Many people have fond memories of summer camp growing up, but who says it’s just for kids? For that matter, who says it’s just for humans? Bark camp songs, tell spooky stories about ten-foot cats around the campfire, and bond with your best friend at one of these incredibly pet-friendly summer camps.
Before you book your two- and four-legged camping adventure, make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations and is microchipped. For camps that offer overnight boarding, meals are included for humans but remember to bring food for your pooch. And of course, don’t forget to #bringfido on all those great Instagram shots once you get there.
1. Camp Gone to the DogsStowe, VT
Camp Gone to the Dogs, the ODC (original dog camp), is set in the countryside of Stowe, VT, overlooking Mount Mansfield. It's the first camp that officially invited dogs to join their owners, and it's been the inspiration for other camps on our list. Expert dog trainers help Fido "try his paw" at agility, obedience and behavior classes, using only positive reinforcement to keep him motivated. More advanced canines can test their hunting and tracking skills, take frisbee or Flyball classes, or try freestyle doggy dancing, which teaches canine theory like spin, sit and roll over. Arts and crafts are a part of the fun at camp. Make your own leash, paint a pawtrait or tie-dye a shirt for your dog. You can also check out the five-mile walking path or hop on a pet-friendly Gondola Skyride nearby.
Camp Gone to the Dogs has three camps scheduled for 2019, from June 2 to 8, Sept. 1 to 7 and Sept. 8 to 14. Fees include all meals and range from $1,325 to $1,725 per person and dog, depending on choice of lodging. Campers who prefer to stay off site should check out the the nearby pet-friendly Mountaineer Inn at Stowe.
2. Camp UnleashedBecket, MA
Eat, sniff and play is the motto of Camp Unleashed. Their summer Berkshires Camp in Becket, MA boasts an idyllic location around a 100-acre spring-fed pond. Water activities include doggy paddling, dock diving, and a game in which dogs stand on bases sunk in the water and retrieve items. You and Fido can also enjoy miles of hiking trails and a full schedule of activities. Your pup can learn agility techniques from expert trainers. Even if he has two left paws, he can still dance musical freestyle. There are scent games that incorporate tracking techniques, Flyball classes for dogs with a tennis ball obsession, and parkour courses. For more leisurely fun, paint each other (on a canvas, not fur), give your dog a guided canine massage, and enjoy the daily wine and cheese hour.
Camp Unleashed's Berkshires Camp is held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, 2019. Fees range from $849 to $1,099 per person and dog, depending on room choice. Rates include lodging, activities, snacks and three gourmet meals a day.
3. Canine Camp GetawayLake George, NY
Located in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, Canine Camp Getaway at Roaring Brook Ranch hosts camps in June and September. The resort is extremely pet friendly (they’re the guests of honor, after all). Dogs can visit the lounge during daily yappy hours and are welcome to use the pool. Bond with your pup at an evening seminar that teaches subjects like canine CPR; cut the rug (rather than peeing on it) with freestyle dance sessions; try to win a round of Dog Bingo; or take doggy swimming lessons. Among the more challenging activities are prep and examination for dogs to become a Canine Good Citizen or a Qualified Therapy Dog. When the evening comes around, pups and humans can curl up together for a movie under the stars.
Canine Camp Getaway takes place from June 23 to 27, 2019. Fees range from $900 to $1,425 per person and pup. All meals are included, and dogs can even join you in the pet-friendly section of the restaurant to snap up any crumbs that might drop off your plate.
4. Maian Meadows Dog CampLeavenworth, WA
Washington’s magnificent Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is the setting of Maian Meadows Dog Camp, a three-day retreat for dogs and their owners looking to escape the city life. The camp is located on the banks of Lake Wenatchee, a gorgeous expanse of water equipped with a dock, boats, funyaks and a swimming area. Active pups and humans can go hiking or try agility activities. Classic camp activities include campfire singalongs, hide and seek, musical chairs and a timed sloppy kiss contest (not mandatory). At the end of camp, awards are given out for the most energetic pup, most laid back pooch, and for dogs with the longest ears and shortest legs.
