When you’re planning to go on a backpacking trip with your dog, it doesn’t make sense to pack as much as you might for other types of travel. Unless you’re taking a car with you on your trip, you’re going to have to narrow down what you pack quite a bit. Having the limited space available, even when using the largest travel bags, means having to leave some of your pup’s favorite toys at home.
Here’s the ultimate checklist followed by a collection of dog travel tips for your backpacking trip with your pup.
Traveling with your dog’s regular food and water bowls can take up too much room, which is why so many owners opt for collapsible dog bowls instead. Not only are they flexible enough to shove into the smallest spaces, but they often come with carabiners clips that make them easy to hang right on any bag or leash. This also makes them far more accessible than anything buried at the bottom of your backpack, and when your pup is thirsty that’s an important feature.
Maybe I spoil my pup Chelsea but I always travel with two S’well water bottles, one for me and one for her. Since she’s a pug mix, she has breathing issues sometimes. This makes it essential for her to have access to water at all times, especially when she’s doing a lot of walking. I literally have four water bowls around my house. S’well water bottles are great for traveling though because they keep the water cold and won’t leave behind any condensation that tends to ruin my books. This is the best dog travel tip you’ll come across.
One of the biggest mistakes I made traveling with Chelsea on our 30-day train trip was not packing extra dog poop bags. It didn’t even cross my mind, as I always let Chelsea do her business outside in my yard and clean it up with a pooper scooper. So, I never use dog waste bags unless we’re at the park or somewhere in public. When you’re traveling, however, you’re always in public so you’ll go through waste bags much faster. I couldn’t find any to buy on the road and ended up having to improvise, which was not a fun part of our trip. I highly recommend avoiding this by taking this dog travel tip into consideration and making room in your backpack for an extra roll or two of poop bags.
If your dog is anything like Chelsea, then they’ll simply refuse to eat if their food isn’t fresh. Traveling without properly storing your dog food can cause it to go stale, and for Chelsea that meant I would be carrying around all that extra weight just to end up throwing it in the trash. That’s why a reliable dog food travel storage container is an essential addition to your checklist. What I love about this one is that it not only keeps Chelsea’s food fresh, but I can clip it to my bag without it taking up space in my backpack.
Admittedly, Chelsea sleeps in bed with me. I’ve bought her numerous beds in the past, all of which she thought were new toys and ripped to shreds. If your dog likes to sleep in their own space though, it may not be a bad idea to get a designated travel dog bed. This is important especially when you’re backpacking, as you won’t have the room to bring your dog’s bed from home. A travel dog bed like this one can deflate a fit nicely into your bag when you’re on the move.
If you plan on doing a lot of walking around and have a small or medium dog, you should expect that your pup will need time off of their tiny legs. A dog carrier is a great dog travel tip for those who plan to do a lot of hiking and exploring on their trip. K9 dog carrier backpacks have by far the best reviews and take both your pup’s safety as well as your comfort into consideration when designing their products. If you don’t have a backpack for your trip, then this carrier might be a great option as it has room for some of your belongings as well.
Some other things to consider packing:
When traveling with only a backpack to hold both you and your dog’s belongings, packing can get pretty overwhelming. Here are some dog travel tips to make it easier for you.
Rather than shove a week’s worth of dog food in your backpack, bring enough for a few days and buy it on the go instead. Dog food will weigh down your backpack and make traveling more difficult. If you can’t stop at convenient stores, then another option is to have dog food delivered to your hotel or campsite through Amazon Prime or any other delivery service. This is a great opportunity to have other necessities sent to where you’re staying as well.
If your dog eats wet food or is on a medication that has to stay cold, make sure your hotel or Airbnb has a refrigerator. You don’t want to lug around anything that ends up going bad because you don’t have access to a fridge.
Instead of carrying around your dog’s medical records, take photos of them and add them to your favorites. This makes them easily accessible in case of emergency without having to lug them around.
Your dog may not be able to come with you everywhere you plan to go on your backpacking trip. While they will likely enjoy spending time in the hotel resting, you want to make sure they have enough stimulation in case they get bored. Chelsea loves these Oinkies natural long-lasting dog chews which are safer than rawhide bones, and they usually take her a few days to get through.
Now you’re all set for your backpacking trip with your dog!
Are you considering getting around the country by train? Learn how to plan your Amtrak trip using their rail pass option here.
I’m Rose! Get lost with me as I travel the world with my spoiled dog Chelsea in hopes of accidentally uncovering a few hidden gems along the way. Far from being considered a planner, it’s not uncommon that we stumble upon both the best and the worst of what this world has to offer.
From advice on how to make traveling with a dog easier to the inside scoop on what it’s really like to travel alone as a woman, this travel blog is far from ordinary. Follow us as we explore the smallest corners of the globe, meeting new people and hopefully not getting murdered along the way.