5 Tips for Camping with Your Rescue Dog

5 Tips for Camping with Your Rescue Dog

One of our recently adopted dogs, Rocket, formerly known as Dermot, reached out to us to let us know that he had his very first camping trip with his new family in Santa Barbara. Along with his new brother, Rocket enjoyed the beautiful wilderness and plenty of new smells. We’re so glad that Rocket is loving his new family and embarking on so many new adventures!

Who doesn’t love the fresh mountain air, running through fields of wildflowers and swimming in lakes? Rescue dogs are the perfect camping companions for families looking to spend some time in the great outdoors. As you pack the camper (or backpack), make sure you follow the necessary steps to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip for the whole family!

  1. Check your Venue

When making camping reservations, make sure dogs are allowed. You’ll want to search for pet friendly campgrounds (and trails) to ensure a smooth camping experience. Due to insurance policies, some campgrounds have restricted certain breeds (typically “bully breeds”), so make sure to check if your dog’s breed is welcomed. Each state or national park has its own dog regulations and can be found on the individual park’s website.

  1. Update Vaccines

Certain campgrounds require up-to-date rabies vaccinations for all pets. Also, if your destination is in an area that has fleas or ticks, make sure your dog is protected with the appropriate preventative. If camping near streams or lakes, do not let your dog drink from these water sources. Even the cleanest stream can contain giardia, a microscopic parasite that can cause havoc in your dog’s GI track.

  1. Pack the Essentials

Just like you, your dog likes the comforts of home at the campground. Bring your pup’s kennel or dog bed, and his food and water bowls. Bring his favorite dog toys for chewing around camp or chasing at the lakeshore. Consider bringing a tieout, so your dog can be outside and free to roam around the campsite without wandering into the neighbor’s campsite. A nightlight for your dog’s collar is also a good idea, so you can see your dog at night. Depending on your destination, a doggie rain jacket or thermal may be needed – especially for those short-haired pooches. If hitting the trails, consider investing in a dog hiking pack, which will allow your dog to carry his own water and supplies. When conditioned, a dog can carry up to 25% of its body weight. Lastly, a dog first aide kit is a must have item when exploring the outdoors. Check out Ruffwear and REI for the hardiest outdoor gear for dogs.

  1. Protect your Pooch from the Wilderness

Depending on your camping destination, bears, coyotes, mountain lions and other wild animals are a possibility and unfortunately, can be a danger to your pet. Make sure your dog is leashed at all times during your outdoor adventure. This will protect them from wandering into danger. You also need to protect the resident wildlife from your dog as well – don’t allow your dog to chase deer or any other wildlife. Also, make sure to pack out your pet waste, especially on high traffic trails and around bodies of water. This will maintain the serenity and beauty of the parks that so many people enjoy.

  1. Know your Dog’s Limits

Before hitting the trails, make sure your dog is conditioned, either for mileage or carrying his own supplies. Young dogs (especially puppies) will not have the experience to transverse a steep slope and can easily slip and injure their joints. For dogs under a year, short, gentle hikes are a great way to introduce a young dog to the trails.  Be mindful of the temperature and start your hike early to avoid the afternoon heat. Dogs are unable to sweat and panting is not an efficient cooling mechanism, particularly in hot weather or for dogs with thick coats. Always pack enough water for your dog: a good rule of thumb is to pack a ½ liter of water per mile for your dog. Since dogs are unable to tell us when they are tired, be mindful of your dog’s behavior. Is your dog seeking shade every chance he gets, or lying down when the opportunity arises? Let your dog rest in the shade, rehydrate, and turn around! It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Hope you enjoy the great outdoors with Man’s Best Friend!




I got my start in dog rescue by using Facebook to help network dogs who were in high kill shelters in San Bernardino, CA.  While that was fulfilling, I really wanted to be more hands-on and interact with the dogs who were being saved.  I wanted to personally see the transformation from a scared shelter dog to a happy and adoptable dog.  So far I have fostered four wonderful dogs for The Rescued Dog and hope to foster many more!  I also love volunteering at the adoption events and watching when a match is made between a dog and their new owners.


My design thesis in my senior year of college revolved around re-designing the animal sheltering system. I spent hours and hours a day volunteering at a handful of shelters. I saw someone bring in a terrified dog as he screamed at shelter staff: “I just don’t want the damn thing anymore..” That was the tipping point for me… Also, this is my favorite quote…ever: “All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.”


