Hiking with a dog - the do's, don'ts, and essentials

Hiking with a dog - the do's, don'ts, and essentials
Posted in: How-To Guides
By Jess Bradley
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Hiking with a dog - the do's, don'ts, and essentials

If you enjoy a hike through the wilderness and own a dog, why not combine the two? Afterall, dogs need to go for a walk. And, ifyou do plan on taking your dog hiking, there are a few things you should keep in mind for the adventure.


Prepare for it

You can’t just wake up one day and decide you’re going to take your dog on a long hike, especially if they aren’t used to long walks. Instead, you need to build up your dogs stamina and endurance so they can tackle the walk easily.

If you have a smaller or young dog, you should avoid long, challenging hikes, and opt for short, flat routes instead.


Check the six areas

With your dog running through bushes and undergrowth, they are bound to bring back bits of nature with them. And whilst bits of twig might not badly hard them, you should check the size key areas for anything that can. The six key areas are:

- Eyes

- Ears

- Paw pads

- Tail

- Underarms

- Mouth

You should look out for any sharp twigs embedded in the skin, grass seeds, ticks and mites. Also make sure to look around and in  their mouth for any cuts or pieces of debris to prevent them from choking.


Food and water

Before you go on the hike, you should avoid feeding them big meals and always feed them a few hours before you go. This will give them a chance to properly digest the food. You could also feed them at intervals during the walk which helps them exert energy evenly.

Also stop for water breaks throughout the trail to help keep your pet hydrated and cool. If you are thirsty, they mostly likely are too.


Health and safety

Not only do you have to think of your own health and safety, you need to also think of your dog. When planning for a hike, make sure your dog is microchipped in case they get lost. That way, they should be returned to you ASAP. To prevent them running away or having any accidents, you should always keep them on a lead, preferably a non-extendable one so you can keep them under control.

If you are planning on going hiking during the summer months, opt for days that are a little cooler or don’t go at the hottest time of the day (around 12pm). Instead, plan your adventures for the early morning or late afternoon when it is a lot cooler.


What to take

Whilst packing your own backpack, you should also be packing for your pooch. Here is a list of everything you should include:

- Treats for rewarding good behaviour

- Their favourite toy – avoid throwing a stick you find and use a toy instead

- Dog brush or comb incase they need a brush during or after the walk

- Disposable bags to clean up after them

- Food and water – you can get foldable bowls to save space

1 year ago
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