HomeCamping19 Best Dog Tents for Camping and Hiking with Dogs Reviewed 2018
November 26, 2018
19 Best Dog Tents for Camping and Hiking with Dogs Reviewed 2018
19 Best Dog Tents for Camping and Hiking with Dogs Reviewed 2018
Being able to go camping with man’s best friend or whichever animal you have as your close companion, is a special occasion.
However, when em-bark-ing on your next camping trip, Doggo’s protection and safety is always a looming concern while being out in the wild.
Not only that, if it’s raining cats and dogs, a wet and muddy dog could cause chaos inside your tent.
Also the natural dangers like mosquitoes, creepy crawlies and the suns harmful rays, are another unavoidable concern.
Luckily for us, there is a wide range of tents suitable for dog owners, which will protect you from all these dangers. Enabling camping with your pooch a simplistic, comfortable and most importantly, an enjoyable experience.
There are a few ways to approach getting a dog tent and there are also a few things you need to consider before choosing.
We will cover these aspects and any questions below in our buyers guide and FAQ.
With a few factors like animal size, sleeping together or separately and potential weather conditions, there will be a variety of different tents to choose from.
We have managed to keep a good balance of the best dog tents available, while also trying to cover all the different factors and aspects.
This list will be divided into 2 sections.
Firstly we will cover larger tents that are suitable for dog owners, whereby you will be sleeping together, or at least in the same vicinity. Best for dogs that are used to sleeping near or beside you, or if you simply want the comfort of seeing your companion at all times.
Secondly, we will review actual dog tents, designed for your pooch that can be used indoors, outdoors and some can even be put inside your larger tent as a dog bed or area for the dog. These are most useful when your dog is already used to sleeping outside, in a kennel or in its own room.
Best Tents for Dog Owners Reviewed: Camping with your Dog Made Easy
Let’s check out the best tents for camping together with your dog. We have chosen tents that allow you to sleep in close vicinity with your dog, by uncovering the best tents that have porches, screened rooms or annexes manufactured into the design. This provides an extra, sheltered and protected space for your dog to sleep. Perfect place for its smaller dog tent or bed also.
Coleman Steel Creek Fast Pitch Dome Tent with Screen Room Review
This is an excellent choice for camping with your dog, so it will take position at the top of our list. This durable tent from Coleman has an integrated screen room, which is perfect for creating a homely environment for your dog. With more than enough space for a dog bed or small camping cot, a sleeping area is easily created. It’s also fast pitch and dome shaped, beneficial for a few reasons, let’s find out why below.
As mentioned it has a screened room integrated, that is featured as a front porch in appearance, but is fully enclosed. The enclosure also features a fine mesh material that is very effective to keeping bugs at bay, giving pooch a trouble-free rest.
The tent is well ventilated and features windowed awnings that allows the breeze to pass through the tent and escape through the roof or door, if unzipped. This is great for airing out the tent in the morning, as there may be an odor after a day or 2.
Employing the fast pitch system from Coleman it is very easy to set up. The fast pitch system basically uses a color coded on the poles and parts to guide you through the set up. The center hub is usually directly attached to the frame and it will pull up together in unison. Then you simple hammer in the stakes and attach guy lines to secure. One cool feature of this tent is the guy lines are reflective, meaning you can see them clearly in the nighttime. This is good not only for you, but your dog as well, stopping you both from causing any injury or harm.
-Size and Extras-
This model comes in at 10 x 9 foot dimensions with the screen room at 10 x 5 foot in total. The center height is just around 5.8 foot, it’s lower than a cabin tent due to the dome design. However, the dome has its benefits against wind, allowing the wind to glide over the tent aerodynamically. Also with the lower head height, you can pitch it in more secret and protected locations.
They also have a dark room version available of the same tent. To cut a long story short, dark room technology is very effective against sun and UV. If you or your dog are particularly sensitive to sun, or you plan to camp in the summer time in a hot area, you can consider this one instead.
Reflective Guy Lines
Large Screen Room
Ventilated and Windowed
Fine Meshed Area
Durable Polyguard Fabric
Lower head height than the Cabin design tents
The Dark Room version is much better against Hot Weather
NTK Indy GT XL FT Outdoor Dome Family Camping Tent Review
Our next choice is from NTK with a sleek and modern tent with some cool features that make it compatible for camping with a dog. A screened room that also turns into an awning with a few easy changes, it creates a cool chill out area during the hot afternoons. Fully waterproof and a generous size, you could fit a few people in here, plus the dog.
