Day 31,

August 8, 2013.

The one with the traveling dog.

After sharing the tips I discovered about backpacking and camping, there is one more thing I would like to share with you: the ultimate tips for backpacking with a dog. It’s a challenge sometimes to travel with a dog but it’s also one of the best choices we made so far. If you hesitate to bring your dog with you on your backpacking adventure, stop hesitating. Everything will be alright and these tips will take most challenges away.

  1. Get your dog a backpack; your own packs are heavy enough. It gives him the feeling of having a task, which will keep him close to you.

  2. If you wouldn’t get the backpack for the weight you should just get it because it will make everybody you encounter along the way smile and it’ll be an icebreaker for conversations with locals.

  3. Dog boots are over-rated; their feet are fast healing. When you get some blisters he might get some little cuts, but you’ll both have fully healed stronger feet at the same time.

  4. Bring a little mattress. It will make him feel like home wherever you are and for yourself it’s comfortable to use when you are for example preparing food while sitting on hard surfaces.

  5. Instead of carrying the weight of a leach and collar you can just use a strap. It’s lightweight and multi-functional.

  6. When you can’t leave your backpacks unattended just use the strap around your dogs’ neck as a collar and make a knot with the end of the strap around the shoulder straps of your backpacks. Now you can safely do groceries without anyone daring to come near them.

  7.  You don’t need an expensive travel-bowl for your dog, a Tupperware or measurement jar for his food does the job.

  8. In order to keep the dog food the same weight at both sides of his backpack you can poor the food in two plastic zip-lock bags.

  9. If you have questions about your dog and the vaccinations or papers he needs for the next country you’re going to visit, you can Google a local vet, and they’ll happily assist you with their knowledge over the phone.

  10. In countries with a high chance of ticks, the tick-collar is recommended over expensive treatments. Since we’ve had it he barely had a tick, and it lasts for six months.

  11. For around 10 euros you can buy a floatable lightweight strong dog Frisbee. This is non-stop entertainment for your dog, you and anyone you meet along the way.

  12. Hitchhiking with a dog is definitely possible, we have done so from Belgium to the South of Spain and often they took us just because of our dog.

  13. When it’s extremely cold in the winter and you are sleeping in a tent, your dog will be the best heater, crawled up next to you inside or on top of your sleeping bag.

  14. It’s very good for your dog to give him a raw egg mixed with his food every two weeks. It’s not only good for his fur but also for his bones, which will be highly tested during good hiking trails.

  15. When you go to a vet for new vaccines, or deworming, make sure they note every one of them in his passport. The more signatures and stamps the better.