Backpacking with your Dog is a Great Activity
I am going to go out on a limb and say that dog agility people are the outdoor type. And we talk a lot about the importance of exercise, healthy food and cross training for you and your dog. One way to get all those rolled into one great outdoor event is hiking. But, let’s take it a step farther and go backpacking. That’s right, backpacking will allow you and your dog to go farther and burn a few more calories with the added weight.
We are not talking about competitive packing, though that sounds like fun. We are just talking about heading out for an hour or so with your dog. Depending on where you live, you may be lucky enough to walk out your back door and onto great trails. Or, you may have to take a little drive to a park in order to access good hiking trails. Either way, hiking is a great way to exercise, enjoy each others company and get out away from the hustle and bustle of life.
Affordable Agility has a great pack for your dog that you can put his and/or your essentials in and it has the double benefit of giving him a job as well as a little more work. You can easily fit two water bottles, the car keys, his treats, your snacks, and your cellphone in their pack. If you are hiking in high elevations, during hot or humid weather or plan to be gone for over an hour you will need to bring extra water so you don’t become dehydrated. Even on cool days you should stop and offer your dog water every 30-45 minutes. If you wait until you are thirsty you are already getting dehydrated. Remember, your dog loses fluids when panting as a way to cool their body.
Depending on weather and location of your hike you may want to keep an emergency whistle, thermal blanket, compass and small first aid kit as well. These wont take more than a handful of room in your pack and you will be happy you have them should the need arise.
You don’t have to go on a long hike to gain benefits of having your dog pack. You can weight it for walks, have him help out around the house or ranch and even run the kids their lunch. Ok, so maybe that can only be done by Lassie, but you get the point. Be creative and let your dog help carry things for you at home as well as out and about.