Thinking about going camping or backpacking with your dog, but having difficulty finding out where to start or what to expect? We got you covered! First off, you want to have a goal in mind and make sure that both you and your pet will be able to comfortably reach that goal without punishing your bodies. Remember, you’re the owner and it’s your responsibility to make sure that your dog is in good condition during the whole trip. If you’re just beginning to go on hikes, then you might want to start off on shorter trails until your dog gets used to the distance and pace. Once you both build some endurance and hit some benchmarks, then you can move on to meet your goal.
Be prepared! Depending on the distance of travel, plan to see how much food and water you will be needing. To save storage space, you may want to invest in a decent water purifying bottle in lieu of having to stuff large bottles of water into your packs. In that way, you can acquire refills whenever you need to. If you are still having trouble finding space for all of your items, you may have to strap a pack to your dog. Be careful not to fill all of the heavy items on one side. It will not be a comfortable experience for your pet. Instead, distribute the weight evenly on both sides of the pack so that your furry friend isn’t straining one side of its legs. There are many things out in the wilderness and forests that your dog can get cuts and scrapes from. Equip yourself with a first aid kit to treat any wounds protecting your pet from any bacteria and infection. If you are really worried, find little socks or something else of soft material to make a little booty for your dog’s feet. Research the weather and the climate of that particular area you will be traveling. Look up how cold it is supposed to get during the night and pack accordingly. Make sure the sleeping bag you carry with you will be able to handle freezing temperatures if necessary.
Don’t forget one for your dog as well! Even though they have their own coat, it can still get uncomfortable for them. For smaller dogs, they make sleeping bags especially for them. It’s designed with a half-round zipper for easy access in and out of the sleeping bag and forming a pouch-like shape. It also has an integrated loop on the outside of the bag. In case you didn’t want it to move around, you would have the option of taking it to the ground. For colder nights or environments, there is a sleeve on the bottom of the sleeping bag where you can insert a landing pad. Its purpose is to create more warmth for your dog acting as a barrier between the dog and the cold ground. Based on their size though, you may have to purchase a regular-sized one or a kid’s sleeping bag for them to fit comfortably.
Be safe! You don’t want your four-legged friend interacting with any wild creatures. Maybe consider bringing a rope leash, so they are closer to you on hikes. Beware of your surroundings but have a lot of fun while you’re out there! Hope this helps and gives you some things to think about before going out on your trip.