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FutureStarrBackpacking With a Dog
How can you escape the hustle and bustle and visit more of the amazing country at the same time? A pet is the perfect companion for the airborne adventurer. Dogs are often the perfect wingman with their charming, helpful personalities and quick, excited energy. Here are a few backpacking tips with your best buddy, the pooch.
Last summer we took our dog Charlie on his first backpacking trip, and before we hit the trail, I had a lot of questions. Would he be physically fit enough to do it? Would his paws get cut up? Would he like carrying his own backpack? And what does Leave No Trace say about dog poop in the backcountry? I did my homework, and fortunately our trip backpacking with a dog was a huge success. Charlie absolutely loved it, and it made the trip more fun for us as well.
This goes hand in hand with choosing an appropriate trail. Not all dog breeds are meant for backpacking, such as bulldogs. If you don’t have a dog yet and are considering getting a dog to backpack with, do your research to make sure you end up with an active breed. As far as size, being small doesn’t mean a dog can’t go backpacking. It just means that you might need to help them get over obstacles on the trail. Smaller breeds also won’t be able to carry as much weight in their backpack. (Source: bearfoottheory.com)
Even if your dog is great off-leash, you never know what you might encounter when backpacking with a dog, so you should always keep a leash somewhere that you can quickly grab it and put it on your dog. Your dog might see a deer (or worse, a bear) and go ballistic, and without a leash on hand you don’t have an easy way to keep them close. Also if you run into other hikers, keeping your dog under your direct control is good trail etiquette. Even though it might be hard to believe ðŸ˜ƒ not everyone wants your adorable (dirty slobbery) dog vying for their attention.
Like you, your dog will be burning more calories than usual and will need extra food to maintain their energy levels. Make sure the food you bring is high in protein and nutrients, rather than filler so it actually fuels their activities. We feed Charlie Wellness Natural Pet Food Wild Game Core kibble which is 100% grain-free. The wild game formula is 34% protein and packed with omega fatty acids and important nutrients. In addition to giving his body what he needs, Charlie also has the softest, shiniest coat which we attribute to his diet. (Source: bearfoottheory.com)