How To Prepare Your Dog for Their First Backpacking Trip

How To Prepare Your Dog for Their First Backpacking Trip

After a long winter, we’re bound to fly out the door to experience the beauty and wonder that nature offers in the warmer seasons. The warmth of the sun and the sparkle of the Earth during these months provide ample opportunity for playtime, exploration, and adventure.

If you’re an active pet parent of an outdoorsy-dog, chances are you’re thinking about hitting the trails soon enough to put in some miles together this spring and summer. Curious about what to do before heading out for longer adventures? Here’s how to prepare your dog for their first backpacking trip, especially after lounging around the house for months.

Get in Good Shape

Physical training and preparation are key to a successful outdoor adventure. Building up endurance is how to prepare your dog for their first backpacking trip. Be mindful of the fact that not all breeds are naturally meant for backpacking, and even active breeds need conditioning for good performance.

Standard backpacking trips tend to involve hiking multiple miles each day for a consecutive number of days. Physical limitations can undoubtedly get in the way. Start off slow with shorter hikes to warm up for a longer trip. With a little patience and training, you both can hit your ideal endurance goals.

Have a Plan in Place

Some may think the best adventures are entirely spontaneous, but a great escape into nature involves planning and strategy for an unquestionable good time. Keep in mind that your canine companion is just as susceptible to the dangers of the natural world as you are; however, they aren’t always as aware of them or able to tell you if something’s wrong.

Be honest about your dog’s personality and plan your trip with your pooch in mind rather than yourself. A cautious dog and a bold dog will react entirely differently in new surroundings. Choose a trail that’s dog-friendly, an ideal difficulty level, and doesn’t put either of you at an increased risk. Check on leash regulations as well—you may need to work on or refresh obedience and recall training for a safer trail experience.

Grab Your Gear

Your dog needs the right gear for the venture ahead, so ensure you have suitable supplies on hand. Don’t forget about trail essentials such as doggie booties and backpacks. Your dog will need to be comfortable and familiar with this gear beforehand, so attempt practice rounds in the yard, neighborhood, or park.

Most of all, invest in a quality adventure dog harness that’s perfect for all terrains. The everyday harness found here at Rocky Mountain Dog hits the jackpot: it’s durable, offers easy-to-use control, and is comfortable to wear. Such a versatile, all-around product is essential to join in the adventure that lies all around us. Browse our various RMD gear collections today to use on your next outdoor excursion.