Specifics About Hiking and Backpacking
1. Pack plenty of water. Dogs cannot cool off by perspiring like we do. In addition to plenty of water.
2. Remember to bring a retractable leash – and an extra one in case one is lost or broken. Leashing your dog on the trail will keep him safe, and retractable models store away easily without tangling.
3. Pack food for your pet, along with portable dishes. Remember, he may need more food than usual since he will be burning more calories.
4. If your dog is over 20 pounds he can carry his own things in a backpack as well as some of your gear. Pack only unbreakable items in your dog’s pack.
5. Make sure to let your dog practice carrying his loaded pack around the neighborhood before you take him on the trail. Start going on walks with just the pack and gradually add items to get your dog used to the extra weight.
6. Pack dog boots if you are going to be hiking in rough terrain since dog pads are not normally tough. If you opt for no boots, make sure to check your dog’s footpads every day.
7. Pack a wearable dog carrier to allow little dogs to rest. Big dogs can generally keep up with you.
8. If you will be near water and plan to swim, don’t forget a life jacket for your pet if he needs it. Also, bring an extra towel for your dog since he may get muddy or roll in something foul.
Specifics on Camping
• If you intend to drive into the campground and take only short day hikes, you can bring more items with you. You can also be less strict about conditioning your dog, although we still recommend a health check beforehand.
• Remember that other campers want to enjoy the peace and quiet of an out-of-the-way campground, so leave a persistent barker home with a friend or pet sitter.
• Pack a lightweight camping crate like the Portable Pet Home if you prefer not to share your tent.
• Pack unbreakable toys like a ball, a Frisbee, and your dog’s favorite soft toy.
• Bring a pad or your dog’s bed if nights will be chilly.
Three hard fast rules of the trail:
1. Keep your dog on the trail at all times.
2. Make sure your dog is obedience trained in the basics and understands voice commands.
3. Never let your pet eliminate on the trail. Should an accident happen, be prepared to move the mess off of the trail.
The most responsible way to deal with your dog’s solid waste is to bury it.