Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Backpacking with Dogs Basics: Part II

Misty in Tent

Dogs and Outdoor First Aid

Luckily, I’ve been able to avoid having to do any significant first aid on my dog while hiking or backpacking. That said, I always have a first aid kit with me that includes basics for both dogs or humans. Things like gauze and scissors, medical tape, Neosporin (I used to use this for my Dalmatian’s skin issue and since found it works for many minor irritations.)

Other resources that I’ve looked at before and would recommend, include this dog first aid book and this free PDF download on Ruff Wear’s website. Of course, your first step should always be to consult a professional such as your veterinarian.

Dogs and Camping Etiquette

Camping etiquette depends greatly on where you end up pitching your tent. If you are at a busy campground near a popular destination- I would say be extra polite and careful with your dog. I can’t tell you how uptight people can get about dogs, no matter how extremely well behaved they are. I’ve had several dogs, and Misty certainly takes the prize for being the most mild mannered and calm, but we have even had incidents where people have been absolutely over reactive to how long her leash is and if she was off leash for, like, a second.

Others times when we are actually backpacking or hiking we let her off leash and generally have no issues. Most of the time the other off leash dogs we bump into are other dog owners that are forgiving to another dog that jumps or barks.

Needless to say, we never leave her behind and that may be the most helpful etiquette tip I can give you.

Dogs and Where to Sleep While you’re Camping

Choosing where your dog will sleep while you are on a backpacking trip is individual to the dog. I’ve heard of people doing everything from- leaving their dog at home (sad!), tying them to a tree, letting them roam free, and letting them sleep in the tent.

Our dog, Misty, typically arrives at camp and promptly digs herself a little hole. She’ll spend quite a few hours literally “in the hole” sleeping while we cook, set up camp and eat. After that, she joins us in the tent and is an excellent tent camper. She has her own blanket for the foot end of tent, but she eventually worms her way up in between us.

Misty in Tent

More Dog Backpacking, Outdoor Skills, and Pointers to come! Subscribe to my feed so that you don’t miss any.

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