Manufactured as a 6 person tent it provides a healthy amount of space for camping with family and dog. The total floor size is 14 x 8 foot with a huge center height of 6.2 foot. Which is higher than the Coleman, but less protectant from the sun as the Dark Room for example, pros and cons. The sleeping area is around 8 x 8 foot in total, so you can easily fit a few people in there, plus have pooch in the screened area with his sleeping set up.
Utilizing 190T polyester fabric it is deemed waterproof, but more than this it comes with a rainfly that has a 2500mm water rating. This level of protection from the rainfly creates an excellent water resistant tent. The polyester has been coated with polyurethane which also helps to protect from water penetration and UV rays.
The interior has a large door in a D shape that also consists of a fine mesh which will work to keep bugs and mosquitos away from you and pooch. Inside you will find a storage pocket that is also mesh, this can help to stop the buildup of condensation in the corners of the pockets.
A cool design utilizing a front vestibule that features an awning, which can be erected with tent poles that come included with the purchase. The side panels and doors are fully removable and included a detachable tarp.
They boast that the micro mesh is usable in the Amazon Rainforest, however we are yet to test this (lol), as much as we would love to try! There is also an anti-fungal material used in the flooring, so you won’t need to worry about morning moss and mildew building up over time. Secondly the bathtub design ensures the same thing regards water pools building up in the tent.
Lastly, its fire retardant with a CPAI-84 rating, this is an incredibly cool feature as lighting up a campfire besides your dog is one of those pure outdoor moments.
Screened Room and Awning
With a high center height, additional guys and stakes may be needed. A taller tent height is more susceptible to strong winds, given the larger side panel sizes.
The larger 8 person tent from Wenzel is a great option for family camping with a dog. Or if you just want to relax in luxury with you and your companion. As an 8 person tent it has larger dimensions than some of the other 4 and 6 man tents in the list, generally speaking. With 3 color choices and being one of the best-selling family tents in the 8 person range, let’s find out more about this model and why it’s perfect for camping with dogs.
Featuring a meshed roof vent this allows the heat and stuffy air to escape through the ventilation. This is very important, especially if you have a few bodies in there (not dead ones I hope), things can get stuffy really quickly. With the vented roof plus meshed material used on the screen room area, you will have no problems clearing out any odors.
The key to why this is great tent for dog owners, the large front awning section, which is fully enclosed. The enclosure is firstly made up of a fine meshed screen which keeps out bugs and mosquitoes, then the windows roll up to enclose the whole area to keep out the rain. The windows don’t meet the top rainfly incredibly well, but to fix this you can add Velcro to secure tightly together. The rainfly is also solid and stops rain penetrating through the material.
-Storage, Size and Color-
There are 2 pockets integrated into the interior of the tent. This is a useful feature for keeping important possessions off the ground, or tasty treats away from doggo. A duffel bag also comes free with the purchase so you have somewhere to store the tent neatly and tidily after use, make sure to air it out and dry it before stowing away. Size wise it has a 16 x 11 foot base with a height of around 6.6 foot, which is plenty for the average adult. The only other tent that matches this center height is the Timber Ridge model at 6.2 foot. The tents area has a coverage of 98 square foot with an additional 60 square foot for the screened room.
They also have 2 other color choices with near identical features and dimensions, the brown model looks slightly elongated in the picture, but we are yet to clarify if there is any real difference in dimensions, as we have tried and tested the blue model only.
Large Front Awning
Meshed Roof Vents
3 Seasons so not to be used all year round
The Awnings Sidewalls Should utilize Velcro for better security
Another choice from Coleman, a specialist in producing quality tents, is the Instant Dome Tent with Annex. Named Juniper Lake, it is a cool designed tent with a very modest price tag, a nice option for camping with dogs, given the annex feature and satisfactory size. What we most like about this tent is that it covers the necessities, within a reasonable price. Instant set up, storage and protection is all you really need for a basic tent to camp with your dog. Let’s put it under the microscope.
Being a dome tent it will have a lower center height than others but also perform better in windy conditions, given the natural aerodynamic feature of a dome shape. Being a 4 person, as opposed to the larger 6 and 8 person models, you will be able to carry this one off the beaten track a bit more. Reason being its lightweight, compact in dimensions and a breeze to set up. It sets up within a minute because the framework is all pre-attached, so you just have to pop it out and extend the framework outwards until you hear the click. It’s now secured and ready to be staked and lined, job done.
