Benefits of Pet Friendly Camping: Why You Should Accommodate Furry Companions

Camping is a beloved pastime in North America and around the world. It gives people the opportunity to connect with nature further and experience beautiful slices of paradise. But these days, families aren’t just packing up the kids to go camping; they are also bringing their dogs and sometimes even their cats!

A recent survey on pet camping indicates that more than half of American campers brought their pets along with them on a recent camping trip. Dogs were the most popular furry companion to bring, but some people said they brought their cats, and more ambitious campers brought along their other companions—including Guinea pigs, box turtles, chickens, and parrots.

Many hotels and Airbnb properties have already embraced the idea of allowing guests to bring their pets, but most stick to dogs or cats. The Park Hyatt Vienna in Austria even takes it a step further by offering specific amenities that cater to their furry guests. From walks to tickets to the Opera, the five-star experience promised by the hospitality provider extends seamlessly to your pet. 

While it might be unreasonable to expect the same luxury treatment at a campground, you can make small adjustments to your business to better accommodate your guests’ furry companions, potentially increasing bookings at the same time.

Most campgrounds have rules to ensure that you, the other guests staying at the campground, and everyone’s pets stay safe, healthy, and happy. These rules often include limits on the number of pets you can bring with you, pet size restrictions (e.g., dogs must be under 50 lbs), or restrictions on the types of pets allowed (e.g., no rats or turtles).

In this article, we put on our camping gear and explore more about pet friendly camping so that you can make an informed decision about whether accepting pets at your campsite is the best option for your business and your guests. 

Benefits of Pet Friendly Camping Sites

For many, the camping experience isn’t complete without their furry friends by their side. Recognizing this, more and more campgrounds are embracing pet friendly policies. Offering pet friendly camping cabins or sites can not only enhance the camping experience for pet owners but also provide distinct advantages for the campground operators. Below, we explore the benefits of pet friendly camping sites.

1. Increases Booking Potential

One of the most significant benefits of offering pet friendly camping sites is the increased booking potential. As pet ownership continues to rise, so does the demand for pet-inclusive travel options. By accommodating pets, campgrounds tap into a broader market, attracting not just traditional campers but also pet owners who are specifically looking for places where their animals are welcome.

2. Attracting a Wider Audience

Pet-friendly sites appeal to a significant segment of the population. According to one survey on taking pets camping, a large percentage of pet owners consider their pets as family members and are more likely to choose destinations that welcome these furry family members. By marketing to this demographic, campgrounds can attract visitors who might otherwise have passed them by in favor of more accommodating options.

3. Enhances Online Presence

Campgrounds that offer pet friendly camping cabins or sites tend to fare better in online searches and reviews. Pet owners are vocal and appreciative when they find locations that cater to their needs, often sharing their experiences through social media and review platforms like TripAdvisor and Yelp. Positive reviews and increased online visibility can lead to more bookings and higher occupancy rates.

4. Encourages Longer Stays

Pet owners are more likely to extend their stays if they find the environment welcoming for their pets. This can lead to increased revenue per booked customer, as extended stays often mean more money spent on-site amenities and services.

5. Higher Rates

Campgrounds that offer pet friendly amenities have the justification to charge higher rates than those that do not. Pet owners understand and appreciate the value of finding a location that caters to their specific needs and are often willing to pay a premium for pet friendly accommodations.

“We figure out what the boarding rate in the area is. If it’s around $35/night—our pet fee will be $35/night per pet. When you have a guest with 2 pets staying for a week, you do the math. So not only are they having a great guest experience because they were able to bring their pet—you’re Cha Ching, Cha Ching—making money!

– Kathleen Walsh, Advanced Outdoor Solutions

  • Justification for premium pricing: The additional services required to maintain pet friendly sites, such as pet waste stations, dog parks, and special cleaning protocols, can justify higher site rates. Campers who are pet owners expect to pay more for the convenience and peace of mind that these amenities provide.
  • Increasing revenue through additional services: Beyond just higher rates for sites, campgrounds can also offer specialized pet-related services for an additional fee. These might include pet sitting, grooming services, or even pet-centric activities like dog agility courses or guided walks. This not only enhances revenue but also improves the overall guest experience, making the campground a more attractive choice for pet owners.

