With everyday work and chores, dog owners try to spend every moment of their free time playing with their little friend.
However, for the ones who enjoy backpacking in their free time, it can be challenging to have a great time with their pet.
Still, there is a way to involve your dog in your favorite activity. Keep on reading to discover how you can prepare your pet for this adventure and have an amazing time.
Test the waters
It would be a good idea to test the waters to see if your little friend is comfortable around dogs, people and in shape for long hiking. In other words, have some walks to the dog-friendly parks before you take the trip. That way, your pet can experience new surroundings, as well as other people and dogs.
This will also be a great chance for you to test the waters yourself and check if you're in good shape for advanced trails.
Do your homework
Make sure you choose the right trail for your four-legged friend before you hit the road.
First, check if dogs are allowed to be on the route you’ve planned. Certain State parks and many National parks aren't pet-friendly, so visit the website of desired State Park or National Park Service to verify that information.
Likewise, you should consider the difficulty of the trail and the weather conditions to provide the best possible experience for you and your canine friend.
Pack enough food and treats
When hiking, it's crucial to stay hydrated and satiated. This applies to you and your pet, too.
Therefore, bring your dog's regular food high in protein and nutrients and some treats to ensure he or she has enough energy during the walk. As for water, pack the water bottle or a travel collapsible bowl to ensure your pet stays hydrated.
Given that hiking burns more calories, make sure you and your dog eat frequently and drink enough water to maintain a high energy level.
Protect your dog's paws
Some hiking surfaces may be too stony or hot for the dog's paws. That's why it would be good to bring dog booties to protect the pads of your little friend and provide him or her a pleasant walk.
If your pet isn't used to wear booties, take into consideration adjusting period before you head to the trail.
Another thing that can help your dog's pads to feel better is some protective cream.
Bring enough poop bags
As a responsible backpacker, you should ensure your dog is one too. This means you should clean after your canine friend whenever nature calls during tracking and in that way to show respect for the path and nature you’re visiting.
According to Leave No Trace guidelines you must: "Deposit solid waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished."
Pack a "camp dog bed"
Make sure your four-legged friend has a good night's sleep after a long walking day. That's the reason you need to ensure a comfortable sleeping place for your dog.
You can make camp dog beds from foam sleeping pads. However, if your tent is big enough and you don't mind your dog sleeping with you, then you can both sleep there.
Likewise, it would be a good idea to bring a blanket that will make your pet feel comfortable.
Have fun while backpacking
Jenny, a writer from EssayOnTime and beagle mom, gives one more important advice:
"Hiking with your dog should be a fun outdoor activity, so don't forget to bring your pet's ball to play together when taking long breaks. Seize every moment to enjoy nature and your quality time. Hang out with other hikers, sunbathe, go for a swim in a lake, and have a great time!"
Excellent and thorough preparation is the key to having a pleasant backpacking experience with your dog. Just make sure you bring everything you need and inform yourself about the trails. With a little bit of good will and effort, both, you and your pet will enjoy your adventure and have fun.