Hiking With Dogs

Hiking With Dogs

Do you hate carrying extra weight in your pack?  Well, so does your dog!  If your dog is your official expedition companion here are five ways to make fido’s load a little bit lighter in the backcountry:

The best food to pack

Dry kibble is heavy! Try substituting dehydrated options from Stella and Chewy.  These products are extremely light weight, provide great nutrition, and rate very high on Dog Food Advisor.  Another option is complete K9 meal bars from Turbo Pup.  These are meal replacement bars for active dogs that are sold in single serving pouches.

Human friendly dog treatsDog and people treats

Many of your favorite backcountry snacks such as jerky, oatmeal, peanut butter and apples are actually great snacks for your pup!  Pack extra to share, or whip up a batch of our ‘Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cookies’ (recipe below) for a delicious trail snack that you can both enjoy.  Bringing snacks that everyone can enjoy will cut down on pack weight.

Dog Treat and Eddy Bowl

Ultralight reusable dog bowls

Dogs like their routine, and packing a bowl that they are familiar with will make them more comfortable when it comes to mealtime in the outdoors.  At home before your trip try switching out your dog’s regular bowl for an ultralight bowl such as this reusable one from Eddy Bowls.  When mealtime comes on the trail you dog will already be familiar with the smells and won’t hesitate to dig in.

Lightweight dog backpack

Just as you aspire to shed weight, your dog will also appreciate the lightest pack available.  Check out these lightweight options:

  • Ruffwear Singletrack Backpack – 12 oz (.65 lbs)
  • Outwear Hound Kyjen 2490 Dog Backpack – .9 lbs
  • EzyDog Summit Dog Backpack – 1 lbs
  • Ruffwear Approach Dog Backpack – 1.1 lbs

Dog trail food

Hopefully these tips are just what your dog needs to lighten their load.  Don’t forget, dogs need twice as much food on backcountry trips, so plan accordingly.  Make sure your dog stays hydrated, and always clean up after your pet!

People-friendly dog treats you can make in the backcountry using a snow shovel and aluminum foil.

Human friendly dog treats
Homemade Dog Treats: Trail Treats
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Pumpkin and peanut butter cookies your dog can share with you!

Course: Snacks
Cuisine: At Home
Servings: 15 Cookies
  • 2 cups Oats
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Apple Blend to a mash
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  1. Add oatmeal, pumpkin, peanut butter, apple mash, cinnamon, baking powder and eggs to bowl or mixer and blend on medium until all ingredients blend together.

  2. Use an ice cream scooper or spoon to to scoop balls of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with non-stick coating or wax paper.

  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

  4. Cool on rack until completely cooled. Place in airtight container to keep them fresh, or store in the freezer.


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