Expert Advice on Hiking or Backpacking with Your Dog
Expert Advice on Hiking or Backpacking with Your DogFrom REI
Trail Regulations and Etiquette
Is Your Dog Physically Ready?
Food and Water
Dog Vest and Coats
Fitting and Loading a Dog Pack
How Much Weight is OK?
How to Fit a Pack
Types of Packs
- Dividers: So that you can keep food and water separate from any other supplies.
- Collapsible food dish: Fits perfectly inside the pack or sometimes zips on the outside.
- Pocket for a cooling insert: You keep the cold pack in your freezer and insert it into the pack before heading out; great for hot climates.
- Top handle: Makes it easy to hang onto your dog if you’re crossing a shallow river or up on a small ledge.
Water Safety for Dogs
Doggie PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices)
- Type of activity: Heavy-duty models are meant for whitewater environments or rivers; others are designed for recreation on still lakes. There are even jackets that help your dog learn how to swim or provide assistance when they tire themselves out.
- Amount of buoyancy: This is based on the size of your dog.
PFD Features and Fit
Other Dog Hiking Considerations
- Dog harnesses for more technical trails or climbing
- GPS beacons and leashes that fasten to you via carabiners
- Dog-specific bike trailer
- Dog tent (Not all dogs like these for overnights, but they can double as sun shelters.)
- Leashes (I prefer using a waistbelt system so I don’t have to hang on while I run; while backpacking, I like a leash I can clip to my pack.)
- Cooling collars for hot days
- Creams that help breeds that don’t need boots stay comfortable in the snow.
Disposing of Waste
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