Camping with a four-legged friend is a unique experience. Many human tents, however, aren’t durable enough for dogs. Luckily, choosing a proper dog-friendly tent is much easier than it might seem.
Tents designed for you and your pup are strong, spacious, and easy to set up, which helps your dog get comfortable. A comfortable dog is calmer and less likely to act out. If your pup feels safe, you’ll have a much easier time adventuring outside with your best pal.
My Review Process
I grew up with dogs and cats and love them both. It’s a source of endless joy being able to hike or camp with a furry friend. I bring years of dog camping experience and outdoor knowledge to you.
A good tent selection will keep your dog happy, calm, and less anxious. Luckily there have been some stellar tent designs recently that make camping with dogs much easier. Below, I’ve pooled together the very best tents for camping with dogs.
Let’s dive in!
The Big Agnes Bunkouse 6 is tall and spacious. It comes with a superb vestibule that can support 6 people and has a rain fly shelter option. When it rains, you can deploy the rain fly as a quick shelter until the downpour passes.
Because of its fantastic design and inclusions, this is not a cheap weatherproof tent. It’s also hard to set up with 1-2 people. Despite the price and assembly, both humans and pups will love the extra sleeping space, exceptional vestibule, and sturdy design of this larger tent.
MSR makes excellent tents for camping, and the Hubba Hubba NX2 is the closest you’re going to get to a dog-friendly 3-season mountaineering, weatherproof tent. Its backpacking-friendly lightweight design makes it an easy choice for longer outdoor objectives. The vestibule also has plenty of space and is perfect for wet and muddy dogs.
The limited capacity means that it's more like a one-person-one dog tent as opposed to a two-person tent. However, for those tough mountaineering objectives where weight, space, and easy setup trump overall capacity, the MSR Hubba Hubba is here to get the job done.
This is a really cool tent for you and your dog. Not only is the Blacktail light enough for backpacking trips, but it also has a monstrous vestibule that can double as a dog room. The tent is made from durable materials, has two large doors for easy access, and has a second vestibule on the other side, which provides extra space for camping gear.
Because it’s designed for backpacking, the ideal capacity is 1-2 people and a dog. Any more people or dogs, and it gets uncomfortable. The Blacktail does come in a 3-person version as well. All in all, the Blacktail is a durable and well-designed backpacking tent.
The Coleman Skydome 4-person is another great choice if you're camping with dogs. The Skydome has plenty of space, a large and versatile vestibule, and isn’t nearly as expensive as some other options. This weatherproof tent also comes with a rain fly and can withstand most 3-season weather concerns.
There are a few downsides, the biggest one being the weight. At nearly 14 pounds, this is not a backpacking tent, and it doesn't pack down very well. Additionally, the tent only has one door. Even still, the ease of assembly, agreeable price, and great vestibule more than make up for the weight and single door.
If you’re bringing a family's worth of people and/or dogs, the Eureka Copper Canyon LX8 is a dependable weatherproof tent option. You and your pups will love the spacious interior, weather durability, 7-foot standing height, and the plethora of doors and windows.
This is definitely not a backpacking tent and has an involved setup process, but the spacious capacity is hard to resist. On top of all that, the tent can split into two rooms, which can help if you bring multiple dogs.
Camping tents can be really expensive, which is why the Ozark Trail 2-Person Backpacking Tent is such a nice find. Most will be able to afford this budget option, which comes with two large doors, two vestibules, a rain fly for wet weather, ventilation, and enough space for you and your pup.
Because it is a budget option, there are some weaker mesh components so bring a tent repair kit. Additionally, the capacity limits your options to basically one human and a dog. However, for solo backpackers with one furry friend, this is a great and affordable camping tent.
Dog-Friendly Tent Buying Guide
Getting a tent for you and your furry friend requires a different set of criteria than if it was for dogless adventures. Take a look at the following points before settling on a choice.
Tents for dogs can end up costing quite a bit of money. There are affordable tents out there, but they may be made of less reliable materials. On the opposite side, there are extremely fancy tents that may cost more than all your hiking gear put together. Comparing a few tents will give you a better barometer of what you should be spending.
If you're at a campsite within walking distance of your car, weight matters less. If you plan on taking your pup into the wilderness, it’s helpful to look for lighter tent options.
Keep in mind that lightweight tents achieve their lightweight status by using thinner materials. If your pup is calm, this won’t matter. However, some dogs will get very excited in the outdoors, and that could lead to some rips and tears.
