Looking to take your furry friend on the next outdoor trip, but do not know where to start? Then this article is just for you. We list out the best resources to check out before taking your dog on the next hiking, backpacking or camping trip.
We share the list of the best learning guides and destination-specific book series that would help you prepare for outdoor excursions with your canine friend – starting from pre-trip readiness to picking the right gear and things to take care while on the trail. Some of these books are available both in paperback and Kindle as indicated in the list.
We also share our favorite online resources – websites and blogs as well as phone apps that can help you plan and manage outdoor excursions with your pet. You can use these resources in addition to the popular dog training books, such as those by Cesar Milan to take your furry friend for an outdoor excursion with you.
While most of the resources we list apply specifically for long one to multi-day excursions, you can use the resources for shorter trips as well. Moreover, while the focus remains on dogs, some of the resources we list provide excellent information for other pets such as cats as well.
Best guide books listSome of the best books available in the market for traveling with dogs are listed below:
|The Trailhounds Handbook||Yes||- This illustrious guide is authored by Ellen Eastwood and published by Wilderness Press.|
- The book covers all aspects of hiking with dogs - from planning to safety tips and practices.
- The current edition was published in May 2012.
|Camping and RVing with Dogs, 3rd Edition||No||- This classic, popular guide is authored by Jack and Julee Meltzer.|
- In 220 pages, the book covers all aspects of camping and RVing, specifically with a big breed dog.
- The current edition was published in May 2009.
|Backpacker Magazine's Hiking and Backpacking with Dogs||No||- This excellent resource for backpacking with dogs is authored by Linda and David Mullaly.|
- In short 120 pages, the book covers all aspects of outdoor excursions with your dog starting from picking the right breed, training and taking care of your canine while on the go.
- The current edition was published in Jan 2014.
|Dog First Aid: A Field Guide to Emergency Care for the Outdoor Dog||No||- The most definitive resource on canine care out there.|
- Authored by Randy Acker, with illustrations by Christopher Smith.
- In 90 odd pages, this pocket-size edition contains information and practical advice to follow when faced with an eventuality while in the outdoors.
- A timeless classic published in 1994.
|Hiking with Small Dogs: An Owner's Guidebook||Yes||- This newly published book meant specifically for small breed dog owners is authored by Adam Raver.|
- In 140 pages, the book covers breed selection, pre-hike conditioning as well as specific topics on multi-day hiking and camping.
- The current edition was published in Dec 2016.
|Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook||No||- A yearly updated travel-with-pet almanac contains information about 15K pet-friendly AAA approved hotels, restaurants and campgrounds.|
- The current edition was published in May 2016.
|100 Ideas For Great Outdoor Vacations To Take With Your Dog||Older edition available in Kindle||- This listing of great ideas and tips on outdoor travel with dogs is authored by our favorite pet author, Doug Gelbert of Doggin' America fame.|
- A comprehensive 360-page guide.
- The current edition was published in April 2016.
Best destination-based series listA list of the best destination-based travel guides
|Dog Lover's Companion Guides||No for most||- These elaborate dog lover companion guides are published by Rick Steves publishing.|
- In more than 500 pages per guide, each edition contains information about best dog runs, parks, beaches, hiking trails, camping areas and more around specific destinations in the US.
- Most of the books are updated bi-annually.
|Mountaineering Books’ Best Hikes with Dogs Series||Yes||- A collection of “Best Hikes with Dogs series” containing information about the best trails and dog-friendly hikes across US and Canada states and regions.|
- Each book contains detailed information about the best trails and treks along with additional information on canine care.
|Falcon Guides for Hiking with dogs||Yes for most||- This collection of pet-friendly guides from the popular Falcon Publishers are published under Best Dog Hikes series.|
- Each guide is filled with useful information about dog-friendly trails and filled with full-color maps and photos, helpful tips and sidebars.
- Most guides are updated every three years.
|Doug Gilbert’s Travel Guides||Yes||- Under the series Doggin’ “Destination”, Doug Gilbert shares the best outdoor trails around specific destinations in the US states and regions.|
- Each book contains useful information about hiking on dog-friendly trails, specific tips and tricks and regulations for each trail.
- Though some editions may be more than 7 years old, most of the information is still relevant and useful.
|DogFriendly.com’s Travel Guides||Yes for most||- A set of abridged editions containing destination based information from the most comprehensive website on dog-friendly trails, parks, beaches, places, hotels, restaurants etc.|
- Covers most locations in the US and Canada.
How to pick the best guide for hiking, backpacking or camping with dogs?
