Tips for Going Hammock Camping with Your Dog


Ralph the Dog in an ENO camping hammock.

Spending time outdoors is a way of life for many dog owners and pets. But if you’re into camping hammocks, you may want to keep a few things in mind before you hit the trails with your furry friend.

Dog walking into ENO creek.

Get Your Groom On.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s a great idea to take your dog to a good groomer prior to taking them hammock camping. Not only does a trimmed up, clean coat make it easier to find those pesky ticks, a groomer can save you money in the long run by — believe it or not — helping keep your camping hammock protected. The longer and more unkempt your dog’s claws, the more risky it is to share your hammock with your pet. Long claws can puncture the nylon beds of camping hammocks with ease, particularly during entry/exit.

Dog resting beside my eno camping hammock.
Always Take it Easy.

The first time your dog encounters a camping hammock, you may notice some apprehension. Entering an empty camping hammock is hard for any dog to do alone, and you may find it makes for easier acclimation for your pet to join you after you have already entered the hammock yourself. If you do share a hammock, keep your dog’s and your combined weight in mind, and make sure you aren’t getting excessively close to your hammock’s stated weight limit. You’ll also want to ensure that you’ve hung your camping hammock between two living, strong trees at least 8-10 inches in trunk diameter.

The first few entries and exits from the hammock can make a big impression on your dog. Make sure you or a friend is there to help your pet get in and out easily, and you’ll soon find your pet begging to join you in your camping hammock.

dog-in-camping-hammock-too-near-a-creek
Location is Everything.

While the location above offers a great view of a mountain creek, it’s not ideal for dogs. I was excited to hang my hammock between two trees closely overlooking a creek, and I had no individual difficulty getting in and out of the hammock. But once my dog started trying to get in and out, I realized my mistake: The hammock hung over a sharply declining grade down into the creek, making it extremely treacherous for my dog as he attempted to leap out of the hammock. The varying distance from the ground from one side of the hammock to the other confused him, and he injured his paw slightly from an awkward landing the first time he leapt out.

Lesson learned: Keep your hammock hanging over level ground, and keep it as low to the ground as comfort allows. This helps to minimize the risk of doggy injury. Try to inhibit your adventurous urge to hang your hammock over a spectacular (and dangerous) campsite if your dog is coming along.

My dog in my camping hammock with me.
Enjoy the perks.

If you’re able to win your dog over to the camping hammock lifestyle, you’ll be glad you did. There’s nothing like snuggling with a warm and cuddly dog on a cold night in the woods. Your dog can be your natural heater and guardian against the critters of the night.

A good sleep in a quality camping hammock means more energy on the trails for more adventures, which, in my experience, makes for a happier dog. Be sure to check out all of DFOhome’s great collection of camping hammocks, all of which are available with same-day free shipping.

Happy dog exploring the woods.

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