How To Backpack With A Dog

How To Backpack With A Dog? Best Guide-2023


Going for a trip with a conscious human being is easy but it is difficult, challenging, and interesting to have a pup as your travel companion because they cannot take care of themselves rather you will look after them so, if you are adventuring with a dog than you have to know how to backpack with a dog to avoid any kind of uncertainty, problematic situation or losses or other serious injuries.

In the given blog post we will be discussing backpacking with the dog, its carrying for trip pros and cons, and other tips and tricks for carrying them on a trip, so let us have a look.

Read About What Are D-Rings Used For On Backpacks?

Things To Know Before Backpacking With A Dog

Prior to discussing how to backpack with a dog, it is important to consider certain pre-backpacking factors that will help in avoiding any kind of irritation, inconvenience, and other major injuries or losses, so let us have a look.

1. Pup Capability For Traveling

First, you have to determine the suitability and capability of your dog whether it is fit for adventures or any kind of traveling or not and whether your pup is a good candidate to spend a night outside, the dog’s capability may include the following factors

1). Physically Fit

The pup must be physically fit to adjust to the harsh or rugged weather of the place to which you are traveling because he is totally dependent on you with regard to care as they are not that much enough to look after himself and their physical unfitness may disturb your trip too

2). Agewise Suitable

Similarly, your dog should also be agewise fit for a specific activity, and it is advisable to backpack with the dog when it becomes 2 years old and fully grown-up while bigger breed dogs may have to wait longer than the suggested period.

2. Selection Of The Right Backpack

Choosing the right backpack for a dog is very important to carry its basic stuff in it so that you may not bother to put it out, further, must consider its straps that should be fully adjusted with the pup’s body without causing any pain or injuries

3. Check Your Pup With a Veterinarian

Before backpacking with a dog it is necessary to check your backpacking dog to a veterinarian to inquire about his health whether he or she is fit for that specific adventure or not because he will give you a better suggestion than others as he is an expert in the field.

4. Emergency Plan

In case of an emergency or any serious issue with you or the dog must contact the concerned authority and take their contact number or nearest emergency contact information to immediately tackle the issue.

What Are Backpacking Dog Breeds?

The dog breeds that are suitable for backpacking for any kind of outdoor activity are called backpacking dog breeds

Best Backpacking Dog Breeds

As every dog breed is not suitable for backpacking, there are certain dog breeds that are considered best for any kind of outdoor activity. Following are the best backpacking dog breeds that prove very beneficial for outdoor activities

  1. German Shorthaired Pointer
  2. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  3. Mountain Cur
  4. Airedale Terrier
  5. Cairn Terrier
  6. Golden Retriever
  7. Australian Shepherd
  8. Border Collie
  9. Labrador Retriever
  10. Jack Russel Terrier
  11. Bernese Mountain Dog

How To Backpack With A Dog

Backpack with a dog is a little trickier and more complicated than a human companion because you have to take care of him instead of they take care of himself

We have divided backpacking with a dog into two sections for better understanding, pre-, and post-backpacking with a dog steps to enjoy your journey in a smooth environment 

1. Pre-Backpacking With Dog 

There are certain steps that you have to take before adventuring with your dog to avoid any kind of inconvenience or problematic situation during your journey.

1). Identify The Pup-friendly Adventure Site

The foremost important is finding a suitable dog-friendly adventure site which means that you have to check the following factors whether they are dog-friendly or not

  1. Check the specific park or adventurer site rules whether dogs are allowed there or not.
  2. The place has a plenty source of water.
  3. The wildlife of the place whether there are dangerous animals that may be encountered during the trial or not.
  4. Find the weather of the place in which year or month you will be going.
  5. Inquiring about the temperature of the trail, avoid intensive temperature places where there is not enough shade.
  6. How difficult should a specific trail be? It’s nature whether it has a hard surface or is difficult for your dog’s feet.

2). Protection Of Pup Paws

Some places have hard surfaces such as rocks or other shale and it is difficult for your pup to walk through so always use dog booties to prevent any injury or damage to the dog’s paws as dog booties are also a challenge for a dog, so in this regard give a prior training to your dog and wear a dog booties to them.

3). Dog Hiking Essentials

If you are backpacking with a dog for hiking then you must have all the following hiking tools for full enjoyment of your trail with your favourite pup

4). Inspection Of The Area Regulations

Prior to backpacking with a dog always check the area or site regulations to which you are traveling to whether they allow the animals especially the dog or not because many parks or adventure site does not allow the animals 

2. Post-Backpacking With Dog Steps

After completing the preparation for adventuring with your dog, you have to keep certain things in mind during the journey for your safe traveling.

1). Give Backpack To Your Dog

First, provide a backpack for your pup because you may have a lot of stuff to carry in your gear and keep all the basic items such as dog food, treats, poop bags and let your dog carry their backpack by itself.

