dogs with backpacks

What’s Up Wednesday – How to Take Fido Backpacking

In Animal Health, Dog Behavior, Dog CPR, dog training, dog walker, Dogs, Pet First Aid, Pet Industry, Travel with pets, Uncategorized by Cara ArmourLeave a Comment

This What’s Up Wednesday we’re checking in with our friends from who have provided us with a guest post on tips to make backpacking with your canine buddy fun for both of you.

Taking your dog backpacking can be a fun and bonding experience. You can visit places together and play, as well as eat, while enjoying the beauties of Mother Nature. However, there are many things you need to look into before taking your dog with you.
In this article, you are going to find out some tips on how to have a great trip with your dog and what you can do to prepare for such a trip so your dog finds it as enjoyable as you do.

Research Trails

You should find a trail that will not be harmful to your dog, particularly their paws. This means that you should look for a trail that has shade and a safe surface for you both to trek. Keep your dog away from paths that have rocks, steep drops or hot ground. Shaded packed trails are often the best.

trail hiking with dogs

Pack Your Dog’s Gear

The best dog backpacking gear means having a durable gear pack that is light. You can store your dog’s first aid kit, food, and dog dishes. You can also include dog booties so that you can prevent cuts or injury to the paw. Don’t forget to bring some dog snacks too! They will want a treat at the end of the day just like you!

You will also want to include a towel and brush for your dog so you can keep them dry and their fur clean. Keep some nail clippers in case your furry friend needs them. If you want your dog to be comfortable, you can bring some type of pad for sleeping. Make it easy on yourself and attach a light to your dog’s collar so you can find him at night if needed.

Don’t forget the collar, leash, and any medications your dog needs, most importantly, pack plenty of water.

Use Trail Etiquette

While on the trail, you should keep your dog on a leash. This maybe a law in many states so definitely check the state and trails rules before heading out. If you see other backpackers or hikers, you and your dog should always yield to them and let them pass. Keep track of your dog at all times.

Be sure to bring poop bags as it is customary to clean up after your dog does his or her business. You can bury it off the trail or throw it in a trash can if you see one. You will also want to clean up any leftover food your dog has so that the wildlife does not get to it.

Food, Water and Rest

When it comes to resting, your dog should be allowed to take breaks as you are backpacking. When you are camping overnight, you can bring along a puppy hammock or let your dog sleep in your tent. Be sure to provide a shaded area for your dog so they can cool down.

Be sure to provide enough water for your dog as he or she will need it after a day in the sun and so much exercise. Be sure to have a bowl handy. Your dog may be dehydrated if they have no appetite, are panting or has no energy.

In addition to your dogs food, bring along some snacks, especially ones with protein so your dog can have a treat and extra calories for being so good on the trail.

Check Your Dog’s Body

During your hike, and at the end, you should check your dog’s paws for any debris. You should look out for smaller rocks, cuts, cactus or anything else that may injury your dog’s paws. This is where dog boots, booties or wax can help. The wax can also help from cracking paws, too. These items are meant to keep your dog’s paws protected during longer trips on the trail.

Throughout the day you will want to check your dog’s behavior in addition to their paws to make certain they are not suffering from dehydration, heat exhaustion or just exhaustion.

If you have gone through taller grassy areas, then check your dog’s fur for ticks as well as fox tails. Check your dog’s fur thoroughly and be sure to keep a tick key in your fur baby’s first aid kit.

Be aware of the chances of not only injury but your dog’s energy level. Backpacking can be a great outdoor activity, but dogs have to be able to endure it. You can work your way up to longer hikes, and your dog should do well as long as you keep an eye on their well being.

Before you head out on your adventure go for shorter hikes, continuing to build up stamina for both you and your dog. It will make the trip more enjoyable and reduce your risk of injury from being out of shape.

Have Tons of Fun!

Be sure your dog is having a great time! As long as he or she is happy and energetic, you know that your dog is having a great time bonding with you on the trail. This is a great time to take photos with your dog, interact with them on a beach or camp site, and have fun. Don’t forget a frisbee or toy to toss so you can take a break from the trail! If you and your dog have an awesome time on a smaller trail, think of all of the bigger trails you can tackle together!

dogs on trails


We hope that you can implement these tips when you hit the trail with your dog. Enjoying outdoor activities with your dog can be a great bonding experience, as you can take photos and create memories together. As long as you are sure that your dog is safe, hydrated, and happy, there is no doubt that you both will have a great time as you backpack all around the country!

Now it is time to plan your next or first backpacking trip and take your dog along! All you need to do is find a trail, get the gear, and go!

Where have you taken your pup hiking? Share pictures with us on our Facebook post.

Thanks to Anna Smith of for sharing these pawsome tips with us!

As always, before you hit the trails, the beach or go anywhere with your pooch, make sure you know where the nearest ER veterinary care facility is and that you have educated yourself in pet first aid & CPR. They depend on you to know how to care for them.

About Our Guest Author

Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Anna’s passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed. She also helps curate contents for

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