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Special Considerations for Pet Friendly Camping Cabins and Pet Friendly Beach Camping 


Offering pet friendly accommodations at campgrounds, whether in cabins or at beachside campsites, can greatly enhance the appeal of a camping destination. However, managing these amenities comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. 

Campground operators need to navigate specific regulations, address increased cleanup needs, implement effective signage, and consider additional amenities and products that could enhance the experience for pet owners. Here, we explore these special considerations that can help ensure a smooth integration of pet friendly services and elevate the overall camping experience.

1. Regulations to be Aware of 

Operating pet friendly camping sites requires adherence to certain regulations that can vary by location and type of accommodation:

Local and State Laws

It’s crucial for campground operators to familiarize themselves with local and state laws regarding pets in public and private accommodations. This includes understanding leash laws, noise ordinances, and any breed-specific legislation that could affect which pets are allowed.

Health and Safety Standards

Campgrounds must comply with health and safety regulations designed to protect both pets and humans. This can involve ensuring all pet friendly cabins and beach areas are free from harmful pests and chemicals and maintaining proper sanitation standards to prevent the spread of disease.

2. Increased Clean-up Needs

Pet-friendly accommodations inevitably lead to increased cleanup needs. Addressing these effectively can prevent minor issues from becoming major inconveniences:

Designated Pet Waste Stations

Providing clearly marked pet waste stations with bags and disposal bins helps ensure that guests clean up after their pets. Regular maintenance of these stations is essential to promote usage and hygiene.

Enhanced Cleaning Protocols for Cabins

For cabins that accommodate pets, enhanced cleaning protocols are necessary. This includes deep cleaning between guest stays to remove pet hair and odors, potentially involving specialized cleaning products or services.

3. Pet Signage

Effective signage plays a key role in managing pet friendly accommodations:

Rules and Regulations

Clear signage regarding pet policies, including leash requirements, noise control, and designated pet areas, helps ensure that all guests are aware of the rules and can help enforce them.

Wayfinding Signs

Signs that direct pet owners to designated pet friendly areas, waste stations, and amenities are essential for easy navigation and can enhance the guest experience.

4. Amenities and Upsell Products for Campers

Offering specialized amenities and products can significantly enhance the attractiveness of a campground for pet owners:

Pet-Friendly Amenities

Investing in pet-specific amenities such as fenced dog parks, pet friendly trails, and even a pet washing station can make a campground stand out. These amenities not only improve the stay for the pet but also add convenience for the owner.

Upsell Opportunities

There’s a potential to increase revenue by offering pet-related products for sale or rent. This can include items like pet beds, bowls, toys, and even pet strollers for beachside locations. Additionally, offering services like pet daycare or guided pet friendly excursions can appeal to those looking for a more relaxed or adventurous experience with their pets.

5. Campground Rules Regarding Pets

It’s important to establish your own rules when it comes to creating a camping pet friendly experience for your guests. Aside from encouraging cleanliness, safety should also be incorporated into any ruleset you create. Here is a a great example of pet friendly camping rules established by the government of Ontario in Canada for their pet friendly provincial campsites:

  • Keep a dog on a leash at all times (the rule states that the leash must be less than two metres or 6.5 feet, but you can use your own discretion based on your local and state laws).
  • Pick up and dispose of your dog’s waste (feces) in a trash can. It’s a good idea to provide doggy bags for your guests via a doggy bag dispenser or post so that your guests have easy access to trash bags for their dog. 
  • Keep your dog from harassing or chasing wildlife. Not everyone will have a well-trained dog, but it’s important to encourage guests to keep their distance from wildlife for safety reasons. Enforcing leashing will help with this rule as well. 
  • Designate one area of a beach for dogs. Not every guest will feel comfortable lounging on the beach with dogs running around, and having dogs in an area with small children and other individuals can be a safety risk. If you have a beach area that’s large enough, consider dedicating one area to guests who want to bring their dog. 
  • Keep noise to a minimum. All dogs bark, but excessive barking can disturb other dogs and guests. Encourage your guests to do what they can to keep their dog quiet, especially during nighttime hours. 

