dog in tent

Can You Leave A Dog Alone In The Tent?

So you are planning your next camping trip and are now wondering whether it is possible to leave your dog alone in the tent? We recently asked ourselves the same question.

Camping with a dog is a beautiful experience that welds you and your dog together. You’re together in nature, you’re flexible, your dog is happy because he gets a lot of action, and at night you can both sleep snuggled together in a tent, could it be even nicer?

The thing is, what do you do when your dog can’t go everywhere, for example to the swimming pool or the shower? If you are staying at a hotel or Airbnb, you can safely leave your dog in the room for a few hours. It’s a little different in a tent.

While it is possible to leave a dog alone in a tent while camping, some precautions must be taken. Especially in summer you should never leave your dog in the tent during the day.

However, it can be a good idea to give your dog some time off from time to time. Especially when hiking, camping and / or backpacking, he is on his feet all day and cannot rest as much as he normally would. So it’s important that you give him the opportunity to rest a bit by letting him be a little while you do something else like washing dishes, showering, etc…

What is there to consider?

Regulations for the campsite
Most campsites have fairly strict rules about dogs. That means they may forbid leaving a dog unattended. If you have taken all of the precautions listed below and your dog does not make himself loud, you can risk leaving your dog alone in the tent without anyone noticing. This should be fine if it’s only for a few minutes, such as when showering. To be on the safe side, it is better to always ask the groundskeeper in advance. If you want more freedom, consider wild camping. But be careful: this is not allowed everywhere.

Your dog’s character
First of all, it must be said that a separation anxiety dog ​​is likely to have a very difficult time being left behind in a tent. I know this because Baloo suffers from separation anxiety. It works really well once he gets used to a place. Then he can relax pretty well and sleep for several hours. In new places it always takes a few days to get used to. Imagine what it would be like in a tent where you are constantly changing places and where smells and sounds could change every day. That would easily lead to panic. And even the strongest tent probably wouldn’t last long if panicked dog teeth start working on it! Therefore, in your own interest, I recommend you and your dog not to leave your dog in the tent when camping if he suffers from separation anxiety. If you need to do something nearby, you better attach it to a tree or something where it can still see you, and vice versa. In this way your tent remains intact and your little one relaxed.

Choose the right tent

Winter tent
Does your dog feel good when you are away? Great, let’s take a look at the next step: the right tent. To be honest, when I think of camping with a tent, I think of summer or at least warmer temperatures that never freeze. So I’m thinking of a pretty light and thin tent that you can take with you. But it is also possible to camp in winter with a so-called winter tent. These winter tents have a thicker insulating layer that can keep the heat inside the tent and not dissipate the heat to the outside as quickly.

These tents are super stable and big because you have an oven inside to keep it warm. It’s actually more like a bungalow with a soft wall I would say. You definitely need a car to transport it or go somewhere they are already installed.

Considering they are so sturdy, it’s entirely possible to leave your dog in there for a while. Make sure, however, that you have put enough wood in the fire so that the temperature does not drop too low. I recommend trying it out for a few hours with the stove on so you know how much wood it takes to keep it warm. If you have one with a generator, you should also make sure it doesn’t get too hot. You don’t want your puppy to overheat in it!

Summer tent
Have you ever camped in the summer and woke up to the first rays of sunshine? It’s nice isn’t it? But sleeping in is out of the question. As soon as the sun is in the sky, your tent will quickly turn into a sauna! I think it’s really interesting how quickly it heats up. It can be quite chilly at night, but when the sun comes up it gets unbearably hot almost immediately. So what does this mean if you want to leave your dog in a tent while camping in the summer? Exactly, that’s not a good idea!

It’s like leaving your dog in the car. You can do it, but only if you are absolutely certain that the temperature in the car does not exceed 77 degrees Fahrenheit. So I would never leave my dog ​​in the sun in the car, even in winter! The sun can still heat it up, regardless of the outside temperature.

So if I wanted to camp in the summer, I wouldn’t leave my dog ​​in the tent until the sun has set. During the day, I’d rather tie him up somewhere out in the shade near you. That way he’s nice and cool. Never leave your dog tied up unattended!

If he is too big to sleep with you in the same tent, you can get him his own tent.


Okay, your dog is tired, doesn’t have separation anxiety, and the temperature in the tent is just right. What else do you have to think about?

Just like at home, always have enough water available.

Safe location
Would you leave your dog in a tent that you know wild animals are around? Well, I definitely don’t! Always look around and make sure there are no dangerous animals around that could pose a threat to your dog. This is particularly important for small dogs that have no chance against a bear, wolf or the like.

Also, make sure your tent isn’t under a dead tree that could fall off branches (that’s in your best interest, too).

Dog box
In the event that you are going to a campsite with your little one, it might be a good idea to bring their sleeping box with you. That will make it a lot easier to leave him in the tent because he sure won’t destroy it.

Maximum duration
If you stay close, it’s okay to leave your dog alone in the tent for 2 or 3 hours so he can catch up on some sleep. If you go out of earshot, I would limit it to about an hour. A tent just isn’t as stable as a concrete house, so there are just a lot of risks that can crop up. Even if there are no wild animals around, the weather could change, other dogs could appear, or the temperature could change.

Alternative: camping with the motorhome

If you need more flexibility and want to leave your dog on the campsite at all times, you could also consider a camping trip with the motorhome. A motorhome has the great advantage that it will quickly smell like your home. This should help your dog relax. Therefore, you can leave a dog in there who has mild separation anxiety. You can also set the temperature more easily when the air conditioning or heating is switched on. So in a motorhome it’s really much easier to leave your dog alone for a while while you do other things.


Yes, it is possible to leave your dog alone in the tent when camping. But with certain precautionary measures I think it is not a problem to leave your dog in the tent for a few minutes to an hour if the points listed above are followed. But I wouldn’t do it for several hours as tents aren’t as stable as houses. This means that unpredictable things like the weather or other dogs can quickly become a threat to your dog.

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