The Best Tents for Dog Owners

The Best Tents for Dog Owners

I’ve always enjoyed camping, but I’ve never taken a dog with me, and so it got me wondering, how do you choose the best tents for dog owners?

I decided to do a little research, as I now have dogs, and it would be lovely to take them with me when I go camping. But what are the issues? Dogs have a habit of chewing and clawing at things, which would be a disaster in a tent. And then, of course, dogs tend to bark a little, which would upset my camping neighbors. We can’t recommend cures for barking dogs, but we can look at some of the best tents for dog owners.

Choosing the best tent for a dog owner is difficult, as the tents vary widely in size and specification. However, the Mobihome 6 person tent offers space, with great ventilation at a reasonable price.

Our Selection of The 10 Best Tents for Dog Owners:

1. Coleman Sundome Tent

Pros

  • Price
  • Weight
  • Tested in winds up to 35 mph

Cons

  • No vestibule or porch

The sturdy Coleman Sundome tent is great for one or two people with a dog. It may not have a huge amount of space, but it makes up for that in lightweight and price, from a quality brand such as Coleman.

The Sundome is great where space for carrying the tent is an issue, as it packs down small, but inside measures 7 feet by 5 feet when erected. The tent is available in sizes for 2 to 6 people, so bigger groups will find the right one for them.

One good point when camping with your dog is that the groundsheet is particularly strong and will resist tearing. With mesh windows and a ground vent, there’s plenty of ventilation to keep your dog cool and remove doggy smells.

2. Coleman Dome Tent for Camping

Pros

  • Internal size
  • Waterproof
  • Darkroom technology to keep light out
  • Large porch area

Cons

  • Price
  • Packed size

Staying with Coleman, this is a larger version of their dome tent that includes a vestibule area, which could be perfect for a well-behaved dog. The tent comes in two sizes, for four or six people, and the extra space will be welcome when you camp with your four-legged friend.

This Coleman is more expensive, but it comes packed with features. The tent material uses Coleman’s darkroom technology to block up to 90% of light entering the tent. This keeps it cool and also allows you to sleep in past sunrise.

Putting the tent up takes around 15 minutes, as it’s a standard design, not pop-up, but once erected, it’s waterproof and able to stand winds of over 35 mph.

3. Coleman 2-Person Pop-Up Tent

Pros

  • Large side entrance 
  • Waterproof
  • Very quick to pitch
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not the strongest material

Yet another Coleman tent, but they do offer well-made tents with quality materials. This one is a 2-person pop-up that has a lot of space for one person and their dog, plus a large side entrance, perfect for the larger dogs.

From arrival at the campsite to putting your furry friend inside, can be as little as 10 seconds! The downside is that the material is not as strong as other tents, as it’s designed for the pop-up and lightweight style. But if your dog is well-behaved, then this isn’t an issue.

The polyester flysheet is waterproof, all the seams are protected from water, and the groundsheet is has taped seams to keep you and your pet dry.

4. HUI LINGYANG 4 Person Easy Pop Up Tent

Pros

  • Two large entrances 
  • Waterproof
  • Sets up in seconds
  • Loads of space

Cons

  • No porch or vestibule

This is another pop-up tent but from well-known manufacturer Hui Lingyang. It can sleep up to four people, but it would be excellent for two people and one or two dogs.

There are windows on both sides, with mesh screens to keep the insects out, and two doors, one at each end. The doors give added flexibility when dealing with dogs in the tent. With all the openings, there is plenty of cross ventilation to keep you and your dogs cool.

As with other pop-up tents, there is a trade-off with the strength of the material. If your dog tends to scratch at things, then this probably isn’t a good choice for you.

5. HUI LINGYANG 4 Person Pop Up Tent with Porch

Pros

  • Large D-shaped entrance
  • Sets up in 60 seconds
  • Large porch area
  • Strong 210D floor material

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a separate flysheet

Another four-person pop-up tent from Hui Lingyang, but this time with a porch on the front. The addition of the porch reduces the internal space of the tent, but it could be a great space for your dog during the night.

The tent can be pitched in about 60 seconds, so great when you arrive on a wet and cold day. Inside, there are a number of useful features, such as the storage pockets for personal items, and a light hook in the center of the roof.

The large D-shaped door allows easy access, plus three large mesh windows provide plenty of ventilation. Ground ventilation adds to the airflow, reducing condensation build-up and removing smells.

6. Coleman Montana Tent with Easy Setup

Pros

  • Large D-shaped entrance
  • Entrance awning
  • Heavy-duty material

Cons

  • Large and heavy when packed away

Moving on to larger tents, where space is the aim, this Coleman eight-person tent has masses of room. With an internal space of 16 by 7 feet and a height of 6 feet 2 inches, most people can even stand up inside.

It’s not a pop-up tent, but a more traditional style with sliding rods that go through eyes on the inner tent, so it takes about 15 minutes to put up.

But once pitched, there is a large D-shaped door on one side, a large awning over the entrance, internal storage pockets, and mesh ventilation windows at each end.

But the biggest advantage of this model for dog owners is that it’s made of double thickness material, which should help to prevent damage from claws.

7. UNP 6 Person Easy Setup Family Camping Tent

Pros

  • Double-layered material for strength
  • Large d-shaped door
  • Five ventilation windows, plus ground ventilation

Cons

  • Very large when folded down
  • Weight

The UNP is large enough for six people and has an interesting design. Basically, a square tent measuring 10 feet by 9 feet, and a 6.5 feet center height, this large tent is perfect for families with dogs.