With an annex feature built into the design, we have a perfect area for the dog to use as a sleeping area, which is also slightly apart from where you would sleep. Giving enough space for a medium sized dog bed at best, it would work well for average sized dogs. The annex area is also well ventilated allowing fresh air to pass through and escape again, clearing odors.
It has the typical technology based protection from Coleman, the WeatherTec system. This works to protect the tent from water penetration and UV rays and does a fair job at this. The tent is also protected by a waterproof rainfly, which will help to keep the interior and annex sections dry during rainfall. The material used in the tent and sidewalls is Polyguard, which is a reasonably strong and durable material that is resistant to moderate rain and will protect pooch from the sun.
60 Second Set Up
For the price it covers the basics, but it will not fare well in extreme winds and storms, especially with minimum staking. To help try to position next to shelter, trees, walls etc.
This versatile backpacking tent from WEANAS is an excellent choice for small ventures into the wild with your dog. Utilizing an awning attachment, it creates an extra shaded area that is perfect for a dog bed or cot to sit in. Not only this but its fully waterproof and has excellent ventilation so you can sleep soundly in the hot summer days, additionally getting rid of any stale odors.
The tent comes in 3 different sizes and 3 color variations, its an economically priced tent so I’d personally go for the largest regardless, the additional space is worth it when camping with your dog. It is however a 3 season tent so it wont fair well in snowfall during the winter months.
This tent is full of useful features for pet camping, one of those especially is its ultra light weight. Given that the frame is made up of aluminum rods, it’s an insanely easy carry at only 6lbs for the largest size. Making it perfect for backpacking and hiking. hitting the trail with pooch.
The lightest tent for dog owners in our list is the Andake 1206G and yes if you have guessed it, the 1206g really represents its weight, at around 2.5lbs its an ultra lightweight backpacking tent that has excellent compatibility for camping with dogs. Why? Because it is designed as a tunnel tent, so it has an elongated interior that is spacious enough for you and your dog.
This way you have the benefit of taking one of the lightest tents around on the trail with you, giving you more weight allocation for your other gear and equipment.
The double walled tent is protected well, so its not as flimsy as you may suspect for an aluminum frame tent. The hydrostatic rating is impressive, reaching 3000mm, so the tent will fair very well during rainfall. Utilizing ripstop in the membrane to make the fabric tougher than usual, additionally the material is silicone coated to further protect from rain and abrasions while on the trail.
The whole package is very well priced as well, because it comes with a free flysheet, internal mosquito netting (which is fantastic for our pets) and all poles, ropes and pegs.
Ultra Lightweight 2.5lbs
Free Mosquito Net/Fly Sheet
Seam seal prior to use
Set up can be tricky, practice at home first
Coleman Cold Springs with Front Porch Dome Tent Review
Another economical choice from Coleman is the Cold Springs tent with elongated front porch. It’s not the tallest front porch and people have complained it’s not large enough for any adult, well that’s a good job we are reviewing tents for dogs today isn’t it!
It makes a perfect area for a dog to relax under shelter and away from harmful rays. We like this option for the garden or just some basic camping at a campsite, maybe next to your RV for example.
A basic choice that does the job well for protecting and sheltering your dog from winds, rain and the hot sun. However note that this tent will not fare well against strong winds or any kind of storm rated weather, which is fair given the price. So use it wisely to make the most out of this one.
Our last model is a family camping tent from the respectable Timber Ridge who produce popular outdoor products, including tents. It can be clearly seen on this model that it has 2 separated compartments, a perfect opportunity to share rooms with your dog on your next camping trip. With 2 large rooms, 3 windows and a year’s warranty to boot, it’s a great option for camping with your dog. Let’s check out some more details.
We love this design on the Timber Ridge, the 2 compartments look great and employs a sleek, modern aesthetic. So the front has 2 large doors in a D shape, which meet in the middle. Unzip and roll to the center, sideways, then attach in the middle to secure. The fly is also fully removable and additionally its seam sealed, ensuring a tight and rigid cover. Although note that even the manufacturer recommends this for beach use as opposed to camping in heavy rain. The tent itself should be okay for some light camping with your dog and definitely fit for beach use with its UV protection. Just try to avoid any heavy- moderate rainfall as it will not fare well. You can use a waterproofing spray to try to reinforce this aspect as well.
