TailWings’ Top Tips for Backpacking with a Dog

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man walking on a hill with his dog, carrying camping equipment

Backpacking is a popular activity, providing freedom, adventure and of course numerous health benefits. But have you ever considered taking your four-legged friend along with you?

Backpacking offers everything your dog loves: long walks, new sights and smells, and hanging out with you all day long. Read our top tips for backpacking with a dog to find out how you can make the most of your trip.

Choose a dog-friendly hiking trail

There are many dog-friendly hiking trails all over the UK which are jam-packed with adventure and beautiful scenery.

Doing your research is key, as you will want to choose a trail that is suitable for your dog. Consider their breed, as smaller dogs will not be able to take on the same challenging hikes as larger dogs, as well as their age, training and fitness level. Also, make sure you choose a trail that has adequate shade, rest areas, and a low risk of danger.

Prepare your dog for the hike

Just as we would need to train before a strenuous physical challenge, so does your dog. Before your trip, focus on building their fitness levels and stamina by taking them on regular walks, gradually increasing the length and difficulty over time.

It’s also important to ensure your dog’s training is up to scratch before you take them backpacking, especially their recall and leash training, to avoid any stressful situations whilst on your walk.

Lastly, to prepare your dog for camping, you will want to get them used to the tent – so take some time to camp out in your garden with your dog.

Check your dog’s vaccinations

Whenever you are going somewhere new, it’s super important to ensure your dog is fully vaccinated to protect them from catching any illnesses – this is also true for hiking! Alongside their vaccines, make sure your dog’s microchip registration details are up-to-date.

If your pet has any regular medication that they take, make sure you have adequate stock to last the duration of your trip.

Pack everything you need (and triple-check!)

When backpacking with your dog, there are some essential items you must remember to take, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to pack.

Some of the items you’ll need are:

  • Dog poop bags
  • Dog food (you may need to increase the amount of food you give your dog depending on their size and the trail you are tackling so that they have plenty of energy)
  • Dog treats
  • Portable water bottles
  • Blankets and towels for the tent
  • Jackets or cooling jackets depending on the weather
  • A strong lead and harness, as well as a collar with an up-to-date name tag on

If your dog is able to, carrying a small dog backpack is a great option for keeping essentials in such as poop bags and treats.

We hope these tips for backpacking with a dog have helped you to plan for your dog-friendly hiking trail! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team who will be happy to help.