Picking the best outdoor guide for hiking, backpacking, RVing or camping with dogs is not much different from picking up any other outdoor travel book. But you can keep the following factors in mind while considering the best choice for you or anybody else you are buying it for:
- Type of Content
- Year of publication of current edition
- Popularity, reviews, and ratings
Type of Content
Depending upon your experience level and primary focus area, you can consider specific guide books. Books such as The Trailhounds Handbook and Backpacker Magazine’s Hiking and Backpacking with Dogs provide detailed information about how to get your pet ready for a hiking or backpacking expedition. Similarly, books such as Dog First Aid: A Field Guide to Emergency Care for the Outdoor Dog have a more specific focus on ensuring the safety of your favorite pet while in the outdoors. Once you have zeroed in the destination, you can pick specific destination based guides from any of the series mentioned above to get more information about the dog-friendly places in the geography.
Publication year of the edition
In the case of outdoor travel guide books, the publication year is not such a big factor, when compared to other considerations such as popularity and type of content. The exception to this is books such as Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook which are updated every year.
In the case of destination based series guides, the publication year of the book is generally more important than the publisher. Books which are 6 or more years old are generally not very suitable considering the changes in pet-friendly places that may have happened over the years. In addition, the references to dog-friendly motels, restaurants, campgrounds etc. in such books may no longer be accurate. Try to pick the latest guide for the destination to get the most updated information.
Popularity and Reviews
The popularity of the author, publisher, and book is often a great indicator of how the book would turn out to be. Most of the books listed above have been written by authors and edited by publishers with considerable experience in their fields. But as one size does not fit all, you should look at the reviews, especially by other experts and authors in the field. A simple search can often reveal a lot about the popularity of the book. You can also utilize the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon website to get a preview of the book.
Which are the best dog outdoor guides and what our picks are?
In our list, we have listed more than 10 high-quality guides spanning across two broad categories – generic learning guides and destination based series for specific locations. Picking the most suitable guide depends a lot on your requirements as a reader.
If you are looking for a beginner guide that can help you plan for an outdoor adventure with your dog, then look at the The Trailhounds Handbook or Camping and RVing with Dogs, 3rd Edition. Both of these guidebooks provide comprehensive information about how to plan, prepare and manage a backpacking or camping trip with your beloved furry friend. Another book, we would like to recommend is the Dog First Aid: A Field Guide to Emergency Care for the Outdoor Dog guide. You will find this book very useful to prepare yourself for any eventuality during an outdoor trip with your dog.
When it comes to the destination based series, the Dog Lover’s Companion Guides and Mountaineering Books’ Best Hikes with Dogs Series are our favorites. You can find a lot of information about specific destinations in the US and Canada in these books. And the best part is that you can find most of these guides available in the Kindle edition.
Best websites, blogs and apps for outdoor trips with dogs
In addition to the guide books, there are quite a few websites and blogs that provide excellent information, tips and tricks for outdoor travel. Some of the popular websites and blogs that we love are listed below:
- Take Paws Blog on GoPetFriendly.com: A great blog for pet lovers who like to travel with their dogs. Contains a lot of insights, tips, and tricks on how to travel around with your dog, best attractions to explore with your dog and even has a collection of pet travel essentials to check out.
- BringFido: An excellent resource that lists out more than 100K places to stay, play, and eat with your dog.
- DogFriendly.com: Probably the oldest and most comprehensive resource of information on dog- friendly destinations, motels, even car rentals. An excellent supplement to the DogFriendly.com’s travel guide books listed above. And do not forget to sign up for their newsletter for some additional interesting information.
- CaliTrails.com: If you are living or traveling around California, then you would love this website.
Moreover, here are some phone apps (almost all available on both Android and iOS) that can help you plan, prepare manage outdoor activities with your dog.
- DogTrekker Dog App: An interesting app for those who live in California. Alas, it is not available for other regions as of now.
- PetMD App: A generic application to help you manage any unfavorable condition while traveling around in the country. You would find this app a useful addition even for everyday life with your dog.
- BringFido App: A great resource that provides access to almost all information about destinations listed on the BringFido website.
Final thoughts on best resources for hiking, backpacking, and camping with dogs
In this article, we looked at some of the best guide books and series available in the market for hiking, backpacking or camping with your favorite pet canine. We listed out seven high-quality and popular books to help you prepare your furry friend for an outdoor excursion with you in the wilderness. We also looked at the destination based travel guides, which provide a list of dog-friendly places and activities across multiple destinations across the US and Canada. Some of these books are available both in paperback and Kindle editions as indicated in the list. These books also make an excellent gift for dog owners and lovers.
In addition, we also listed out some of our favorite websites, blogs, and apps. These digital resources provide excellent up-to-date information and advice on how to raise and manage an outdoor-loving pet. You should definitely check some of them out while planning your next trip with your canine friend.
Do let us know how you found this article and if you would want us to consider anything else. Till then, best wishes for explorations with your furry friend!!