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Pet First Aid while camping

Greetings all,

How do you plan for the potentially injured pet? I have a kit and have taken pet first aid classes, but I'm curious how others plan for this in their lives while camping.  



8 Replies

I found this to be a pretty good guide (, but recently after our dog seemed to be limping a bit as we neared the top of a mountain, we were wondering what we would do to get her back down if she couldn't do it herself.  One of our thoughts has always been to shift the load from two packs to one so that we could carry her down in a backpack in order to keep our hands free.  Any other thoughts?

@taskmaster , I saw a harness from Mountain Dogware advertised online that is made for incidents just like this. It's lightweight and allows you to carry your injured dog on your back (or front!). Their website is

@azmedic196 , it sounds like you have done a good job of preparing to take your pet camping and preparing for a possible injury. I know that people adventure with all types of pets but REI does offer a class called Wilderness First Aid Basics for Dogs. Check to see if this class is being offered near you. If not, you can reach out to your local store to see if this is something that can be offered in your market. 

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

@REI-MichelleW Thanks for the link.  I am a flight medic currently in Northern AZ.  I teach trauma and wilderness first aid and have a K9 first aid class as well.  I will for sure check out the link you sent however because we can always pick up something from others.  🙂  

I have the Fido pro Airlift from I like it.  

It's conversations like this that are great for info sharing.  

Thank you.  

I am a veterinarian and I also carry the Fido Pro Airlift.  It gives you solid way toe vac a dog from backcountry with a solid support.  It is not easy, but can be used to carry dog while you also carry pack.  Awkward, but possible.  I have 55 pound Border Collie and have practiced with it.   Glad you teach canine first aid...most people hiking with dogs are not prepared.  

@REI-MichelleW Thanks so much!  I'll look into this.  It would also help for water crossings and metal bridges...  our dog does not like to get wet as she's super fluffy and sometimes her feet can fit through metal grating. Being able to carry her on our back would free up hands for better safety with poles.  We wouldn't try it with deep water crossings, but some of the more shallow crossings can be tough with the chance of slipping when carrying her in our arms.

@taskmaster A dog backpack carrier is definitely a great choice. If you need help in choosing the right backpack, check out this page


@outdoorpuplover Thanks, that's a very nice, thorough site!  Sadly our pup is 50 lbs, so these won't work this time around.  Our dog's getting really old and we find ourselves taking half days when backpacking with her because she gets tired.  We already had one instance this summer where I ran 7 miles to get the car to keep her from having to walk too far!  Last year we found out that she most likely had anaplasmosis.  She was really sick for a few weeks and it made us wonder how best to get her down a mountain if we had too!  She still loves to get out there, but not as much after a day or too on the rough trails.


I would add a digital thermometer to your first aid kit. I was camping at the beach with my pup and she leaked enough urine (no blood,no mucus)while awake to fill a crate pad and almost a full size towel. I was worried she needed to go to the er vet from so much fluid loss so texted my vet. She said get a digital thermometer(so I went to close by Rite Aid) and if temp normal she could wait to go to her regular vet. Did that and she has a UTI!