needs additional warmth, but there are also more subtle signs that allow you to detect that your pet is cold. 

Dogs that feel cold tend to curl up in tighter circles during sleep, tighter than usual. They may also seek extra warmth by trying to cover their noses with their tails, snuggle up to you, or burrow into blankets or other items often used for nesting.

Trembling is an involuntary movement of muscles designed to warm a cold body. This is a clear sign that your dog is cold. However, the owner of a four-legged friend is much better not to bring the dog to the point where it begins to tremble.

So that you can spot the signs before she starts trembling, pay attention to your beloved pet’s behavior and posture. Also in short-haired dogs, you can feel the change in body temperature by touching the cold ears.

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Does my dog ​​need a sleeping bag?

Dogs don’t need sleeping bags as much as people on winter camping, but sleeping bags can be good for pets too, especially in cold weather. Blankets and sweaters can also keep your dog warm at night, but a dog sleeping bag is designed specifically for your dog’s sleep and is a great addition to your dog’s cold weather camping gear.

The sleeping bag allows you to concentrate warm air or normal outdoor air around the dog’s body. The thick layer of fabric that the sleeping bag is made of provides a barrier between your dog, the cold ground, and the cold air coming in from outside. 

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When choosing a sleeping bag for your dog, keep in mind that you should not choose a bag that is much larger than your pet. The less space will be filled with air inside, the easier it will be to heat and retaining body heat effectively.

There are already several sleeping bags for many dogs on the market today. You can find both bags made of 100% wool or a mixture of wool and polyester with synthetic material. With such a device, your dog will definitely not freeze on cold winter nights.


I hope you liked the tips about keeping dogs warm and how to be careful not to let your dog freeze in the cold season. Read also following articles for your next Winter Camping with Dog:


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