If you’ve been researching potential fun experiences you can have with your dog, you must have seen a suggestion for hammock camping. However, it’s cruel to try out an activity that your dog really hates. Before letting your dog sleep in a hammock, it’s important to learn if dogs like it.
Depending on how well you’re willing to train your dog, your dog might either like or tolerate hammock camping. However, dogs tend to love sitting in dog hammocks over any other form of restraint that you may want to use for them in a car.
Over the years, more people are resorting to hammock camping and your dog doesn’t have to be left out. This article will show you the ins and outs of going hammock camping with a dog and some tips to make the activity enjoyable.
What Is a Hammock?
Generally, a hammock refers to a suspended bed, usually made from a strong fabric. It hangs between two vertical poles, creating a comfortable surface for swinging, resting, it in some cases, taking naps.
While hammocks are very similar to dog hammocks, there’s an important difference. The regular kind of hammocks is mostly used by humans to rest outside. However, a dog hammock goes in a car to prevent hair, mud, and dirt from a dog from messing up the car seats.
Instead of being suspended above the ground between two vertical poles, a dog’s hammock usually hangs between two car seats. To make the dogs more comfortable with the hammock, it doesn’t stay suspended in the air.
Interestingly, dogs can use both types of hammocks described in this section. While most dogs will be more comfortable with a dog hammock, there’s nothing preventing you from literally “hanging” out with your dog in a hammock.
Like with almost every other activity, you must train your dog to get used to hanging in a hammock. This article will give you some expert tips to help train your dog to hang comfortably in a hammock.
Do Dogs Like Hammocks?
Just like humans, dogs have different ideas of what they like and dislike. While some dogs enjoy hanging and reclining in a hammock, other dogs will jump off immediately after being introduced to the hammock.
In short, it all boils down to the personality of your dog and what kind of hammock you’re referring to. Most dogs should have no problems using a car hammock since it was designed for them in the first place. However, the suspended hammocks can be somewhat foreign to dogs, making them nervous.
The best way to determine if your dog will like resting in a hammock is by trying it out. While your dog may not be napping quietly in its first experience with a hammock, its reaction should show you if the hammock will work.
If your dog seems to be interested in the idea, you can always train it to eliminate the nervousness. Once you have a dog that isn’t scared of napping in a hammock, you can also take cute Instagram pictures of your dog resting quietly in a hammock.
Tips for Going Hammock Camping with a Dog
While hammock camping may be an enjoyable activity for both you and your dog, getting your dog to enjoy the activity requires some training. Dogs typically feel nervous when trying out an activity for the first time, and it’s up to you to make them feel more comfortable.
Some best practices can help your dog get used to a hammock pretty quickly. Here are some of those tips for a better and more inclusive hammock camping experience.
- Start from a dog hammock.
Before going hammock camping with your dog, you should ensure that they have some prior experience with something that hangs. While a dog hammock doesn’t swing, it hangs between chairs, giving your dogs an idea of how a hammock works.
However, there’s a catch to this tip. You can only fit a dog hammock in your car if you’re ready to forfeit all the space at the back seat. If you’re not ready to make this sacrifice, you can try other tips here to help your dog like hammocks.
- Try to keep the hammock low at first.
This is especially important if you didn’t start by teaching your dog to be comfortable with a dedicated dog hammock. Keeping the hammock as close to the ground as possible makes it safe for your dog to jump off whenever it feels uncomfortable.
When your dog starts to get more comfortable with the hammock, you can start to increase the height. Before long, you should have a dog that’s comfortable with swinging on several feet high hammocks.
- Choose a good campsite.
One thing is certain: your dog will either jump off or fall from the hammock pretty often. It’s all part of the steps required to get used to the higher surface. Each time your dog jumps off the hammock, you want it to land on a safe surface.
To make this possible, you should endeavor to choose a campsite that’s comfortable for both you and your pet. That way, your dog will see hammock camping as an enjoyable activity, helping them get used to it pretty quickly.
Advantages of Using Dog Hammocks
Training your dog takes some time, and whatever takes time better be worthwhile. Predictably, there are many advantages to using dog hammocks, some of which I’ll discuss in this section.
Since dog hammocks usually go in your car, they protect your chairs from getting dirty as a result of stains from your cat. If you’ve ever tried cleaning dog hair off your car’s seat, you’ll instantly understand why most dogs owners like using dog hammocks to protect their cat seats.
While dog hammocks can be very advantageous, they also have their fair share of disadvantages. For example, a dog hammock hijacks the entire space in your car’s back seat. If you move often with a large family, using a hammock in your car will be very impractical.