Further, your dog can be used with the backpack if you give a training before backpacking with a dog

2). Packing Of The Dog Backpack

After completing the preparation, it is time to distribute the weight in a dog backpack as it same just like you backpacking for yourself. To do this, put equal weight on both sides. 

Keep heavier items in the bottom towards the body as the dog is stronger in front than the backpack so try to keep the loads on front than the backpack.

Similarly, make sure to keep the sharp or pointy objects away from the dog’s body, further, make portions in the backpack that will help in causing easiness in weight distribution.

After packing the bags, tighten the two straps on the backpack so as to uplift the backpack from the dog’s elbow and upper arm.

3). Important Stuff To Carry For Backpacking With a Dog

The important stuff that you have to carry when backpacking with a dog are as follows

  1. Navigational Tools
  2. Insulated Jackets or 
  3. Safety Bells that help in tracing your dog
  4. First Aid Kit in case of any injury to the dog such as paws etc
  5. Toys
  6. Food
  7. Hydration Reservoir
  8. Backpacking Dog Shelter
  9. Extra Towel to wipe down muddy paws and bellies
  10. Small Scissor
  11. Longer Coat
  12. Brush in case your dog has hair to brush it

4). Keeping An Eagle Eye On Your Dog

It is very necessary to keep a close eye while backpacking with a dog because he or she can be attacked by dangerous animals such as deer, lion, etc.

Furthermore, give prior training to your dog on what you will be doing in the journey so that you may have easiness during backpacking with a dog.

Mostly, the dogs are free in the night-time to roam around here and there, therefore you have to keep an eye on them, in this case, put a small light on their collar to know their whereabouts.

5). Provide Enough Nutrition During Traveling

In mountaineering and hilly areas traveling needs more calories than usual and you will need extra food to carry for yourself and the dog to maintain the dog’s energy level. It is advisable to carry a high protein and nutrients food rather than junk or other less protein nutrients. Furthermore, carry a freeze dried treats with you for the dog

6). Backpacking Dog Bed

Similarly, pack a sleeping bag when backpacking with the dog because it is difficult for the pup to sleep the whole night on the ground without foam or other things that are used for sitting or sleeping the pup just like a human can not sleep on the ground without a soft source in the same way a dog does not.

7). Keep The Food Out Of Reach

Always keep the extra food out of reach of the dog because they are non-conscious animals that can finish it at once, further, excessive eating can cause loose motion to the dogs and may irritate you during your journey.


8). Keeping The Dog Hydrated

During a backpack with a dog carry a water bowl or other items to provide water to the dog during the trail, dog dehydration can be it can be detected when its nose becomes dry. Similarly, if you do not want to dehydrate your dog then provide water after every 2 hours during the journey. 

9). Management Of Waste

As far as dog waste is concerned, it is our morally and lawful duty to keep the mountaineering or adventuring site neat and clean as well as to follow the leave no trace rule during backpacking or adventuring with your pup.

In this regard, bring a poop bag to put in it or buried in a hole to fully dispose of the waste

10). Identification Mark or ID Tags.

Put a kind of identification mark such as a collar or ID Tag on your dog so that other hikers and backpackers may know or in case your dog is lost during the trail. Further, keep recent photos of your backpacking with your dog.

Tips On How To Backpack With A Dog

After practically observing and researching we have picked out a few tips and tricks for backpacking with a dog which are as follows

  1. Do consider the weight of the dog because a well-trained pup can carry 30% to 50% of its own body weight depending on the dog’s shape, length of the trip, and breed.
  2. Must look at the previous customer feedback and reviews for buying a backpack for the dog to which you are backpacking.


I hope by profoundly looking into all the above discussions regarding how to backpack with a dog, certain factors to consider before backpacking with a dog, and other tips and tricks that may help in better distribution of weight in a backpack and to 


1. Is it hard to backpack with a dog?

Plan your hike

There are initially not many limitations, but some areas have higher requirements than others. If you are going on a hike where there are lots of rocks your dog might get tired faster than usual, and the paws might get worn. We recommend bringing booties to protect the paws.

2. Do dog backpacks calm dogs?

The answer is yes (with the vast majority of dogs)! Dog backpacks can be a great way to help keep your pup calm and focused while out and about. The backpack can provide a sense of security for your pup and can help to keep them from getting too excited or running around too much.

3. What items are dogs afraid of?

Dogs can be afraid of many things, from vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers to wind, fireworks, or even the dark. We look at some common dog fears and how to manage them.

4. Is it OK to carry a dog in a backpack?

Active dogs bred for a specific purpose, such as herding or sledding, are particularly well-suited to wearing backpacks, although other types of dogs can also benefit. Herding, sledding, and sports breeds generally have sturdier frames and stronger shoulders, which makes it easy to wear filled packs.

5. How do you carry a dog while backpacking?

Best for smaller and small-medium dogs, a pet carrier backpack is a great way to carry your dog on a hike because it’s designed to keep them securely inside so they can’t escape (which could happen with a regular backpack) while being comfortable enough for healthy dogs to stay in a few hours at a time without a.

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