Author: Ninoslav Kadric
A backpacking trip with your pup may sound like a fun adventure to you, and it can be. However, just as with any type of travel, there are certain preparations that need to happen beforehand, especially your dog has to be prepared for it.
Before you hop on this big adventure, ask yourself a few questions. Is your pooch the type of doggie that would enjoy traveling and long-distance walking? Would it enjoy sleeping outdoors? Is it ready to carry its own backpack?
If you don’t know where to start with planning, in the content below we have some top tips to help you go backpacking with your dog.
What locations do you want to visit? How long are you planning to stay at each location? Are the locations and hiking trails dog-friendly? Certain National parks have trails that won’t allow dogs on the trails. Others will allow leashed doggies on the hiking trails, but not in the wilderness.
Do the areas have camping grounds? Are dogs permitted to stay there? Most camping grounds allow pups but check with them personally.
Furthermore, inquire about any dangerous wildlife encounter. You will need to be ready to react in case there is a situation to handle.
All this info will help you to map out your adventure and pick locations that are safe for you and your four-legged friend.
Before tackling anything too adventurous, take your dog for a day hike. Just because the ball of love can walk for hours in the park, doesn’t mean it is ready for hiking trails and elevation.
Furthermore, pay close attention to your pup’s breathing. It may get tired, and you may not notice until it’s too late.
Its own backpack
Going backpacking with your dog will require you to bring extra stuff. Teach your pooch to carry its own backpack. Get a doggy backpack that suits its measurements to avoid any looping on the side.
Moreover, start training your ball of fur to carry a less loaded backpack, and then gradually increase the weight.
When you load the backpack, distribute the weight evenly, otherwise, it may lean on one side.
If you haven’t already, teach your pup so basic commands. It will need to be obedient and well behaved, especially if you are staying at a camping ground.
Training your dog to listen to you is for its own safety. If voice commands don’t work, use the leash, tie it around your waist and your hands will be free to use other hiking equipment.
Camping at home
If your dog is new at camping, do a test run before embarking on a long journey. Set up the tent in your living room or your backyard and let the pooch get familiar with the equipment. You may want to spend a night or two sleeping in it.
In addition, you may want to consider getting your pup its own tent. It will have its space, and you will be able to sleep soundly without worrying if you are going to kick it in the middle of the night.
Also, dog-proof your gear. Protect your tent from the claws of the doggie by adding extra layers on the floor, and don’t bother bringing blow-up pads.
As we mentioned above, you will be bringing some extra stuff when you go backpacking with your dog.
Bed or separate tent
Pups can take up a lot of space when sleeping, so set up space in the tent just for them by adding an extra blanket. Or, you could get an additional small tent just for the furry ball of love.
Water, food, treats
Carry fresh water at all times with you when hiking. Your pooch will get tired, and especially if it is hot weather, it will be thirsty.
When it comes to food, try to maintain its regular diet. Bring enough food for all days. And, pack some extra treats for the pup to reward it when it behaves, and for some other furry friends.
Doggie first aid kit
Prepare your own first aid kit for your pup. Consult with your vet in advance to check what precautions you should take. Take some medicine in case your pup starts vomiting to calm the symptoms until you get some help. In relation, EMT gel will assist with wounds and healing.
Protect your pup’s paws from the heat. If your dog is not used to wearing dog booties, train it before you start the trip.
Leave no trace
Pick up your dog’s waste in poop bags or burry and cover it. Don’t leave the poop bags, because nobody will pick them up.
Respect nature, just like you would the park to which you usually take your pooch for a walk.
Don’t leave any food and other trash around, especially because food can attract other animals to you.
Open your eyes
Keep an eye on your doggie at all times. Before you go on this amazing journey, it may be a good idea to buy your dog a collar with GPS tracking or put a microchip in it. This will be extremely helpful in case your pooch gets lost.
Furthermore, keeping your pup on a leash while at the camping ground will be safer for the little ball of love. Also, be observant and watch where it walks in case it eats any plants that can make it sick.
In the end…
As with any other type of journey, preparation is the key to a successful and fun trip. Spend more time training your dog. It will be safer for both of you if your pooch is trained and well prepared for the adventure ahead.
In the end, the most important thing to remember is to have fun with your pooch. Enjoy every minute spent with your ball of love on what definitely will be an unforgettable trip.