For added strength, the supporting poles are made of steel, plus the outer material is strong 185T polyester, which should stand up well to your furry friend’s attention.

There are five windows, all with mesh vents, plus two roof vents to create a chimney effect, drawing damp air out of the tent and reducing condensation.

The only real downside to this tent is the size when it’s folded down, but the benefits of size may outweigh this drawback.

8. UNP 10 Person Camping Tent

Pros

  • Strong 185T material throughout
  • Two large d-shaped doors
  • Five-minute pitching with two people

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Large packed size

Staying with UNP tents, but looking at one of their larger versions, their 10-person camping tent offers a huge amount of space.

Once pitched, the internal space measures 18 feet by almost 10 feet, and by using the divider curtain, the tent can be split into two separate compartments, each with its own entrance. This is perfect for families, allowing the kids to have their own space away from the adults.

The whole of the roof is made in mesh material allowing plenty of ventilation, plus there are mesh windows and floor ventilation.

For space and features, the UNP is good value, and great for your dogs, but the large folded down size may put some people off.

9. OT QOMOTOP 4 Person Pop up Tent

Pros

  • Instant pop-up tent
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Two entrances

Cons

  • Large packed size

The OT QOMOTOP 4 person tent has been designed with ventilation in mind, which with dogs inside is a big advantage. It’s also an instant pop-up tent that can be pitched in just 10 seconds, which is perfect when it’s raining, and you just want to get in the dry! Collapsing the tent is quick as well, taking just a minute or two.

There are four large mesh windows on the sides, plus two roof vents, and two mesh doors, allowing plenty of fresh air in to reduce condensation and remove doggy smells.

The tent has been tested in winds of up to 35 mph and with 100% waterproofing, it can be used in all seasons.

10. Mobihome 6 Person Tent

Pros

  • Instant setup tent
  • Very large side entrance
  • Roof vents for good airflow

Cons

  • Large packed size

The Mobihome is another large, instant setup tent that can be ready to use in minutes. It is built from strong 190T polyester, with a strong waterproof floor panel.

The complete roof of the inner tent is made from a mesh material, giving fantastic ventilation, plus there are three mesh windows and a large mesh door panel. This is not a tent that’s going to suffer from condensation.

An awning over the entrance adds a little extra weather protection, while the flysheet and floor material are both waterproof.

For a family of four with a dog or two, this will provide plenty of space and a comfortable sleeping area.

What to look for when buying a tent for a dog

The materials used

Camping with a dog brings some special requirements, and the first you must consider is what your tent is made from. Buy the cheap, end-of-line tent at your local store, and the chances are you’ll wake up with an extra ventilation hole in the side. A dog’s claws will make short work of thin tent material and is ultimately a waste of money.

Ease of washing

Everyone loves their dogs, including me, but there’s no way around it, dogs smell. Particularly when they are wet, which is quite likely when you are camping. For this reason, it’s essential that you can clean the material easily.

Weight and dimensions

This is going to be a compromise, particularly if you are trail hiking. When hiking, you want the lightest possible tent, which usually means it will be small. Not great for a dog unless it’s very small. On the other hand, if you are driving from campsite to campsite, then the weight isn’t an issue, so go for a larger tent than normal to give your pooch, and you, some extra space.

Price

It’s fair to say price is not always an indication of quality, however, if you are spending just $20 or $30 on a tent from one of the chain grocery stores, you can’t expect it to stand up to your dogs scratching. Pay a little more, and buy a branded tent, and the materials are going to be much better, and should last a while.

FAQs

Can a dog sleep in a tent?

This is going to depend very much on your dog. If your dog is well-behaved and obedient, then there won’t be a problem, but if it’s prone to clawing and chewing, then your tent can very quickly be ruined.

One very important point is that you should never leave your dog alone in a tent when you are away from the campsite.

What makes a tent dog friendly?

There are several points to bear in mind here, but in the end, there is a compromise between internal space, weight, material strength, and speed of pitching the tent:

  • A strong floor panel. A dog’s nails can easily put a hole in your tent floor, so aim for a tent with a thick floor groundsheet, or lay another groundsheet on top.
  • Ventilation. Dogs can overheat quickly in a stuffy tent, so make sure there is plenty of ventilation for summer use.
  • Insulation. For winter camping, go for a well-insulated tent, and one that’s rated for low temperatures.
  • Easy to clean. Dogs have a distinctive and strong smell, particularly when they are wet. You’ll need to clean your tent regularly to keep on top of this.
  • Consider a pop-up tent. Being able to quickly erect your tent will be a bonus when you have a dog with you.

How can I protect my tent from my dog?

The easiest thing is to make sure your dog’s nails are trimmed just before you go. That will certainly help. Second, bring an extra groundsheet or tarpaulin to lay on the floor. Beyond that, there’s probably not a lot else you can do.

Should I get a separate tent for my dog?

That will depend on your dog. If they are used to sleeping separately from you in a cage, then sleeping in their own tent shouldn’t pose an issue. If not, and the dog want’s to be close to you, then you may wake up to not one, but two tents with holes in! Perhaps a tent with a large awning area would be suitable for your dog?

Final Thoughts

Although there are tents made specifically for dogs to sleep in by themselves, none of the manufacturers of normal tents put out any claims for being dog proof. It’s understandable when you consider the materials being used are generally kept lightweight so the tent isn’t too hevy when packed up.

That said, if you buy a quality brand, this will help, plus some do offer reinforced tent material and stronger floor panels. What you need ultimately depends on the size of your dog and how well behaved it is.

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Martin Parker
Written by
Martin Parker