Are you considering taking your dog with you on your next backpacking trip, but not sure if it's a good idea?
Backpacking with a dog adds a whole new dimension to your trip. Dogs carry a positive energy with them that can provide a huge boost to your morale when you're in a tough situation on your trip.
Plus, your pet can add an element of safety and companionship that you wouldn't get if you chose to backpack alone. And, in some instances, a dog may even save your life.
But, bringing a dog with can also present some challenges. Some dogs relish being out in the wild, while others don't take it so kindly.
Therefore, if you plan to go backpacking with dogs, you need to be prepared.
Let's take a look at how to go backpacking with dogs.
It's no secret that dogs tend to be a bit rougher on equipment than humans.
You need to keep this in mind when making your equipment purchases. For example, you may want to think twice about buying an inflatable sleeping pad or an ultra thin, lightweight tent.
Sure, these items may be easy to carry and convenient in some situations. But, if you have a dog with sharp nails or a strong bite, you may want to think twice before purchasing.
In a perfect world, fresh water would be plentiful wherever we go backpacking.
Unfortunately, this isn't always the case.
Therefore, you need to make sure you always pack enough water for you and your pup.
And, remember to pack something for them to drink out of, such as a foldable water bowl.
Even though some dogs descend from wolves, they're pretty spoiled compared to their wild ancestors.
Therefore, they need protective gear just like humans.
Dogs can actually get sunburnt, so packing dog-friendly sunscreen is important (human sunscreen can be toxic to them).
An LED collar can be helpful if you plan to explore at night. And hiking boots can be useful on rocky terrain. Just remember that dogs sweat through their paws so you'll want to take the boots off occasionally to give them a breather.
Being away from traffic and the bustle of human activity allows for a nice opportunity for your dog to roam free.
However, some areas enforce strict policies that require dogs to remain on leash at all times.
Therefore, it's always good to have one handy.
Also, you may be camping near a family who simply isn't comfortable with a dog off leash (perhaps they have small children). This is another good reason to always have one on hand.
Just like humans, your dog is going to work up a big appetite while backpacking.
Make sure to pack extra dog food as well as a handful of treats. Also, be aware of what human foods are safe for your dog in case you for some reason run into a situation where you run out of dog food.
We hope this guide helps you feel more prepared about backpacking with dogs.
After your trip, your dog will probably be in need of a good scrub down. Check out this buying guide for the best dog shampoos.