When considering tents for dogs, it's best to get a size that’s a little bigger than what you would normally. A 2-person tent is usually good for a human and a pup. If you’re used to camping with extra room, look at tents with more capacity.
Tent materials are an important consideration, especially if you’re going backpacking. For backpackers, the siren song of an ultralight tent is hard to ignore. However, you have to consider your dog could accidentally rip a hole in your tent.
The best options are made from sturdier tent material. One thing you can look for is more nylon instead of tent fabrics like mesh, which can easily break. Of course, a lot depends on your pup's temperament. Calm dogs and smaller dogs can handle an ultralight tent, but if your dog is new to camping, err on the side of caution and go for durability.
A vestibule is an auxiliary room attached to a tent. It’s a useful palace to store muddy or wet gear. When camping with a dog, it adds critical space to your setup. Look for tents with extra vestibule space. There are also options that have a screen room so your dog can relax inside without getting your sleeping bags or clothes dirty.
With feet of space, vestibules are also a good place for a dog to hang out. If you're nervous about your pup getting too close to wildlife, having a vestibule can prevent them from injuring themselves or chasing animals.
Freestanding vs. Non-freestanding
Freestanding tents are generally much sturdier than non-freestanding tents. This is a boon when you bring your pup along because they can move around without knocking the tent over. With freestanding tents, the stakes and guy lines are included for added security but won’t collapse the tent if your pup runs into them.
Ventilation is a concern if you're camping in warmer climates. If no rain is forecast, leave the rain fly off to increase airflow. Additionally, tents with mesh windows help but are easy areas for a canine companion to accidentally tear through.
With your furry companion in tow, a lot of vestibule space will be used. Make sure you have enough storage space and accessory pockets to put all of your extra gear. There should also be enough personal space for you to relax in as well.
Cramming gear will mean a more uncomfortable sleep. A lack of storage pockets might also lead to some of your stuff getting dirty or wet in harsh weather conditions. When camping with dogs, a lot of attention will go to your pup but don't forget to create a comfortable experience for yourself as well.
10 Tips For Camping With Dogs
Camping with dogs can be a wonderful experience, but it won’t always be smooth sailing. Keep these tips in mind to make the most of your next camping trip with your pup.
1. Pack Some Patience
The outdoors can be very overstimulating for a dog. Take your time, speak calmly with your pup and ensure they have plenty of time to get used to a new environment.
2. Bring Your Dog’s Favorite Toy
A good way to help with overstimulation is to bring something your dog associates with happy memories. This can be a toy, blanket, or other object that your dog gravitates toward when you’re at home.
3. Bring Treats
If you’re already training your dog with treats, this could be a really great learning opportunity for your pup. For older dogs, treats are a great way to help calm them down.
4. Bring A Puncture Repair Kit
Lightweight tents that use mesh or thin materials may rip or break if your pup gets its claws on them. Do yourself a favor and bring a repair kit with you.
5. Bring A Dog First-aid Kit
There are sharp sticks, rocks, and other outdoor hazards that may cause an injury. Bring the proper medical supplies to take care of your four-legged friend.
6. Bring A Warm Dog Bed
If you’re camping in the mountains, temperatures can fluctuate wildly between midday and night. Make sure your dog has a warm place to lie down so that they don’t get sick from lying on a cold tent floor.
A dedicated place to sleep will also help prevent them from tracking mud and dirt onto your sleeping bag.
7. Be Prepared For Tummy Aches
Your dog will be licking whatever it can find, and in the woods, this could lead to some intestinal trouble. Most of this is going to be minor but pay attention to your dog's health and cut the trip short if unusual behavior continues.
8. Mind The Weather
Make sure you understand what kind of environment your dog likes. For example, a small dog or one without a lot of fur will be less enthusiastic about cold weather. Your pup's comfort level will play a large role in how smoothly the adventure goes.
9. Know When To Try Again
Sometimes, too many factors conspire against you. Maybe your dog is too anxious, you didn't bring the right food, or the weather turns. Realize when you need to pack it in and try again. Forcing a camping trip in adverse conditions is a recipe for disaster.
10. Anticipate Cleaning All Your Gear
If you’re camping with dogs, your stuff will get dirty. Take some time after your adventure to properly clean your entire tent and assess your gear.
Camping with dogs is a fun experience if you get the right tent. For the best overall dog-friendly tent, check out the Big Agnes Bunkhouse 6. For your backpacking needs, it's hard to go wrong with the Big Agnes Blacktail 2-person or 3-person.
*The information on this site is based on research and first-hand experience but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new activity, we recommend consulting with a physician, nutritionist or other relevant professional healthcare provider.