During my last camping trip I noticed some campsites charged extra for dogs and other pets. This got me thinking about why these campsites charge extra fees for dogs and what you should expect when you encounter one.
It seems like everything these days has a fee attached, and a common one for campsites is the addition of a charge for dogs and other pets. After looking into it, I’ve found several reasons why campsites charge for pets. Campsites charge for dogs to provide extra amenities for pets like dog walks, waste bins, and fenced play areas. Fees can help the campsite owners recoup costs associated with these extras amenities.
Some campsites may use fees as a deterrent for having dogs and other pets on their property due to past issues. Let’s take a closer look at why campsites charge for dogs and what you need to know to be prepared on your next trip.
Why Do Campsites Charge for Dogs?
Below are the top 5 reasons why campsites charge for dogs:
- Fees Help Pay for Extra Amenities
- Safety Concerns
- Noise Complaints
- Campsites Are Trying to Discourage Dogs on the Property
- Because They Can. They are running a business after all.
Campsites often cater to the campers needs, and one of these can be providing extra amenities for pets. This could be anything from dog walks to dog parks that make camping with your pet easier and more convenient. Other improvements that fees cover include waste bags, bins for waste disposal, and cool down pools for hot days. Evaluate what each sites has to offer for your pet and if these extras warrant the fee.
Another reason a campsite can charge fees for dogs is because of safety concerns. Fees help discourage dogs from being at the campsite since many people will avoid paying the fee based on principal alone. Discouraging pets could be a result of past issues resulting in noise complaints or safety concerns. Either way, high fees are usually an indicator of discouraging dogs from being on site more than anything else.
Additionally, campsites can charge fees for dogs simply because they can. Private campsites are a business and owners are trying to increase their bottom line. A low fee for pets is usually not a deal breaker for campers and could mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars extra for the owner each year.
What Should You Do To Prepare for Campsites that Charge for Dogs?
Fees for pets can eat into your budget, so do your research upfront. The last thing you want to do is pull up to a campsite and realize the pet fees exceed your budget. Most campsite information which includes park fees can be found on camp websites and usually contain FAQ’s with other helpful information.
It’s also recommended that in order to prepare for campsites that charge for dogs, you should research what you will be paying for. This includes any special pet amenities at the campsite or restrictions that may exist. Campsites often require leashes on at all times and guests to pick up pet waste and dispose of it properly.
Additionally, pet fees at campsites are often per pet. This can add up quickly if you have multiple dogs.
Should You Stay At Campsites That Charge for Dogs?
Campsites that charge for dogs often rub people the wrong way. They feel they shouldn’t have to pay any extra fees for their dog to accompanying them. If you’re not receiving any added amenities for the fee, then this a valid concern. Only you can decide if this practice is acceptable and if a fee is warranted.
The good news is there are many campsites that do not charge for dogs, so simply staying at another campsite is the best option. Regardless, paying extra fees for your pet is a personal issue that only you can decide makes sense for your situation.
What Is A Typical Fee for Campsites That Charge for Dogs?
Campsite fees for pets can range anywhere from $1 to $20 per day. For campsites on the higher end of the spectrum, fees can often add up quickly. This is why it’s important to do your research up front and identify other camping options if you can’t afford it.
Some campsites may be negotiable on fees for pets and it never hurts to try and get a better deal on longer stays. Monthly rates are cheaper than negotiating day rates.
Tips for bringing your dog to a campsite:
- Call ahead to find out what fees and requirements might be involved with bringing a dog.
- Keep your dog on a leash.
- Pick up waste.
- Have a plan in place to keep noise to a minimum.
- Avoid leaving food outside when not in use.
- Don’t leave your dog unattended.
- Be mindful of wildlife and other pets in the area.
As you can see, there are many reasons why campsites charge for dogs. Whether it’s to cover added pet amenities like dog walks or waste receptacles, these extra campsite fees are quite justified. On the other hand, fees charged for dogs can just be another revenue generator and cause some to refuse to pay. Either way, choosing to pay what campsites charge for dogs is a personal choice that only you can make. Do your research before you arrive at each campsite to make sure it’s pet friendly and the fees they charge are reasonable.
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John is our resident expert on the outdoors. He writes about outdoor gear, camping, traveling, and anything outdoors related. He has over 20 years experience camping and hiking the backwoods of Montana and the plains of Texas. He has traveled extensively all over the world.