Are you planning to go tent camping with your dog but are concerned about leaving them in the tent while you go hike or explore around on your own? You wonder if it’s ok for you to do that, is that safe, and if that’s even a good idea?
I personally would bring my dog with me regardless of where I go. But the fact that there are certain activities dogs won’t be able to participate in or places they aren’t allowed or can’t go like when you go shower, there are no other choices but to leave them in the tent while you do a little bit of something on your own.
However, there are several things you need to know before leaving your furry camper in the tent alone to ensure they are safe and sound.
Understanding the Campground Regulations
First things first, you need to find out if the campground allows pets as not all campsites are pet-friendly. So make sure you look up their regulations before visiting.
If they do allow pets, check whether or not dogs are allowed to be left unattended. Otherwise, you might yourself get into trouble and some fines trying to sneak in an hour of hiking without your furry friend.
Your Dog's Temperament Matters
Does your dog have the tendencies to gnaw on things, scratch the floor or walls, or tear up things in general? If they do, leaving them alone in the tent might be harder than you think. In fact, it’s probably not a good idea to leave them behind. You don’t want to get back to your tent only to find the floor torn apart, right?
So, if you have a dog who has this kind of destructive behavior, it might be better if you bring them with you, even if it’s just a short while. Otherwise, have another person around to watch over them. And of course, there are other methods you can use to prevent them from tearing your tent apart as well.
And does your canine have separation anxiety? Again, if they do, I wouldn’t recommend leaving them alone in the tent. But if you have no other options and absolutely need to, don’t go out for too long and consider using calming aids to help your anxious pup relax.
So How Long is Too Long To Leave A Dog In Tents Unattended?
You might be wondering how long it is too long to leave your pup in the tent.
Well, the general rule of thumb is it’s ok to leave dogs in a camping tent for an hour or two max. That said, make sure to factor in your dog’s temperament as well.
Every dog is different. Some will get anxious 10-15 minutes after being left alone, while some can handle longer than that. So you’ll have to go through trial and error to determine how long they’re comfortable staying inside on their own without being destructive or anxious.
You would also need to consider the weather conditions as it’s not safe to leave them alone in the tent during extreme hot or cold weather conditions and during thunderstorms, lightning, or heavy rains.
So be sure to plan accordingly and judge for yourself if they are ready to be left alone in the tent. If your canine isn’t, then, by all means, don’t do it unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Precautions to Take Before Leaving Your Dog in Tent While Camping
Leaving your dog inside the tent without supervision is never a good idea. But sometimes, you might find yourself in situations where it’s unavoidable, and there is no one to watch over your furry camper.
If such situations arise:
1. Provide Your Dog With a Safe Space
Make sure they have a place where they can rest and be comfortable while you are gone and that the spot is away from any potential hazards like the tent’s zippers, sharp objects, and other metal components they might try to gnaw at.
2. Use Calming Aids
It might be a good idea to use calming aids like dog pheromone collars or other calming products to help ease your fido’s mind and keep them as relaxed as possible while you’re away. In fact, I highly recommend using these products if your dog has separation anxiety.
3. Leave Them With Their Favorite Toy
Just like calming aids, toys can also do wonders for dogs who get bored easily. Just make sure not to give your furkid any toys with parts that they can easily chew off and swallow.
4. Leave a Light On if Going Out in the Evening
Light can also help ease any anxieties your pup might have and make them feel better while you’re away, especially if they are the type of dog who is afraid of the dark and gets scared easily by sudden movements or by new things.
5. Make Sure Your Fido Has Access to Water
Placing water in an easily accessible area for your dog is also very important as you don’t want them to become dehydrated when you’re not around, and always leave enough for them before you head out.
6. Use a Dog Crate
Some people may think crating a dog is inhumane, but in reality, dog crates can provide a familiar setting that will make your pup feel more at ease. And if you’re planning on leaving them unsupervised in the tent for an extended period, using crates can also reduce the risk of them destroying or damaging the tent. Just make sure that the one you use is big enough for your canine to stand up and turn around without feeling too cramped.
8. Moderate the Temperature Inside the Tent
Lastly, you would need to make sure it’s not too hot or too cold inside as this can lead to discomfort, or worse, overheating or hypothermia. So during the summer days, you’re going to need to ensure the tent has enough ventilation by keeping windows and vents open and have a fan running to help keep it cool inside.
If you plan to go camping with your canine during the colder months, pitch your tent in an area where the sunlight hits to give them some warmth. Also, make sure to provide them with blankets and other things that can help them stay warm to avoid the risk of hypothermia.
Leaving dogs alone in a tent can be a nerve-wracking experience for many pet owners, but with the right amount of preparation and care for them, it’s something that is very much achievable.
And as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure! So if you’re planning on leaving your furry camper in the tent by themselves while camping, be sure to factor things mentioned above into consideration before doing so.