Life has so much to offer if we remember to look beyond ourselves. I volunteer because it continuously teaches me something new about people, about cooperation, about compassion, and about myself. I have a great passion for animals. We have three rescue dogs that came to us in 2008.  Since then I’ve wanted to work with an origination that helps save dogs and put them in forever, loving homes so when I came across this opportunity with The Rescued Dog to help I jumped at the chance.  I am passionate about their mission to save dogs from high kill shelters and I truly believe that help comes in many forms, volunteering is one way to accomplish what we are supposed to accomplish in this lifetime.


I started volunteering with TRD in 2015. Volunteering has been great. I love dogs, I mean who doesn’t right?! However, I do not own a dog…not yet. I live vicariously through the rescue. If you can’t afford to adopt a dog or don’t have the ideal living situation to have a dog, like me, you can still “scratch your itch,” that’s a great thing about volunteering with us. So, the irony is I have been telling you about how great it would be to adopt a rescued dog and save them from their unfortunate circumstance and put them in a happy and caring home, and in my case, I didn’t know it then, however, the rescue saved me. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to be a part of and for filling my need to be around so many furry friends.


I was introduced to rescue as a child when I met a greyhound rescue organization one night at Balboa Park and convinced my parents to adopt one.  Our family greyhound Bookie and I were best buds for the ten years we had him.  Since then I have been a sucker for rescue dogs.  I am so glad I was introduced to TRD by a friend and fellow foster, and have had a chance to work with some great people and dogs, and found my little buddy, Madison!


I was introduced to The Rescued Dog while working at a local shelter.  I was excited about their mission to save dogs from high-kill shelters & wanted to participate with this mission.  I love working with the TRD team and fosters to get these pups out of the shelter, into a great foster home and finally on to their furr-ever homes!


I have always been a firm believer that doggie cuddles could save the world. So, when my mom said she wanted to start fostering dogs I was very excited. In the short period of time I have been volunteering with The Rescued Dog I realized I want to be an advocate for change. I took on this role not only to push myself but to also be a bigger voice for all of the shelter animals, since they can’t do that on their own.


The bond I have with my dog, Otis who I rescued about 2 years ago,  is that of a family member, a best friend, and a companion. Saving dogs from high kill shelters is a rewarding task, but adding a new member to someone’s family is life changing. Rescued is truly the best breed.


I got involved with rescuing dogs when my own dogs and animal loving kids got a touch older and realized I had a tiny amount of free time to fill! My kids begged for Chihuahuas, Daschunds, Huskys etc….so naturally I thought fostering would be great!  Once I got in, I was hooked and wanted to do more to help shelter dogs find the forever love my own dogs had. In regard to volunteering, I believe that if we all give a little we can accomplish a lot!


10 years ago I took a road trip from Philadelphia to San Diego with my beloved English Bulldog.  As a travel nurse, I was given the opportunity to move across the country, and with working only three days a week, I had time to volunteer with my first passion, rescue dogs.  Through volunteering, I met an amazing group of women who shared my same vision, so we collaborated The Rescue Dog!  I am so proud of our accomplishments and I look forward to continuing to educate and save lives!


I was fostering for the SD Humane Society but was looking for a rescue I could become more involved in. A friend foster failed with TRD so I filled out an application. I feel like I’ve found my calling! There is nothing like getting a dog right out of the shelter and making him feel safe. Now as an adoption coordinator I get to see the rescue through to the end, a great family and a forever home!!


I rescued my first dog in 2010 and started volunteering with a rescue a year later and loved it! After meeting a few amazing friends, it became evident rescue work was more than just a fun hobby. I truly believe the best dogs are rescued dogs and have come to find my true passion in life is in dog rescue. Fostering is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have and I highly recommend it to everyone! I can’t imagine my life without dogs, and thankfully I’ll never have to. I’m so excited to be working with such a fantastic group of people and I can’t wait to see what The Rescued Dog accomplishes!



It is easy to buy a dog from pet stores, online ads, or from dog breeders, but rescuing a shelter dog is definitely more rewarding.  How can you not admire that once sad dog, now all waggy and happy because they’ve been given a second, sometimes third chance at finding their forever home?  The ability of these pups to recognize and embrace their new life never ceases to amaze me.  The Rescued Dog saves dogs from high kill shelters and prepares them to meet and be adopted by a loving family.  TRD fills the corners of my life and it makes me happy to know I’m doing something worthwhile for these sweet pups.  Having rescued – and been rescued – by my own dogs proves that rescued really is the best breed.


My passion for rescuing dogs comes from my great experiences with rescue dogs in my life. I personally have had my life brightened by many great rescue dogs, and I have seen how having pets, and dogs particularly, has improved the lives of my friends and family. For me, the best part of dog rescue is seeing the connection that dogs and people make, and knowing that when we connect the right dogs with the right people, we are improving the lives of everyone involved, both human and canine.