The divider in the middle isn’t actually permanent, you can open the tent up to a large 1 roomed tent if you wish. However we think it’s a good idea to utilize this option to create 2 spaces. One with a dog bed and one with yours.
As you may have seen before, we mentioned that this tent is one of the only ones in the list that rivals the Wenzel for center height. Its dimensions are 14 x 8 foot for its base size and the center height at the middle peak is 6.2 foot high, this is generous but also expected as an 8 person tent. It has 2 rooms which are separated by a central divider, which can also be attached and detached when necessary.
Backed by a warranty to protect you from any damaged or defect parts on the tent. So make sure to check your order over intricately upon arrivals, so you can claim your return if you do happen to find a fault. This goes for all tents and always purchase with a warranty of some kind.
Great Beach Option
Large Double Rooms
Well Ventilated with 3 Mesh Windows
Breathable Polyester Material
Steel Tent Stakes and Carry Bag
1 Year Warranty
I would suggest using a waterproofing spray prior to use, not suitable for heavy rain.
The Company issued a rust warning if left out in the elements extensively, however this can be combated with use of protective spray.
Best Tents for Dogs Reviewed: Personal Tents for Pooch
These models have been specifically designed for dogs, of course much smaller, cheaper and lightweight. A great option to give your dog something personal to use and its own home on the campsite as well as any outdoor event.
Some are pop up tents for dogs which can be easily set up in moments and provide a cool and safe place for your dog to hang out and relax.
Secondly, you will see some dog camping cot style tents that have attachable canopies. These are generally not enclosed and are suitable for days at the beach or as a temporary sleeping area with shade. They can be used also indoors or in the actual tent area, under the screened room or annex, as you can detract the roof and still use the cot with a dog bed, to provide a sound sleeping environment.
Lastly you may see some play pens, these aren’t generally recommended as a sleeping area, however they definitely can provide a safe, sheltered and shaded area for your pet to chill out in a secured area while you are doing a few things around the campsite.
This looks so cool! Like a military tent for dogs, stand to attention as doggo parades around the campsite strutting its stuff. Really well ventilated with zippered doors and roll up windows, it will create a breathable and fresh interior for your dog. Not only this but the breathable mesh material used will also keep bugs out and keep it cool during hot weather.
The material used is no joke either, with a 210D polyester cover, this is waterproof and will protect your dog during any rainfall. The frame is super light as it utilizes fiberglass for its framework, just weighing a few lbs. at best.
It’s really well protected from moisture, dust and UV, which is what we want in a pet tent, protection is vital. The dimensions are 45 x 32 x 27 for length, width and height respectively, so it’s perfect for other smaller pets like cats, hamsters and the like.
1 Year Warranty
210D Polyester Cover
Water and UV Protected
Being fiberglass and of this size, the frame may be quite fragile, don’t use in harsh weather
A sleek, stylish and quality pop up dog tent enters our list from Cool Runners. This dog tent sets up in seconds given the spring loaded mechanism inside the framework. No tools or instruction manuals needed, its good to go once its out the box.
1 size and 1 color theme so its pretty restricted in that area. It stands at 47 x 47 x 32 in inches, so its suitable for small-big sized animals, but nothing too huge.
It’s just as easy to fold down as it is to pitch and comes with a free carry case for storage, not a bad dog tent by all means and shows good quality in the design and materials used.
Our next choice is this Portable pet tent from FrontPet. It’s not a pop up dog tent but it does employ a very quick and easy setup which entails a 1 step process only. Additionally it works really well with all manner of pets, cats, rabbits as well, due to the crate style design, its really secure with no windows. The side panels are all meshed panels so you wont have any issue with poor ventilation due to the lack of windows.
May appear slightly cage-like but this is because they are focusing on protecting your pet during the night time, from outside dangers. Veteran campers will be aware of these dangers as much as dog owners, so its a wise choice if you have curious dog who likes to root around.
A robust pet tent that is versatile in its purpose, due to the 2 sizes available. The nylon is tough and the zippers have been double stitched to provide a secure and safe door closure.
A miniature canopy tent! This is also an awesome little product that can be used for your dogs while camping or any outdoor activity. Firstly a camping cot, it offers a raised and protected area for your dog. Keeping them off rough or hot surfaces, protecting their paws and feet. Likewise if there is wet weather, keeping them off the cold, wet floor is equally important, to avoid sickness.