Is Offering Pet-Friendly Camping Profitable?

Offering pet friendly camping options can indeed be profitable for campground operators. The decision to include pet friendly amenities aligns with increasing consumer demand and offers several avenues for revenue growth and competitive advantage. Here are key factors that highlight the profitability of offering pet friendly camping:

1.  Ability to Charge Premium Rates

Campgrounds that offer pet friendly amenities can justify charging higher rates. Pet owners understand the value provided by these accommodations and are often willing to pay a premium for the convenience and peace of mind that their pets are welcome and well-catered for. This includes not only the site fee but also potential upcharges for pet-specific amenities.

Let’s say that you have 200 campsites and you charge a pet fee of $35 per night. If only 20% of those sites bring one pet, that’s an additional $1,400 per night—which, if you have a camping season of 4 months, works out to an additional $170,000 for the season!

2. Enhanced Competitive Edge

Offering pet friendly services can distinguish a campground or resort from its competitors. In areas where multiple campsites compete for the same demographic, Pet friendly camping resorts can be a decisive factor for pet owners. This competitive edge helps in not only attracting first-time visitors but also in fostering repeat business. You can even include pet-friendly amenities as upsells in your reservation system.

3. Additional Revenue Streams

Pet friendly camping resorts can create additional revenue streams through upsell opportunities:

  • Pet fees: Many campgrounds charge a pet fee which can be a fixed rate per stay or a daily charge. This fee can cover the costs associated with additional cleaning and maintenance.
  • Pet amenities and rentals: Offering pet gear rentals like leashes, bowls, or beds, and selling pet-specific products such as treats, toys, and waste bags can significantly boost profits.
  • Special services: Services such as pet sitting, grooming, or dedicated pet activities can attract additional fees.

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4. Marketing and Brand Loyalty

Campgrounds that are pet friendly often benefit from enhanced marketing opportunities. Pet owners are likely to share their positive experiences on social media, review sites, and through word-of-mouth, providing free or low-cost publicity. Furthermore, the emotional bond pet owners share with their pets translates into strong brand loyalty; satisfied guests are more likely to return and recommend the campground to other pet owners.

5. Community and Environmental Benefits

Being pet friendly can also align a campground with community values, particularly those emphasizing inclusivity and environmental responsibility. Providing spaces for pets reduces the likelihood of illegal pet entries that can lead to disturbances or environmental damage. This responsible management can enhance the campground’s reputation, thus making it more appealing to more potential guests. 

Pros and Cons of Offering Pet Friendly Camping Sites


Offering pet friendly camping sites can be a strategic decision for campground operators, as it caters to a growing demographic of pet owners who like to travel with their pets. However, this decision comes with both advantages and challenges. The table below provides a closer look at the pros and cons of offering pet friendly camping sites:

Pros of Offering Pet Friendly CampingCons of Offering Pet Friendly Camping
Increased customer base: By accommodating pets, campgrounds can attract a broader audience. Pet owners are often looking for locations that welcome their furry friends, and this can be a deciding factor in choosing a camping site.Additional maintenance and clean-up: Pets can cause additional wear and tear on the facilities. This includes potential damage to furniture, landscaping, and the need for more frequent cleanup of pet waste and fur, which can increase maintenance costs.
Higher revenue potential: Pet-friendly sites can charge premium rates. Many pet owners are willing to pay extra for the convenience and peace of mind that their pets are welcome. Additionally, campgrounds can offer special pet-related services and products for an additional fee, such as pet daycare, grooming, or specialized pet gear.Noise and other disturbances: Pets, particularly dogs, can create noise through barking, which might disturb other campers. There’s also the potential for pets to escape supervision and wander into other campsites, causing disturbances or even safety issues.
Enhanced customer loyalty: Pet owners appreciate and often return to venues that accommodate their needs. Positive experiences can lead to repeat business, referrals, and favorable reviews, which are invaluable for building a loyal customer base and enhancing the campground’s reputation.Allergies and phobias: Some guests may have allergies or phobias related to animals. Having pets around could negatively impact these guests’ camping experiences, potentially limiting the appeal for that segment of the market.
Marketing advantage: Marketing a campground as pet friendly can differentiate it from competitors who do not offer similar amenities. It also provides content opportunities for promotions on social media, blogs, and other marketing channels focused on pet friendly travel.Liability issues: Allowing pets increases the risk of incidents or injuries, such as bites or scratches, to other guests or staff. This can lead to liability issues and potentially higher insurance costs.
Longer stays: Campgrounds that accommodate pets may see longer average stays as pet owners seek to maximize their travel experiences with their animals. This can lead to increased overall booking value per visit.

