How to start Backpacking with your Dog!

Hiking with your dog can be a wonderful activity and a great time to bond with your pet!  Dogs love to work!  Hiking not only allows them to explore and experience the outside, but it also gives them a purpose.  There is only one thing that could make them even happier, giving them a job!  Dog Backpacks are great for hiking!  Most dogs have far more energy then you do, and having them carry a backpack not only gives them that job they want, it also helps exercise them a bit more then just a walk in the woods.

Here are a few tips to help you go backpacking with your dog!

First off, you need a backpack.  You can purchase one here !  These are the backpacks we use with our dogs, and we LOVE them!  They hold up very well, have a lot of space, a really nice harness, and they don’t slide all over the place on your dog!

After you get your backpack, you need to get your dog used to it.  Remember, always praise your dog for doing good!  Get a pocketful of treats and work with you dog, by letting them first check out the backpack, sniffing it, move it around, and reward them as they do.  They will realize that the backpack means treats and fun!

Once they are used to it, go ahead and try it on.  Take it slow and reward your dog as you clip the clips and adjust the pack.  I would put it on and off a few times during this process. When your dog seems comfortable with the pack, go for a short walk.  Don’t put anything into the backpack at this time, just have it empty and do a short walk, again, rewarding all the way.

Now it’s time to add some items to the pack!  We always start off with two water bottles, and a travel dish.  It’s not to heavy, but it gives the dog a feeling of what the pack will feel like and do while there are items in it. Reward, Reward, Reward!  Start off with a few short hikes over the next few days, and you are well on your way!

As time goes on you can add more items to your dogs backpack.  Our dogs have carried water bottles, snacks for us, snacks for them, camera equipment, toys, and many other items. The backpack gives your dog a job.  It not only exercises their body, but also their mind!  Both are very important to the health and well being of your dog!

We hope this helps you understand how to backpack with your dog!  Have fun!  Get out there, and get hiking!  Stay Positive, Dream Big!  See you soon!

Backpack with your Dog
This is an Outward Hound Backpack! We love them!

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