Dogs get ecstatic at the mention of taking a walk up the street.

But imagine how excited they'd be for a complete hiking adventure!

Nature lovers love taking relaxing outdoor trips with their dogs to give them much-needed time in the outdoors.

It's an amazing way to keep you and your four-legged companion healthy and in shape.

So, if you want a nice change of pace for your dog, find a nice trail or campsite and get out there!

However, before the adventure begins, there are some important things you should keep in mind in preparation for your trip.

Here are seven important tips and tricks for hiking, camping, or backpacking with your dog.

1.   Train Before You Hike

Pre-hiking training will be incredibly important for not only your dog but you as well.

After all, walking for long periods is no joke, especially on terrains that aren’t flat and are incredibly unpredictable.

To start out, you should make sure your dog is fit enough to hike mountains. Some breeds are naturally better at hiking than others.

You dog should be well socialized with other dogs, people, and animals, and they can handle unpredictable circumstances. You also want to ensure that your dog is well trained and will listen to you and any commands you may have to give.

Regular walks around your neighborhood increase your physical readiness for the journey.

You can even research small, beginner-friendly hikes to go on so you can work your way up to the more intense adventures.

2.  Look Up Dog-Friendly Trails

After you feel like you and your dog are ready to handle a hiking trip, picking the right one for your dog will be the next important step.

Many people find themselves going to trails or campsites only to find out that dogs aren’t allowed or that it's more advanced than expected.

To prevent that from occurring, research what trails and campsites allow dogs and their beginner friendliness.

You don’t want to get on a trail that your dog and his paws aren’t gonna be able to handle.

Lastly, remember that not all breeds may be physically able to handle certain trails.

Look out for smaller breeds or breeds bred with respiratory issues, such as Bulldogs and Pugs.

They’re gonna need shorter trails or trails that are relatively easy to navigate.

3.   Ensure All Essentials are In Attendance

Here are a couple of essentials you'll want to ensure you have before you head out into nature.

  • Food and treats
  • Water and water filters
  • Leash/ harness
  • Poop bags (preferably biodegradable)
  • A backpack (and one for your dog as well)
  • A sleeping tent if you're camping
  • First aid kits (and information on local vets)
  • Toys

A backpack for you and your dog adds to the space you need to carry everything you need.

Keeping your dog hydrated and fed before, during, and after your trip will be essential to them making it through.

Always keep first aid kits on hand in case any injuries happen while you're out there. You should also research vets in the area that can assist with any intense injuries.

If you're camping, have your tent and sleeping bags ready. Don't forget to save some room in there for your dog!

4.  Keep Them Paws Protected

Your dog’s paws are incredibly sensitive and need some form of protection as they hike rocky terrains.

Some people simply put dog booties onto their dogs to protect their feet. However, not all dogs like to wear shoes.

In instances where this is the case, there are products you can apply to your dog’s paws to help prevent cuts and cracks.

One such product is Musher’s Secret which is a wax-based product for all seasons made for dogs on trails and walks.

Apply it on their paws before and after your hike to keep them conditioned and provide them with a protective barrier to walking on rough surfaces.

Just don’t apply too much, or they’ll go slipping!

5.   Prepare For the Weather

Whether rain or shine, heat or cold, you must ensure your dogs are prepared.

If your dog doesn’t have a built-in double coat of hair, you will need to give them a sweater to keep them warm on their walks.

Some may require a doggie jacket for the rain, and an awning or tarp is especially needed if you’re camping.

If it’s hot out, prepare to take a stop by a pond or have water on hand; they will need it.

6.  Leave No Trace

One of the most important rules when doing anything outdoors is to leave no trace; this doesn’t change when you have your canine companion around!

When doing things such as hiking or camping, there are a couple of ways you need to abide by this rule.

  • Make sure you pick up any trash you use along your path.
  • Pick up all of your dog’s poop along the trail; leave nothing behind!
  • When camping, ensure all fires are properly put out once you’re done with them to prevent wildfires.
  • Make sure your dog doesn’t disturb the animals around him.

Even though your dog is an animal, it’s still important that they respect the wildlife around them the same as you do.

7.   Take Lots Of Breaks And Check Up On Your Dog Afterwards

One important rule to abide by when doing anything outdoors is to leave no trace; this doesn’t change when you have your canine companion around!

When doing things such as hiking or camping, there are a couple of ways you need to abide by this rule.

  • Pick up any trash you use along your path.
  • Pick up all of your dog’s poop along the trail; leave nothing behind!
  • When camping, ensure all fires are properly put out once you’re done with them to prevent wildfires.
  • Make sure your dog doesn’t disturb the animals around him.

Even though your dog is an animal, it’s still important that they respect the wildlife around them the same as you do.

Summary

Hiking, camping, and backpacking are fun adventures with your canine companion!

You should always be prepared for anything that may occur on your trip to enjoy it to the fullest.

All-in-all checking in on your dog and ensuring they are happy and safe is what's most important.

Training, packing, research, and safety measures will ensure that priority remains the case.

Although your dog can't say it, he'll be incredibly thankful that you've decided to go on this journey with him.

You never know what wildlife and wonders you will run into on your outdoor excursion, but now you'll be prepared for anything the trail has to throw your way!


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