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Backpacking with Fido

Hi all,

I have a lovely new (expensive) backpacking tent (with the usual lightweight fabric) and a dog ..with doggie toenails and calloused pads.  I’m worried about her ripping accidentally at the tent fabric at night.  I’m considering getting her doggie socks to wear to bed.  (She’s got tough feet and does not need anything on her feet during the day.) Any recommendations or other thoughts?

4 Replies

I have a dog but I have not backpacked with one so just taking some educated guesses...

If your dog is not bouncy or diggy and has trimmed claws then the issue is more likely to be muddy footprints.  Take a towel and some kind or door mat (eg tyvek) to clean off your dog's feet before entry.

The callouses are unlikely to be a problem as such but could cause the tent floor to abrade against the ground.  Use a footprint under the floor so the tent floor will slide when scooted. 

An idea...cut a piece of tyvek to size and use it inside the tent over the tent floor when you take the dog.    I would still use a footprint under the tent to keep the tent clean but you can used your judgement on that.

I would be most concerned about my inflatable sleep pad so make sure to carry a repair kit if you use one...

Make sure you have something for the dog to lie on...a piece of closed cell foam (eg: part of a Z-lite or similar) and some kind of over cover appropriate for the conditions and your dog.  Beside the appropriate concern for the dog's comfort,  if your dog has its own bed it will be less likely to try to use yours.

While there is a case to use dog shoes on the dog when hiking longer distances and over abrasive terrain or in cold conditions your dog will probably want them off in the tent while it is resting/sleeping.


My dog always preferred to slp outside the tent this was in fairly mild conditions.

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Hi @BrownDog - Thanks for reaching out. It's great to hear you and your dog have some backpacking trips in your future!

We wanted to pass along some other threads that might have some helpful advice in addition to the suggestions you've already gotten:

Best of luck with your ventures. If you're keen to share, we'd love to hear how your first backpacking trip in the new tent goes!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I've camped with my dog for a few years and it honestly hasn't been an issue.  But my dog doesn't paw at the bug screen either, so dog behavior will probably make my dog experience different from yours.