With the ventilated mesh cot bed, this will allow air to pass up through from underneath, creating a cool environment for your dog. Ultra lightweight yet sturdy steel frame, comes with a travel bag so it’s easily carried with the rest of your camping gear. The canopy tent cover above works to provide a sun protected shelter, in a cool canopy tent like aesthetic. This is also detachable, so you can use the cot bed alone when its bed time. So you can slide it in under the annex when needed.
They also have a different color choice in red, also a different design. The difference comes in the cots bed, one has a split triple paneled bed, while the other is just 1 large meshed cot bed. I would imagine the triple panel could support more weight without bowing, however the larger one might be more comfortable. It depends on the size of the dog and user preference.
edit: This has since changed and the elongated bed area is no longer available as far as we see.
This is a really nice option for a larger pet or if you have a couple pets to shelter. This pop up tent from Lightspeed is excellent for a temporary shade, whether it’s from rain or sun, it will shade your pet effectively.
Geared towards use under the hot sun it has a great UV protection rating and a UPF of 50+, which combined with the pop up method of assembly, you can have instantaneous protection as soon as you arrive at the beach or campsite.
Dimensions wise it’s around 7 x 3.5 x 3.3 in feet for width, diameter and height respectively. This also packs down to a small and compact size within the carry case, which only weights around 3 lbs., thus easily implemented into your gear.
Another different design but effective for the same purpose as a dog tent, the pet playpens provide a personal space for your dog to relax, play and sleep. 61 inches in diameter by 30 inches in height, it’s a generous space and will be good enough for most dogs and pets.
Perfect to take on the next camping trip, the playpen comes with 2 doors for easy entrance and exit and the cover is meshed also to allow for proper ventilation. You could even use a tarp over the top to make it waterproof if necessary.
Made with 600D Oxford Fabric it uses quality materials and the side panels are also made with protective fabric to prevent water penetration. This also provides a smooth and non-stick surface so they are easy to clean, you can blast them with the hose and let them dry out before packing away.
Also utilizing some storage pockets on the side-panels, there are 2 in total, perfect for storing your pet amenities.
Durable Oxford Fabric
The top is vulnerable as it’s only meshed, will need a cover or shelter above
GigaTent Pet PopUp Tent with Fitted Foam Pad Review
A true dog tent here from GigaTent it has all the functions of a regular tent, but in miniature dimensions. With a simplistic and fast pop up assembly, it’s perfect for camping with your dog. The feature we like most about this is the foam pad, which offers a comfortable area for the dog to sit and sleep, this almost alleviates the need of buying a dog bed. You can just add a thick blanket to the foam bed and it will suffice.
Manufactured in 3 different sizes, this is the middle sized tent, however they do also have a larger option in addition to a smaller one. 34 x 34 x 40 in inches are the measurements for this model and will fit most average sized dogs.
With one large door which is zippered and another important feature, the mosquito mesh nets to stop the bugs disturbing doggo, it’s a great choice tent for dog owners.
3 Size Models
Mosquito Mesh Nets
Pop Up Design
Foam Pad Floor
Go steady with the zipper, it’s not as durable as a real sized tent
Our 2nd choice of canopy dog tent in our list is from SUPERJARE. If you’re looking for a larger option of canopy tent for dogs, with a larger base for your dog to lay on, this is ideal. Made with strong fabric, the 1680D Oxford Fabric will work well to protect your dog from rain and UV rays alike.
Not only this, with the increased dimensions it utilizes a steel frame, which has been well designed and can hold over 100 pounds in weight, up to around 120 max before the frame may start to bow. The material is breathable so it won’t create a stuffy environment when the canopy is fitted to the base, it will be breezy and cool.
The steel frame is also scratch/bite resistant, being steel, so you don’t need to worry about the durability of the frame diminishing. It will stay strong and of value way past its price tag. A carry bag is also included for easy storage and portability during travel.
120 lb. Weight Capacity
1680D Oxford Fabric
Not suitable for rainy weather unless put under additional sheltering, canopy/tarp for example
This pop up pet tent is a great value tent from Winterial. It comes with a free foam pad for you dog to rest on, so this creates exceptional value for its price tag. It may not be the most durable dog tent out there, but it’s definitely a well-priced temporary choice with some cool features.
Measuring up at 64 x 30 x 29 in inches for length, width and height respectively it has an elongated tent design which is suitable for even larger dogs. The foam pad is 2 inches thick and will fit into the interior base tightly. Being a pop up tent is incredibly easy to set up and fold away, taking up little space once folded, slide it behind the car sear or lay it flat in the boot, you won’t notice it at all.
