5 Tips for Boondocking With Dogs

One of the best things about RV life is the ability to break away and get out into the beauty and serenity of nature. Boondocking is dispersed camping on public land and one of our favorite ways to camp, especially with our dog! Since you are not staying at an RV park or a developed campground, there is a little more prep work required when boondocking, especially when boondocking with your dog or pet. 

1. Have The Right Dog Gear For Boondocking 

Outside of bringing the staples like food, water, treats, and toys, there are a few helpful items that come in handy when boondocking with dogs. 

  • Lighted Dog Collar: To keep track of our dog as the sun sets, we have a lighted collar on him so he can easily be seen. If a lighted collar isn’t an option, you should consider a reflective collar instead. 
  • Lead for Campsite: If there are boondocking sites we don’t feel comfortable letting our dog off-leash, we have a 30-ft wire lead that we put him on to keep him safe and close to camp. 
  • Waste Bags & Bucket: To keep the campsite “poop-free” opt to use eco-friendly waste bags. Have a bucket outside the RV to place the waste bags in so you can dispose of your dog’s poop when you leave camp. You should try to live by the rule “leave it better than you found it” when boondocking.
  • Extra Towels, Pet Wipes, & Brush: Let’s face it, your pup is going to get dirty while he/she is out having fun! Having a few extra towels around to help clean their paws and a brush or pet wipes to wipe them down is a GREAT tip to keep your rig’s inside clean. 
  • Boots or Paw Wax: Depending on where you are boondocking with your dog, be mindful of the terrain. If it’s rough, hot, or cold, consider investing in some paw wax or booties to help protect your pet’s feet.  

Source: Wandering Stus

2. Be Aware of Wildlife & Where You Setup Camp

When looking for a great boondocking site, be aware of your surroundings when you arrive. For instance, check the ground for any fire ant colonies or burrowing animal/reptile holes. We’d had to have your pet (or you for that matter!), get bitten. 

Once you’re set-up, be knowledgeable of what wildlife is in the area. If the area is known to have bears, mountain lions, or coyotes, don’t let your dog or pet roam. Rather, use a lead to keep them close to camp for their as well as your safety. 

Source: Wandering Stus

3. Microchip Your Dog

As a measure of safety, ensure your pet or dog is microchipped. The reason is that the ID tag located on your pet’s collar can fall or tear off. If your pet gets lost, having your pet microchip can help the person who found your pet to get them back to you, regardless if the ID tag is on your dog’s collar or not.

Source: Wandering Stus

4. Stay Up To Date On Your Dog’s Vaccinations 

When RVing around the country, make sure your dog’s health records are updated and available to you. You never know when you may need to get your pet into doggy daycare or schedule a visit to a nearby vet. 

Having your pet’s vaccination records stored in your rig itself or uploaded to some cloud-based platform is a great thing to have access to. Oh, and be sure to talk to your vet ahead of any RV road trip. Vaccinations that can help prevent Lyme disease or leptospirosis should be vaccinations for your consideration. 

Source: Wandering Stus

5. Have A Pet First Aid Kit On Hand

Last but not least, when boondocking with your dog, it’s never a bad idea to have a first aid kit or their medication handy! You never know when accidents will happen and if you are camping aways outside a town, having something available to you for immediate use is never a bad idea. 

Source: Wandering Stus


Lauren and Jesse Stuart, a travel blogging couple, along with their dog Huey cruise the country in their travel trailer sharing travel tips, itineraries, and their adventures along the way

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