How Do You Protect Your Dog From Other Animal Attacks Whilst Camping?

Miranda Merchant 

Going camping is an exciting activity for both you and your dog. The change of scenery, fresh air, and bonding opportunity will bring the both of you a new lease of life.

One part to camping that at times may not be completely controllable is the presence of other animals. Whether this be other dogs, birds, or animals that roam, your dog can be vulnerable to their attacks.

Key Learnings:

From reading this article you can learn:

  • How to keep your dog safe whilst camping
  • What animals are in the wild that can attack your dog
  • What to do during an attack
  • What to do after an attack

What Animals Can Attack Whilst Camping?

The world is full of different species of animal. What you find at your campsite is dependent upon where in the globe you are.

The non-exhaustive list below will identify what animals you may find whilst camping in America.

  • Coyotes –

Living in North America, coyotes choose to kill rather than maim other animals. When camping, refrain from letting your dog out overnight and do not leave out food which may attract.

  • Snakes –

Not always visible, pit vipers are venomous and will attack when disturbed in grasses. A North American occurrence, a bite can cause immobility rather than death. You must take your dog to a vet as soon as possible after the bite.

  • Raccoons –

More of a presence in areas of urbanity, concerns for your dog from raccoons come from the diseases that they may carry. Keep your area free from food so as to reduce the chances of them being attracted to your campsite.

  • Squirrels –

Residing in areas of nature, they do not appreciate being chased and will cause injury when frightened in such a manner. Although squirrels will not kill, seeking attention from a vet may be required after a nip or scratch.

  • Rats –

An occurrence all over the world. They’re cunning and carry disease which is the biggest concern for your dog. If attacked by one, seeking guidance from a vet may be required.

How Do You Keep Your Dog Safe During An Attack?

Seeing your dog attacked is an incredibly upsetting situation. If you decide to intervene, make sure you are not placing yourself in danger.

If your dog is being attacked by a large, vicious animal, intervening may not be an option.

If you can intervene, one of the more hands-on approaches to keeping your dog safe is by using a large stick or collapsible baton. Please read the steps below on how you could intervene during an attack.

  1.  Try and get the other animal away from your dog by distracting the animal.
  2. Bang something like a stick, baton, or anything that is large and can make a loud noise, to attract the animal.
  3. Place a long object like your stick, baton, or another object between your dog and animal to try and break them apart. If you can spray the animal with water, this is also something you can try to distract the animal.
  4. If the attack is still happening and if you know you would not be putting yourself in danger, you can quickly pull the animal’s rear haunch or legs up and away, to put space between your dog and the animal.
  5. When your dog is away from the fight or when the fight ceases, pick the dog up if you can, and slowly and quietly, walk away.

When the fight is over and if medical intervention is required, contact your vet and/or attend the vet centre so that your dog can be treated.

How Do You Prevent An Attack On Your Dog?

It’s only natural to want to allow your dog off the leash when out camping or hiking. This is still allowed but be mindful of where you are and what might be lurking. If you know you are walking in an area of a particular animal that can attack, put your dog back on the leash.

Sometimes, an attack isn’t preventable. You cannot prevent the unexpected and an already unhappy species of wildlife may choose your dog regardless of whether it was a participant or not. If this happens and your dog is attacked, have the telephone number of your vet saved on your phone and contact them for guidance as soon as possible.

Carry pepper spray or a water and vinegar solution that you can spray at the animal, to try and fend them off. Pepper spray will irritate the eyes and skin. However, this method may also cause back spray in both your and your dog’s faces.

Although intervening may be what you want to do, sometimes, this isn’t an option. Don’t forget to keep yourself safe too.

What Do You Do After An Attack?

After an upsetting circumstance such as this, try and stay calm. If your dog needs medical assistance, call and/or attend your vet.

a dog attacked by wild animal


If your dog has not been injured, call your dog away and take them back to the campsite or, if the attack happened at the campsite, take yourself and your dog away from the scene for a few minutes to allow your dog time to calm down.

If you’re staying at a campsite owned by a particular nature reserve, company, or private owner, contact them to report the incident and heed any advice or next steps that they may give you.

How Do You Keep Your Dog Safe Whilst Camping?

Before even heading out on your trip, make sure your dog is up to date with its vaccinations. If your dog is attacked, it may help prevent or alleviate the occurrence of disease and infections.

If your campsite has rules, follow them. They’re there for a reason!

Be in the know of your dog’s behaviour. If they have a short temperament, be mindful of when you’re out walking or mixing with other animals. Using a leash is one of the best ways to keep control when other wildlife is in the vicinity.

There are dog first aid kits available. Having one in your backpack could help for any minor scrapes.


Animal attacks can be preventable if you take heed of campsite rules, know your dog’s behaviour, and use leashes. They’re not however, easy to spot.

If an attack happens, keep yourself safe, try and take your dog away or distract the animal from the dog’s interest.

Seek assistance if your dog is injured and make a report to the relevant body, reserve or campsite owner, to make a record of the incident.

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