How to Get Dog to Eat While Camping

For the most part, dogs do love to camp. After all, they get to enjoy the sights and sounds of the great outdoors. However, on occasion, going camping is such a change of pace for the dog that they struggle to eat. Therefore, our experts decided to put together this guide for dog owners who are struggling to get their furry friends to eat while camping.

how to get dog to eat while camping
How To Get Dog To Eat While Camping

So, how do you get a dog to eat while camping? Most of the time, if you just leave some food out for them, they will eventually eat it. Failing that, just do your best to ensure that the dog is as comfortable as possible with its new routine. As long as the dog isn’t sick, we promise you that they will eat some food eventually.

We do want to expand upon this a little bit. This includes discussing why dogs may struggle to eat while camping in the first place. We also want to go into a bit more depth on how you can encourage your dog to eat while you are camping.

How to Get a Dog to Eat While Camping?

Assuming that your dog does not really seem to be showing any signs that they are sick, the best thing you can do is just wait it out. Leave food and water out for your dog. Go about your day as normal. Well, as normal as it can be while you are out camping. Eventually, your dog will end up eating the food because they are hungry.

At the start, you should at least try to follow your normal routine as much as possible. So, if you feed your dog at certain times of the day, then make sure that you feed them at roughly the same time of day while you are out camping.

You may also find that doing your best to try and keep your dog comfortable will go a long way. A lot of people find that pampering their pet, or at least playing with them a lot, is enough to make the dog feel comfortable enough about camping. It helps to calm the dog down, and they are more likely to slip into their standard routine when this happens.

If you can, you should always try to ensure that your dog is eating the same food while camping as they would do while they are at home. A lot of people who take their dog camping just pick up whatever food they can from the store. However, dogs can be quite picky eaters, and this may be the reason why they are not huge fans of eating while out and about.

If you really are struggling to get them to eat, then at least give them a couple of treats here and there. This will help you to determine whether they are sick, and it will also allow you to keep your dog’s energy levels up.

Couple Eating Together at the Campsite with Dogs
Couple Eating Together at the Campsite with Dogs

Why Do Dogs Not Eat While Camping?

Dogs love routine. Chances are that they are not eating because camping is a huge break from their normal routine. They don’t have their normal living area, and it may be tough for them to know what is happening. Thankfully, most dogs will settle into the new routine rather quickly.

If your dog is more of a solitary dog or perhaps a timid dog, then the thought of being outside, constantly surrounded by people, maybe somewhat intimidating for them. This may be especially true if you have brought other people along on your camping trip. Once again, it is likely that your dog will be able to settle into everything eventually. However, it may take a little bit more time with some dogs.


How long can a dog go without eating?

While a dog can go without eating for 5 days, if they are not eating for any longer than 2 days, this could indicate that they are sick. This means that you will need to take them to the veterinarian. A dog cannot go without water for more than a day.

Can you feed your dog ‘human food’ while camping?

You can. However, bear in mind that it may not contain all of the nutrients that your dog needs. Ideally, you should give them some dog food each day. If you want to give them a bit of food from the BBQ as a ‘camping treat’ then feel free to do so but please make sure the meat doesn’t have any barbecue sauce and is not overly fatty or spicy. It can lead to vomit or diarrhea. However, this should not be their main diet while you are out camping.

Will my dog improve their eating habits the more I camp?

Yes. Once your dog gets used to the idea of camping, their eating habits will improve. This means eventually they will just eat because they know exactly what to expect from the camping trip.

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.