Hiking with dogs is undeniably one of the most unforgettable experiences either one of you may have. Seeing their unfiltered enjoyment and high energy might inspire you to go farther while enjoying outdoor with your dog.
But keeping in mind that dogs are still animals is very important. Thus, before going to hike there are some important things, safety measures, as well as precautions that you need to know to make sure that you and your pet, as well as other people on the trail, are safe.
So to give you an idea about these things we have created this content. Either way, if you want to make the most out of your hiking with your dog then keep on reading this content.
9 Things to Know Before Hiking with Your Dog
1. Bring Enough Food and Water for the both of you
If you’re planning to bring your dog on a hike make sure to pack enough water and food. Keep in mind that you need to feed two mouths.
Since dogs can’t sweat like people and have a fur coat, they are prone to overheating. Although you may not need water for your dog when walking around your area anytime you go on trails; it is always a good idea to carry adequate liquids for yourself and your pet. However, don’t forget to bring a portable dish where you can pour some for your dog.
On the other hand, if it is too hot, you can incorporate some light electrolyte fluids on your pet’s water.
Aside from water, consider bringing some dog treats so that you will be able to maintain its energy levels while you’re on a long hike. Just like people, dogs also need sufficient calories to remain energized.
2. Comply with All the Leash Rules
Not all people love dogs; some are scared of them. Actually, there are lots of reasons why allowing your pet off-leash on trails just is not a good idea.
With that said, it is best to do your own research ahead of time to ensure you are not breaking the laws unintentionally. For instance, dogs aren’t allowed in the majority of United States National Parks.
Most pet-friendly trails, on the other hand, oblige you to keep your dog on a leash not more than six feet in length. Take note if you didn’t follow such rules, you may ruin one of the most unforgettable moments with your dog.
3. Look out for Anything Your Pet Swallows
Some of the things that your dog may swallow on trails are very dangerous and even deadly.
So, if you notice that your dog is munching on something make sure to figure out what exactly it is. However, if it looks hazardous, take some of it with you and then show to a vet afterward.
It is essential especially with mushrooms and plants though you can avoid this from happening by simply keeping your pet on a leash. Nevertheless, if you go out the rope make sure to focus on your dog so that you will have an idea what they are eating as well as smelling.
4. Wear the right clothing
For you, the essential piece of apparel is footwear. You cannot get anywhere without a healthy pair of feet. Therefore, you will need to wear hiking shoes or boots. Apart from that avoid wearing cotton and don’t forget to bring a rain jacket.
For your dog, it does not need anything aside from a harness or collar and a leash. But depending on the terrain as well as the weather, your dog may need a cooling vest, paw balm, boots, or a jacket.
5. Make sure that your dog is physically fit to go on a hike
To prepare your dog on hiking, make sure that your pet is conditioned to regular walks on various terrains. Aside from that, let your dog perform some training exercises as well.
6. Don’t attempt to bring more than one dog
If you are planning to bring two dogs, make sure to bring with you another person to assist you.
But no matter how many persons are on the group do not try to manage more than two pets because packs of dogs are difficult to maintain.
7. Start Gently
When hiking with dogs, it is best to start with easy and short hikes. In addition to that, let him or her take a rest frequently. This will allow your dog to build up its endurance as well as strengthen up its paw pads.
For sure, you do not want to get too far away and then find out that your dog is in severe pain or getting worn out. Often, dogs tend to push themselves to the extent of exhaustion and injury only to persist with you.
Make sure to know the limits of your dog. Most importantly, gently increase the distance as well as the difficulty of climbs over time, hence your pet will enjoy the hike from start to end.
8. Consult Your Veterinarian First
Even though your dog is in good condition and shape, it is best to plan an appointment with your veterinarian. Make sure to discuss your plan to go hiking and then ask the vet to check the health of your dog with the following considerations:
- Age (too old or too young)
- Hip issues
Check to find out what preventative measure has to be taken after ensuring all the essentials are out of the way.
9. Check the Weather
Notwithstanding how ready you and your dog are, bad weather can ruin your plans. Irrespective of whether it is cold, hot, or something in between, don’t ever take your pup hiking when the weather condition is not ideal for it.
If the weather outside is too hot or if it is snowing buckets, make sure to save your hike for another day. But if you want to go on a walk regardless of the weather make sure to bring the necessities such as rain gear and water bottles.
What to Bring When Hiking With Your Dog
Often, most hikers tend to spend their whole night in the mountains. So if you’re planning to go hiking and camping with a dog at the same time make sure to bring the needed essentials with you. Either way, here are the gears to bring for camping with dogs.
- First-aid kit
- Plastic bags
- Water dish
- Backpacking bed
- Mock collar
- Dog blanket and bed
- Dog towel
- Grooming wipes
- Dog jacket
- Dog brush
There you have it, the nine important things that you need to know before hiking with dogs. Either way, after you consider these essential things, trust us, you as well as your four-legged friend will be ready to hit the trails. Your dog may enjoy hiking more than you do.