So many overnight adventures—backpacking, tent camping, RV camping, overnight river trips—so little time!
The long days and warmer nights make for a great camping or backpacking adventure with your dog. But if you’ve never tried it before, don’t fret; a few tips can make your overnight adventures with your dog a fun, safe, and enjoyable experience for two-leggers and four-leggers!
Before you go
1. Check applicable leash laws and make sure dogs are allowed where you are planning your adventure.
2. Condition your dog for the activities you’re planning. Physical conditioning as well as conditioning for the use of gear, is essential. Just like humans need to condition their body and their boots for a long hike, a dog will need to do the same.
Also, remember that an oversized or overloaded dog pack can lead to exhaustion and overheating. A pack should carry no more than 25-30% of your dog’s weight, depending on the health and fitness level of your dog. Start by conditioning your dog with small, light loads and gradually work your dog’s way up to heavier loads.
3. Be prepared for an emergency by making sure your dog’s shots and identification are up to date. Identification is essential in case your canine wanders into unknown territory.
While on your adventure:
1. Don’t forget dog owner etiquette. Remember to always pick up after your dog, even in the wilderness.
2. Prevent your dog from becoming a nuisance by restraining highly-strung or easily distracted dogs from other animals and people. Be sure you have the strength and capability to control your dog at all times. The Ruff Wear Flat Out™, Roamer™ and DoubleBack™ leashes have great waist-worn options that allow control while leaving your hands free.
3. Be wary of parasites by arming your dog with flea, tick, and mosquito protection. These parasites can cause illness and discomfort.
4. Check regularly for hurt paws and pads from sharp rocks, uneven terrain, torn pads, or embedded plant life (such as stinging nettles, foxtails, and crabgrass).
What tips do you have for making overnight adventures with your dog more enjoyable? Please feel free to share tips and advice with the community!