At 2.6 lbs. in weight, it’s about as much as you can expect from a pop up pet tent, nothing special here and not too heavy either. The assembly follows a 1 step process whereby you just need to throw up up in the air and it will fold out accordingly, in the same way you can fold it back up again like a coil and place it back into its storage bag. Easily done. You can find out more about the pop up assembly method and packing away in our Pop Up Tent article.
Easy Pop Up Assembly
Free Foam Pad
Free Storage Bag
Not very waterproof and without rainfly, use in wet weather with caution
If you’re looking for a super cute and unique option for camping with your pet, you could try this Teepee Pet tent from Little Dove. Albeit not as rainproof as the pop up dog tents. Given that the cover is made from cotton canvas as opposed to poly or oxford fabric, they look amazing and offer premium level comfort for your pet.
We wouldn’t suggest sticking these outside the campsite completely open, only unless the weather is brilliant. However if you are expecting some difficult weather, like heavy rain or unbearable heat, you will need to take measures to protect the teepee. There are many ways to do this, either with a canopy shelter, using the screened room/porch of your tent or even just stretching a camping tarp over it.
It’s very convenient with machine washable material, so you can keep it pristine all year round. The poles are made from pine wood and the whole aesthetic generally is extremely authentic, with a Native American design, making for some excellent photo opportunities with doggo. The tent also comes with a soft, comfortable cushion that fits perfectly inside the teepee.
Next up is a real dog tent from Pettom, with all the features of a traditional tent, this is great for taking camping with your dog. With some more robust features like the tarp flooring which is water resistant and tough. Then the top is made of a 210D polyester fabric which is easy to clean and protected from rainfall and sunlight, protecting your pet inside.
It’s insanely easy to set up with a pop up assembly method, great for throwing open when arriving at the campsite or beach, to provide an instant cover for your dog. The frame is fiberglass so it’s insanely light and you won’t notice it within your gear.
Metal stakes come with the tent which can be used to secure it tightly to the ground and the mesh windows create a breathable environment internally, while the meshed panels stop the mosquitoes and creepy crawlies attacking poor doggo! Dimensions wise it’s around 45 x 35 x 28 in inches for length, width and height respectively, additionally with a pack weight of 2.8 pounds it’s a great choice for lightweight backpacking enthusiasts and campers.
Fast Pop Up Assembly
210D Polyester Cover
Durable Tarp Flooring
Fiberglass is generally vulnerable to strong winds
This simplistic pup tent from Alcott is a great option for a quick trip or outdoor event whereby a shelter is required for your dog. Manufactured as a one size fits all tent, it is suitable for the majority of dog sizes. At 32 x 42 x 30 in inches, for width, depth and height respectively you can measure up and see if it will suffice.
It’s super lightweight as well, weighing in at only 1.5 lbs., it’s possibly the lightest dog tent in our list. In addition it has a waterproof base which will stop water encroachment form the bottom up, furthermore it has surrounding windows which can be covered with roll up flaps. The windows are meshed which provides 2 things, ventilation by allowing air to pass through and circulate fresh air into the tent. Secondly this provides some bug protection, from mosquitoes for example, which is key to providing a comfortable environment for your dog to rest.
5 Meshed Windows
Being such a lightweight tent don’t expect it to hold up in strong weather conditions.
Okay so now we know exactly what is available out there, let’s read on to talk about how exactly to go camping with your dog. It’s a daunting task for first timers and you may be full of concerns, but worry not it’s probably even easier than camping with people!
You can click here to check out our article specifically for Tips on How to Camp with a Dog to learn everything you need to know as a newbie, or a veteran to his endeavor.
Next up, buyers guides.
Now you know everything there is to know about the products on the market and how to camp with your dog, let’s check out the buyer’s guide.
Buyers Guide: How to Choose a Dog Tent and Tent for Dog Owners?
So first we will look at tents for camping with your dog or otherwise known as tents for dog owners. So here we are talking about sharing your tent with your trusted companion.
Size is crucial for a comfortable camping environment. When buying traditional tents, or any for that matter, we always abide by the +1 or even +2 rule, whereby you must buy over the size you think you require. For 1 man (or woman) and his dog a 4 person would be ideal, giving space for you both and also lots of gear room. If you have a particularly large animal, or perhaps taking friends/family along with you, you can consider the 6- person sized tents. This is to avoid spatial issues that usually occur when we miscalculate or fail to visualize the space we really need. Then you also need to take into account the size of your pet/dog. This will affect the size of the extension you may need. Let’s talk more about those now.
