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June 22, 2020 4 min read

We’ve all done our best to stay home and stay safe over the past few months. As outdoor areas begin to open up this summer, what better way to celebrate than to embark on a backpacking adventure with your furry friend?

If you’re looking for fun activities to do with your dog this summer, backpacking is a great place to start! It can be a fun way to bond, enjoy the outdoors, and get some exercise for both you and your pooch. But it’s important to be prepared before you head out the door. You’ll need to bring some extra supplies and make sure you and your dog know how to navigate the great outdoors together safely.

Make Sure Your Dog is Trained and Healthy

Before you venture out, especially if your trip involves extensive hiking or multi-day outdoor adventures, it’s important to make sure your dog is ready for the journey. Do what you can to ensure your dog is well trained before you take them out into nature, especially if you expect there to be lots of other furry backpackers out. 

A trip to the vet may also be a good idea to make sure your pup is healthy enough for backpacking. Your dog’s breed, size, age, and any existing health conditions may also help you decide where, when, and how long they can hike.

Find Dog-Friendly Areas to Backpack

Dog-friendly hiking trails, campgrounds, and other outdoor spaces are plentiful in most areas. But there are some places that prohibit dogs. First and foremost, make sure your pup is legally allowed to accompany you where you’re headed and follow any specific rules related to pets.

dog on leash while backpacking with owners

In general, pets are permitted on US Forest Service trails and in state parks but must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet. City parks, county trails, and regional parks almost always allow dogs, but typically have rules in place about leashes and picking up waste. Some state parks and campgrounds even offer camping cabins that allow dogs for overnight stays!

As you explore the great outdoors this summer, make sure you respect social distancing rules. No matter where you decide to take your dog for backpacking fun, it’s a good idea to pick an outdoor space with wide enough trails to maintain distance and do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

RELATEDDog Road Trip: How to Travel with a Dog Cross Country

Pack the Essentials

The right supplies can make or break your trip. Things like bowls for water, a first aid kit, waste bags, and paw cleaner will make your trip much easier and more fun. With a well-fitted dog backpack, your pup can even carry some of their own supplies!

It’s a good idea to make a comprehensive list, separate from your own, of all the things your dog will need on your backpacking adventure. 

Here are some of the essentials to get you started:

Make Sure You Can Lift Your Dog

Even if your dog is very well trained and you only anticipate backpacking in easy-to-navigate areas, it’s a good idea to practice lifting your dog and carrying them a short distance. This is to make sure that you can help your dog over any rough terrain or help them in the event that they get overly tired or have a medical emergency during your trip.

How to Carry A Small Dog

While larger breeds can often keep up with their humans, smaller dogs typically need to be carried for part of the journey on longer day hikes or multi-day backpacking trips. Carrying a small dog in your arms isn’t too difficult for most people for a short period of time. On long trips though, you’ll need something sturdy, safe, and comfy for your furry pal to ride in.

A dog carrier is the perfect way to take your small or medium dog along on a trip they otherwise might have to miss! A good dog carrier works the same as a baby or toddler carrier. It should be comfortable for both you and your dog, sturdy and durable, and lightweight, and convenient to carry and use. The Kurgo G-Train Dog Carrier Backpack checks all these boxes. It can carry up to 25 pounds and is water-resistant and ventilated to make sure your dog has good airflow throughout the journey!



How to Pick Up a Large Dog

Unless you happen to be the Incredible Hulk, you’re unlikely to be able to carry your large dog long distances. That said, it’s still a good idea to make sure you or someone in your group can lift your bigger dog in case the need arises.

Even if they’re on the larger side, picking up your dog is very doable for most people:

  1. Place your dominant arm securely behind your dog’s back legs.
  2. Wrap your other arm around the front of your dog’s chest.
  3. Hold your dog snuggly to your chest as you lift, using the muscles in your legs to support their weight.

Tip: If your dog is truly huge, you may need to enlist the help of a human friend. Just make sure you’re supporting your pup’s body weight from behind their back legs and in front of their chest.

Get Backpacking Supplies for You and Your Dog At King Dukes!

Getting outside with your dog is the perfect summer activity! With a little bit of planning and the essential gear in tow, you and your dog can enjoy some bonding time in the great outdoors! At King Duke’s we’re dedicated to providing only the best outdoor gear, food, treats, toys, and more for your furry friend!

Stop by our Beaverton, OR store or shop our huge selection of dog products online and get ready to enjoy summer with your pooch!

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