I enjoy sharing tips to make the backcountry more safe and more enjoyable.
Dog or Puppy Packing List
Do you know what you're going to pack for your best furry buddy when you hop in the car this weekend? Make sure you're both prepared for whatever adventure you find on the trail by going through this packing list.
Hiking or camping with a dog is so much fun, but it does require a few more considerations to keep your pooch safe and comfortable. You will both be happier if you have the right equipment to keep him comfortable, safe, and hydrated. Below are the dog essentials for outdoor trips.
Dog Hiking Gear List
- Paw protection
- First-aid kit (see list of items below)
- The dog's own water
- Food (more than you think)
Below, you'll find a full description of each item you'll need.
1. Paw Protection for Dogs
On icy, snowy, or particularly rough trails, most dogs will need some sort of paw protection to keep them going all day. Dog booties come in packs of four and are slipped over their feet. If your dog isn't used to them it can make them walk funny at first until they forget they have them on. Many dogs will try pulling them off with their teeth and will need some instruction to leave them alone.
As long as there's no ice, you probably don't need dog booties but if you take your dog out for a long day make sure you pay attention to how he is walking towards the end and after you get home. You may notice later that your pup is licking his feet because his paws are sore or bleeding or he's walking strangely. Check out the pads of his feet and if they're overly cracked and especially if they're bleeding you need to pick up a paw salve from your local pet store. Applying twice a day for a day or two is all they need to heal up.
2. Dog First-Aid Kit
Just like you, your pup should never leave home without a first aid kit. For the most part, you don't really need an additional first aid kit for your dog. Most of the medical supplies you need for your dog are the same you would care for yourself but a dog injury does tend to use a lot of antibiotic ointment, gauze, and hydrogen peroxide so make sure to pack extras.
In addition to your typical human medical supplies, add in these for your dog:
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- Veterinary contact and any known medical conditions
- Self-adhering bandages
- Paw salve
- Dog first aid book
3. The Dog's Own Drinking Water
Your pup needs to stay hydrated too! Account for your dog's water needs during hiking. She needs clean and sanitized water, just like you do.
You might consider a specific drink vessel for your dog. While you could tilt your water bottle and have Fido slobber all over it while missing most of the water, next time try bringing a collapsible bowl. They are easy to pack and most of them available at outdoor stores will double as a cutting board or plate.
Depending on where you're going your dog may be able to find water on her own. But be prepared with extra water for her if the water in the area isn't clean or if there is none available.
4. Outdoor Dog Harness or Pack
A dog that spends a lot of time on the trail needs a quality harness. A harness gives the owner better control over their dog without the injury risk to the dog's throat that comes with a collar. Take your dog with you when you go to the pet store to buy a harness to ensure proper fit. It should allow full movement and still be snug enough that it does not move when he does.
If you have a medium to large dog with excess energy look into giving him a pack to wear on the trail. A good-sized pack is easy for a dog to carry and makes packing his gear easier. Make sure the weight is equally distributed before you set out.
5. Extra Food
Keep in mind that in the event of an emergency where you are running low on food, your dog can eat some of yours but it takes a very dire situation for you to want to share his. Pack extra beef jerky, cheese, and crunchy snacks, and skip bringing a lot of extra dog food.
6. Don't Forget: Toys!
Whether or not you bring toys along for your dog to play with depends on his or her temperament and the type of environment you will be in. If there will be a lot of relaxing time around the campfire and you know your dog loves a certain bone then that might be a lifesaver to keep him occupied and out of trouble.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2016 Katy Medium