How to travel with your dog while on backpack
1. Check with your vet
Make sure your dogs have all their shots up to date. You should also tell your vet that your dog goes on outdoor adventures with you. They will likely recommend preventative medicine for dealing with stuff like worms or other parasites common in the regional fresh water sources.
2. Pack light for your dog
Just like you, you need to make sure your dog’s pack is not super heavy you will be surprised how fast some dogs will fatigue with some extra weight on their backs. A good rule to always remember is your dog can help carry his supplies but in general, young and healthy dogs can carry up to 25% of their weight. Some breeds can carry 10% to 15% more, while other breeds aren’t cut out to carry much at all, it all depends on your dog’s age, breed, and conditioning, the amount you should pack.
3. Make water available
In a perfect world, all of our backpacking destinations would have a freshwater source nearby at all times. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you’re going to be packing water for yourself, you’ll likely need to pack extra water for your pup(s). Make sure you have extra containers and a bowl for them to drink out of.
Depending on where you’re adventuring, this may or may not be against the rules. My dogs are good about staying nearby when they explore, but they’re not always good about listening to me when we come across other hikers and dogs. They usually want to say hello, and 95% of the time, people are okay with this when you are in the middle of nowhere (that number is greatly reduced on popular hiking trails). For that 5% of the time when someone is not okay with your dog being off leash (maybe they have a dog on leash that is not friendly or a child terrified of dogs), it’s nice to have a leash on hand.
5. Check paws
If you’re logging some serious miles you may want to stop periodically and check our dog’s paws. Check or anything from small rocks, cuts on the pads, or even a cactus depending on where you are. I make sure to bring dog boots or mushers wax, your dog’s paws are like your feet your no good if you can’t walk. Take care and be mindful where you walk.