Marketing Tips for the Best Pet Friendly Camping Sites

Marketing pet friendly camping sites effectively requires a strategic approach that highlights your campground’s unique benefits and addresses the specific needs of pet owners. By providing valuable information and enhancing the appeal of your offerings, you can attract more guests who are eager to enjoy a camping experience with their furry friends. 

Pet Friendly Camping Amenities

Here are some marketing tips focused on promoting pet friendly amenities:

  • Showcase unique features: Promote any unique pet friendly amenities that set your campground apart, such as dog parks, pet washing stations, or dedicated trails for dog walking. Use high-quality images and videos in your marketing materials to show pets and their owners enjoying these facilities.
  • Leverage social media: Utilize social media platforms to engage with pet owners. Share photos and videos of pets enjoying the campground, post user-generated content, and create hashtags specific to your pet friendly amenities. This not only increases engagement but also serves as social proof to potential customers.
  • Create targeted ads: Develop online advertising campaigns targeting pet owners. Use keywords such as “pet friendly camping sites” and “traveling with pets” to attract traffic to your website. Consider using platforms like Facebook where you can target users who have shown interest in pet-related activities.
  • Collaborate with pet influencers: Partner with pet influencers on social media to reach a wider audience. These influencers can provide authentic endorsements and share their experiences at your campground with their followers.
  • Offer special promotions: Run promotions or discounts specifically for guests who bring pets. For example, offer a percentage off the stay if guests book a certain number of nights with a pet, or provide a free pet welcome kit upon check-in.

Camping Ground Pet Friendly Guest Checklist [What They Should Bring]

The table below lists some of the common items that pet owners should bring along with them on a camping trip:

Category Pet Items to Bring Camping
Basic NeedsFood and Water BowlsPet Food (bring enough pet food for the duration of the stay, plus a little extra in case of emergencies)- Leash and Harness (keep in mind local and state laws regarding length; usually 6.5’ is the standard)- Pet Carrier
Safety and Comfort– Pet Bedding– Medications and Health Records– Identification (in case pets get lost)
Cleanliness– Waste Bags– Grooming Supplies– Towels or Blankets
EntertainmentDog toys for Active Play (E.g., Frisbee, ball, rope toy)- Dog Toys for Passive Play (E.g., chew toy, snuffle mat, puzzle toy)


Embracing pet friendly camping not only meets the growing demand for inclusive vacation options but also positions campgrounds to capitalize on a lucrative market segment. By providing amenities that cater to pets and their owners, campgrounds can increase booking potential, extend guest stays, and enhance their online presence through positive reviews and social sharing. 

While there are challenges, such as increased maintenance needs and managing guest interactions, the benefits of offering pet friendly sites—increased revenue, broader customer reach, and enhanced guest loyalty—often outweigh the drawbacks. As the trend towards pet-inclusive travel continues to rise, campgrounds offering these accommodations are likely to see sustained growth and success, making them a favored choice among pet-loving travelers.

If you’re looking for a way to manage the amenities and ideas that you want to bring to your campground, look no further than Newbook. Our comprehensive property management software software gives you a centralized location to manage your bookings, guest information, financials, and more. 

Reach out to Newbook today for a demo!

So you manage a campground? We make it easy

Newbook is your all in one campground management software. Talk to us today to learn how you can improve operations and increase bookings for your campground.

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