Your dog is your best friend, and they’re happiest when they’re with you. So, if you love sleeping under the stars, you of course want to bring your bestie along. Here are some tips to keep your dog safe and ensure your pet is a happy camper as you explore and enjoy the great outdoors together.

Find a Pet-Friendly Campsite

Like parks, certain campsites have rules that bar the presence of pets. But, don’t worry—there are 4,000 pet-friendly campgrounds and RV parks in the United States. Simply Google “pet-friendly campgrounds near me” or check out sites like BringFido, which has handy lists like the “10 Most Pet-Friendly Campgrounds in the U.S.”

Plan for Wildlife

When you’re camping with your dog, wildlife like squirrels, rabbits and birds may make an appearance … and be within running distance. Keep a strong tie-up for your dog on-hand while you’re stationary at your campsite.

Sleep Near Them

It’s best to sleep with your dog in the same space for the same reason we listed above— wildlife is going to be out and about. Pack a comfy, washable dog bed or a soft blanket so you both sleep well.

Protect Your Dog’s Food

Any food, whether for humans or pets, could attract wildlife, so it’s smart to only have grub out at mealtimes. Keep your dog’s food in a sturdy, air-tight container at all other times. Vital Essentials® raw pet food is easy to store—just keep it in a cool, dark place like inside your pack or a cooler.

Stay on Top of Ticks and Fleas

When you spend tons of time outdoors, it’s vital to check your dog for ticks and keep your eyes peeled for fleas. Learn how to spot and remove ticks and comb for fleas here.

Learn to Identify Harmful Plants

There’s quite a few toxic and potentially harmful plants for pets out there. Supervise your pet to prevent them from eating anything they shouldn’t, and, just to be safe, we suggest learning to recognize potentially harmful plants like castor oil plants, hemlock, English ivy, mistletoe, oleander, thorn apple, yew and mysterious mushrooms. Get more info here.

Prep for All Kinds of Weather

Dogs are sensitive to temperature changes and too much sun. Keep an eye on the forecast and bring dog sunscreen, plenty of water and appropriate gear such as a dog jacket.

Become a Fire Safety Champ

We love a good bonfire as much as any camper, which is why we always keep a travel fire extinguisher in our packs. It is also important to keep an eye on dogs while fires are lit. Get more info on pet fire safety here.

Pack a Life Jacket

You’ll never regret investing in a life jacket for your dog if you spend time near water when you’re camping. Fish, turtles and insects are lots of fun to chase, after all.

Enjoy Your Time Together

Hiking, swimming and fetch are all awesome outdoor activities to try, but our favorite pastime is simple: savor the time together. Fuel your dog for camping fun with our highly-nutritious raw pet food and yummy raw dog treats and snacks.

Looking for more tips for dog owners? Our always-growing blog includes fun and helpful articles like “Monday Makeover: Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth” and “How to Calm Your Dog Down Before Bed.”

Happy camping!