-Screened Room, Porch, Annex-
These are 3 commonly seen additions on some family tents and make excellent features for dog owners.
Screened rooms are extensions onto the main room of the tent that extend from the doorway of the main hub. Named a screen room because the side panels generally consist of a fine mesh, which is great for air circulation and keeps the mosquitoes and other bugs out and away from the dog. The room itself usually has a waterproof flooring, but not always. You can use an additional tarp flooring if there isn’t one, to stop the dampness setting in. The sides should also have roll-up covers for the mesh panels, to cover the mesh and stop any water penetration coming from the top, during rainfall. This are probably one of the most secure methods of camping with a dog and definitely more protected against the elements than a tent with a porch.
A Porch can also be used for camping with your dog. Again it’s an extension from the main tent, however they tend to be slightly elongated in comparison to the screened rooms, allowing for more space underneath. There is usually room for a few chairs and a dog tent bed, camping pet cot or dog tent. However, note that porches do not have any sidewalls or meshed panels, the top is only covered. For this reason they make excellent shelters during good weather, but if rainfall approaches you may need to move the dog and bed inside. They are convenient as you can pass through without zippering a door over and over, allowing the dog to run freely in and out of the shade. The issue with these can be, if the tent is a small one, then the porch can only be as high as the tent, so you may be ducking a lot with a small 4 person tent for example. The taller the tent, the greater the coverage of the porch.
An Annex is integrated into the tents framework and is found internally inside the tent. This is much more close quarters than the other 2 methods as it’s built in to the actual tent, not a form of extension that can be removed or detached. For this reason you will find your dog sleeping close by and benefiting from exactly the same protection as you. Much like a screened room in protection, if not better in some cases, depending on the quality of the tent. This is convenient for sliding a nice dog tent bed into the annex area to create a personal sleeping area for pooch and having a nice cozy atmosphere while camping. The only issue could be the awkward designs that the tents can appear to be when utilizing an annex, make sure it has a secure frame and strengthened materials in the cover. Also if you have a smaller tent, the lower the height of the annex, make sure you get the dimensions of the annex before buying. So you can measure up your dog bed or cot and guarantee a sure fit.
An Awning can also be found on family tents. This particular model in the photo is an Instant Tent and a full review can be found on our article. These are quite similar to porches however there is no end closure. It’s supported on the sides by tent poles and acts purely as an extension for shade and shelter. For this reason it will have a decent head height that can be angled upwards, making it taller than the tent. Not designed to protect you from rain and wind, do not use for weather protection. Ideal for great weather and beach trips, to offer some fast shade in the easiest possible way. Just pop up the tent poles and voila you have some shaded coverage, then take them away again and roll up the awning to remove. Purely for convenience and a shaded area, probably not the best choice for camping in bad weather and used as a shelter for your dog during this time.
Look for a tent with a meshed roof of some kind, this will really help to create better circulation, which is important for you and your pet. Not only will this keep fresh air coming through but also clear any odors out. Secondly a window or large door will also help when it gets really stuffy. With a door unzipped and a mesh roof top, this is the perfect A-B needed for circulation, allowing hot air to pass up and out of the top.
Of course being waterproof is a basic necessity, look for tents that utilize a favorable material such as polyethylene, Polyguard or some durable form of Polyester. I would also recommend using a waterproof spray prior to your first use, coat it on during your first test set up at home. It’s inexpensive, easy to use and will add so much more longevity to the tents.
Checking if the ground floor is waterproof on the tent is also key, it will stop the damp coming up through the material. This is key because sometimes the screened rooms come without a floor, or it’s a weaker material. Check that the ground material is the same quality as the tent. If there is any differentiation you can use a camping tarp to floor the screened room, creating an impenetrable ground cover.
A convenient assembly is also ideal. Now if we are talking about the larger tents for dog owners, then it’s down to preference. A pop up or instant tent are of course very convenient and are a good choice when you want to be set up quickly and without hassle. Although if its security over speed you’re after, then consider a traditional tent pole set up.
For the dog tent, personally I would just go for the pop up or instant design models. You’re not going to be leaving pooch out all night in it while you’re camping, so just go for a simple set up to make life easier. The main source of security comes from your main tent or the shelter you create with a tarp.