Maian Meadows Dog Camp is open from June 7 to 9, 2019. At $200 per person and dog, it’s one of the cheaper options on our list. The price includes all meals and accommodation in the rustic cabins. There’s an extra $10 fee for a second dog.
5. Wild Blue Dog CampLake Tahoe, NV
Lake Tahoe's perfect weather, crystal-clear waters and scenic Sierra Nevada Mountains make it the perfect destination for a summer camp; cue Wild Blue Dog Camp. After her dog was diagnosed with cancer, founder Vicki Rhodes set up the camp to raise money for cancer research. Although her beloved Willie is now in doggy heaven, Vicki continues to donate the proceeds from camp to help fund treatment and find a cure.
The schedule is packed with activities. Dogs can stretch their legs on a group hike, dock dive into Lake Tahoe, glide effortlessly on a paddleboard or try Doga on the pet-friendly beach. There are also expert-led classes for humans, including a pet photography masterclass, fear-free grooming, alternative medicines, and how to prevent cancer in our canines. Dogs who want to leave camp with more than just a swag bag (which they give you at the end) can get qualified as a Canine Good Citizen or Therapy Dog. As an added bonus, a professional photographer is on hand to snap you and your pooch having the time of your life.
The all-inclusive camp is held from Sept. 2 to 8, 2019. Fees range from $1,550 to $2,150 per person and their pooch, depending on choice of lodging.
6. Summer Camp for Kids & DogsRockville, MD
Summer Camp for Kids & Dogs is a kids camp with a tail-wagging twist. This indoor camp is run by Your Dog’s Friend, a local nonprofit that aims to keep dogs out of shelters by educating and supporting humans. Classes are given by qualified dog trainers who donate the profits back to the organization. Dogs and little best friends go through basic commands like sit, wait, leave it, and attention. They also focus on loose-leash walking and behavioral challenges. As four-legged students advance, they can attempt more difficult tricks and tackle agility courses.
When camp is over, don’t bid farewell to Your Dog’s Friend. They offer a range of courses for kids and dogs to continue their development together. Enroll in a Puppy Training Class or dive right in at the deep end with a Pet Trick Class, where dogs will learn to give high fives, ride skateboards and even play the piano!
Summer Camp for Kids & Dogs offers two sessions starting on June 24 and Aug. 5, 2019. The fee is $270 per child and dog, with 10% off for an additional child.
7. Dog Scouts of AmericaRoscommon, MI
On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to dog... Okay, Fido doesn’t have to say an oath when he joins the Dog Scouts of America, but he and his parent must pass a test proving that the owner is responsible and the dog is not a danger to other scouts or humans. Once they demonstrate these fine qualities, they can start earning badges and attend awesome summer camps in beautiful St. Helen, MI. There’s something for all dogs at these secluded retreats, such as agility courses, water sports and obedience lessons. Any DSA member can attend summer camp, and they even have classes that teach pups how to be a Dog Scout. Furry scouts earn badges as they complete their training. (To earn the coveted All Dog Band Badge, a dog must use his nose or chin to play the piano!)
Dog Scouts of America hosts two main camps in 2019, from June 17 to 22 and from July 15 to 20. The fee is $750 for the first camper and $400 for any additional family members, including meals and all activities. One dog is free and each additional dog is $50 per family.
8. Yellowstone Dog SportsRoberts, MT
Every summer, Yellowstone Dog Sports brings dogs and dog lovers together in the beautiful wilderness of Montana. The camp spans 90 acres of countryside, with ponds for swimming, trails for hiking and even sheep for dogs to attempt to herd. Their instructors have decades of experience in a range of disciplines, like agility, freestyle and obedience. Dogs can work toward their Canine Good Citizen or Therapy Dog Certification, learn tracking skills, and practice search and rescue with real-life targets. Other activities include nature walks, canine nutrition lectures, Flyball and dock diving. There are even a few classes that may be considered a little out there, like reiki energy work and homeobotanical healing for hounds.
Yellowstone Dog Sports Camp runs from July 14 to 18, 2019. Fees range from $600 to $950, depending on choice of accommodations. All activities, lodging and meals are included.