If you are planning some time away from the complications of your busy lifestyle, there’s nothing like a hiking trip. It’s just you and nature and a little time for you to reconnect. It is also a good time for you to spend some quality time with your dog. Without the distractions of mobile phones, internet, and the likes, it can be a time you can truly bond with your best friend.
For every hiking trip, being prepared not only means fun but safety as well. This is why you need to know how to properly pack a backpack before every trip. No matter what breed of dog you have, the essential items you need to bring will be the same. For your next trip, make sure you bring along the following gear for your dog.
1. A Cool Doggie Back Pack
Let your dog carry some of his own stuff too. He can give you a little help with the items and lessen the burden on your back. However, you should always be careful of the total weight of the bag for your dog’s health sake. The general rule of thumb is to not go beyond a quarter of his weight. To avoid any developmental problems, do not make him carry a bag if he is less than one year old as well. You know a good doggie backpack if it has breathable material, can evenly distribute the weight, and fits securely.
When packing your dog’s needs, make sure you have the following:
- Food and treats – pack more than what he eats. He can be hungrier than usual because of the number of activities he has while hiking. Make sure to have some treats, quick bites he can have while you are on the go.
- Water – also has more than his usual. You cannot assume there will be safe water available for your dog at the site or on the trail.
- Insect Repellent – even before your trip, check which repellent has no adverse effect on your dog. Always apply on places he cannot reach or lick.
- Identification – no matter how obedient your dog is, he can always be distracted or wander off. Keep a picture of him with your pack as well. This can help you make flyers on the spot or show it around to people if they have seen him.
2. Hydrating Instruments
As mentioned earlier, always pack more water than his usual consumption. Since you are doing more physical activities than a normal day, you and your dog will both be drinking more. Even if you are not thirsty, always offer your dog water every thirty minutes. It’s a good idea to bring a collapsible water bowl for easy storage and packing. If you want to limit the amount of water to bring, there are some travel water purifiers that are available as well. This is also a great product if fresh water is difficult to find. They are easy to drink from as they are designed for dogs.
If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot carry any more weight with you, you can use water purifiers to find suitable drinking water wherever you go. However, make sure to read about the proper way of using water purifiers and the proper sources of water to use. This practice is done to avoid any health issues for you and your dog.
3. Leash with collar or harness
Many parks and trails will require a leash for all dogs. It is also a good tool for you to help keep your dogs away from dangerous animals, poisonous plants, and other hazards. The potential of your dog getting lost is also present due to the unfamiliar surroundings. Other people are also present and as common courtesy, you may want to keep your dog on a leash.
You may want to consider a waist belt to attach the leash on. This gives you hands-free care of your dog while hiking. If your dog is more comfortable with a harness than a collar, that is a good alternative. Choose one that has breathable material to keep your dog cool and comfortable.
4. Poop Bag Dispenser
Always clean up after yourself. Always dispose of trash properly, keep things in order, and always try to leave the place the same way as when you arrived. This includes your dog’s waste as well. Whether at the campsite or at a trial, always have a plastic bag ready for scooping poop. A handy poop bag dispenser can be attached to your leash for easy access. Always bring enough bags for the duration of your trip.
For some cases or areas, you may need to bring a towel with you. Dig a small hole around 8 inches deep. Drop your dog’s poop and fill the hole with soil.
5. First Aid Kit for you and your dog
This is the item you definitely should always bring, but always hope you will never need. Safety will always be a top concern for any trip. There are many items in a first aid kit that are used for both you and your dog. Bandages, antiseptics, gauze pads, adhesive tape, tweezers, scissors, disposal gloves, and the likes are both used by humans and dogs. But they are other items specific to your dog that you should also have in your first aid kit.
First Aid Kit Items Specific To Your Dog
- Paperwork – a copy of his proof of vaccinations and medical records is a good place to start. Also, include the contact number of your dog’s vet and other emergency numbers. Keeping the papers in a waterproof pouch is smart.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – if your dog ingests something poisonous, you may need to force him to vomit. Induce the vomiting with hydrogen peroxide. Always consult with a vet on how this is done. Prepare for this way before your trip.
- Blanket – in the event your dog is injured or ill during your hiking trip, wrapping him in a warm blanket can help comfort him. When you need to examine him, use the blanket to lay him in surfaces that may be too hot, rocky and sharp, or dirty.
- Medication – if your dog is under medication, always bring it with you. You may also need to bring extra in case you stay longer than originally planned.
- Muzzle – at times your dog is in distress, he may be agitated. Especially when you are performing first aid and he is in pain. Avoid being accidentally bitten by using a muzzle during these times.
- Antibiotic ointment – prevent infections from cuts, wounds, and other lacerations. It will help relieve some of the pain and fight off germs and bacteria.
- Self-Cling Bandage – if you have a hairy dog, removing bandages will hurt your dog. Pet stores have available bandages that are made for this type of dog. It sticks to itself and not to your dog’s fur.
- First Aid Dog Booklet – even if you are familiar with your dogs’ first aid procedure, always carry a booklet around for review in case of emergency.
- Flashlight – you will never know the environment in which an accident can take place in. During the night, it will be difficult to see the wounds you are tending. The flashlight can help illuminate the area you are removing a splinter from.
- Pet Balm – protect your dog’s paws from the effects of walking on a hot surface for an extended time. This can crack the dry the pads of your dog’s feet. Always keep them in good condition with some pet balm.
An important reminder is to always check the contents of your first aid kit. Some items have an expiration date and should be replaced. Talk to your vet about the kind of medication which is best suited to your dog. This includes eye drops, ointments, and other treatments. Many human medicines are dangerous for pets. Make sure to only give the vet approved ones.
Ensure you will have a great time with your canine best friend during your next hiking trip. Enjoy the different activities together, spend quality time, and truly bond. It is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Avoid doing anything risky, and be prepared for whatever wildlife can bring you.
Did you enjoy this list? Are you interested in more lists like this one? As a dog lover, always research on how you can best take care of your companion. It is one of the best ways to show them how you feel about them.
Safety is always a big deal for me. Making sure the pooch is always away from danger by doing everything to prevent any risk. When your dog is happy, so are you. I can never get tired of how a happy dog treats his master. With all the potential dangers there are on a hiking site, I always want to be prepared for anything.
Are there any items I missed? Do you know of more equipment your dog should have? Or do you know the best place to purchase these items for the next trip? Share your answers in the comments section below. Share this article if you like it.
I am Nora D.King – a contributor of RainyAdventures.com. I am a nature lover. I believe that it is important for people to connect with mother nature’s gift of the great outdoors. I also write for several websites that focus on traveling and backpacking. I’ve also ghosted for other famous personalities who are known to be active in exploring nature and survival enthusiasts.