Camping with your dog will require extra items going in your camping gear. For this reason we will require some additional storage or storage space. Screened rooms make an excellent choice regarding this matter as its shelters and covered 24/7. Additionally, extra storage pockets on the interior of the tent and dog tent would be ideal. So you can store its play things, treats and other toys and trinkets away safely.
What is a Dog Tent?
A dog tent is a miniature sized tent that has been created specifically for dogs or other animals. Utilizing many of the features as a normal tent but on a smaller scale. They are generally waterproof, lightweight and simplistic in design and assembly. The difference in price will be apparent in the design and features of the tent. Ranging from the cheaper, more vulnerable, novelty options that will need sheltering and protection themselves. Up to the tent like quality models that can withstand a fair amount of weather alone.
What is a Tent for Dog Owners?
There are no actual large tents built for dogs, however there are tents that definitely have more features than others that are way more suitable for camping with dogs. We’ve concluded this as being a tent with a porch, annex, awning or screened room. They offer an area that is perfect for camping with your dog, which is sheltered from the sun, wind and rain. The screened room and annex being the most protective, weather wise.
How to Fold a Dog Tent?
Most of them follow the same design as Pop Up Tents and Instant Tents when it comes to assembling the dog tents.
One instant method comes with a simple pre-attached framework that can be extended outwards usually from the center hub. You pull it up and the frame extends with it, keep extending until you hear a click or a snap, this will be the corners or elbows snapping/clicking into position. Fixing the frame in place. Then all that’s left to do is drive some tent stakes through the port holes and tie the guy lines accordingly.
The pop up method is even easier and commonly found among pet tents. A convenient process whereby you just unpack it out of its carry case, throw it into the air and the framework will spring outwards automatically.
Both ways are extremely easy and convenient to set up.
Here is a video example on how to fold a few models. We have a traditional instant or pop up pet tent here.
How to Clean a Dog Tent?
A pretty simple task as long as it’s water resistant, it will be even easier if you use a portable rinse kit for example and just blast it clean with a pressured spray. The breathable material will allow for a fast drying out, just hang it from a try or lay it on a dry surface for an hour or 2.
2 important things to note when cleaning your dog tent is.
1, do not pack it away until it is completely bone dry. A damp tent stuck in its carry bag will produce mold and mildew over time, which will diminish the quality of the tent.
2, do not use any cleaning product that is high in chemicals, this can alter the protective coating that was applied during manufacturing, thus losing its resistant properties. Try to use a tent friendly cleaning product for the best results.
What is the Best Tent for Dog Owners?
As a mini conclusion to our article. We believe the screened rooms are the happy medium in best tents for dog owners. Yes the porch, awning and Annex are nice, but the screened room tent offers the best all round experience, specifically for a camping trip. Yes a porch or awning will suffice for only hot weather of beach trips, but the screened room out performs all for a legit camping trip.
This is because they offer all round protection 24/7, as opposed to the porch and awnings temporary protection, given the missing sidewalls. Yes the annex also has complete protection, but the screened room is better ventilated with cover-able, large meshed panels. The annex is on the interior of the tent, where it’s not possible to have meshed panels, also the center height is lower for annexes, generally speaking.
Screened rooms offer more space for storage and gives the dog a personal space away from your sleeping area, giving you both a peaceful area to sleep.
So our ultimate guide is finished and we want to leave it on this note.
You should not rely solely on the dog tent to protect your dog while camping. Your own tent should be the main source of security for you and your dog. Dog tents can range in quality and yes the more expensive models have many features similar to a large tent, however ideally we wouldn’t leave our dog out in one all night, especially during troublesome weather.
Through quiet, cool weather, okay sure. But otherwise not, this is where we should also utilize some form of additional protection for the dog tent. A simple camping tarp would suffice, creating a solid and waterproofed protective covering. Even better, a screened room tent for reasons mentioned above.
Dog tents do provide however an excellent place for the dog to use as home while on a camping trip.
A place he/she will become familiar with and know that is the place to go when it’s time to rest, shelter from the sun and rain and sleep peacefully.
This also offers you peace of mind as a dog owner, knowing you have the dogs sleeping requirements fully catered for, with human level camping protection.
Inevitably the choice is yours, we hope to have guided you somewhat in your choice to a dog tent and outdoor dog bed. If at minimum learned something new from our FAQ and guide, our job is done.
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