Camping with pets? Top tips for keeping animals safe near water

With the right precautions taken, everyone can enjoy a holiday, even your four-legged friends.

Camping provides a wonderful opportunity for families to bond, and that includes with your four-legged friend.

Adventures abound during these trips, but constant supervision of children and pets is vital. To ensure the safety of the whole family, consider these helpful tips.

As you’ll find out, a bit of extra security can go a long way.

Looking for pet-friendly BIG4 parks? Find them here 

Camping is a great way to bond with the whole family, including pets.

Use lifejackets, even for your dog

Perhaps the best way to keep animals and children safe near the water on a camping trip is to stay present and vigilant. Keep a sober adult on hand to supervise little ones at the campsite, especially if near lakes, streams, creeks, or rivers.

Kids should always be wearing life jackets while boating or swimming, and it is wise to have adults in life jackets as well.

Why do dogs make the best travel companions? Find out more

Should your dog where a life jacket too? Absolutely!

Even if you think your dog is a strong swimmer, a life jacket is essential. Dogs like to be by your side, but they can tire easily and may end up in harm's way in the blink of an eye without this layer of protection.

It is recommended to have a well-fitted dog life jacket in a bright color so you can spot your canine with ease. Some have reflective material, and look for those with good buoyancy.

These life jackets vary: some have areas for floatation around the back, sides, or belly, and some have a section around the neck to keep the pup's head above water too. You may want one with handles so you can pull your dog out of the water, if required.

Stay vigilant and always supervise children and pets around water.

Help your dog adjust to being on a boat

Always check out your surroundings when camping with pets. Look for potential hazards like fish hooks, fishing line, broken glass, or other items that could harm your animals or children.

It is safest to stick with shallow areas of water to explore, avoiding fast currents, and if there are ‘no swimming’ signs or hints that the water is a safety hazard, move along to another spot.

Never force your pet into the water. If they are anxious or resistant, give them time to acclimatise to being on the watercraft before leaving shore.

Some dogs get anxious or nauseated by the rocking motion of a boat in the water, and the noise of the motor may startle them. They will often adjust and eventually embrace the opportunity to head out on the boat, but ease them into this experience with short trips if it’s new to them.

Not all dogs will be as comfortable near water as this one, so it's important to help them slowly adjust.

Protect your dog from overexerting itself

Many dogs love being in the water, but you need to keep a close eye on them to ensure they don't overdo it.

Dogs can tire quickly, and this is often true of older or smaller dogs. They typically don't understand the ideas of treading water or resting, so stay close to them in case they end up in trouble. In addition, you should be aware of how high or low water temperatures can cause safety issues.

Having a furry companion along on a family camping trip can be a lot of fun, but you do need to be watchful to ensure they stay safe.

A lot of great memories can be built during these trips with your pets, and following a few safety guidelines can help ensure everybody has a fun time.

Dogs can tire quickly, so make sure your pooch doesn't overexert him or herself too quickly!

Do you have any tips for camping with pets, particularly near water? 

Isn’t it time you enjoyed a family break? Book your next BIG4 holiday now.


This article brought to you by Jamie Strand, at

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