A great way to bond with your dog is to go on adventures like hiking and trekking with it. Although before embarking on an adventure of that sort, you will need to consider a few things to make it successful.
10 Tips When Hiking With Your Dog
As a companion in your good and bad times, your dog deserves some quality adventurous time with you, and what better than taking it on a hiking adventure with you.
This will be a good time for you two to bond. It is also beneficial to your little buddy since hiking can provide it with physical as well as mental stimulation.
Hiking will allow your dog to explore new places, smells, and sights with no distractions. It will be a rejuvenating experience for both of you.
Even though hiking with your dog has its benefits, you need to remember certain things before embarking on this adventure with your furry companion. Are you interested in hiking with your dog and asking “What do I need to know about hiking with my dog?”
This article will give you the best 10 tips on hiking with your dog so that it will be the most memorable experience of your life.
10- Health Checkup and Training
Another question you may ask is ” How do I start hiking with my dog? “ Let’s answer another question first.
Will you ever run a marathon without training or a proper health checkup ? No, right ? It may seem like your dog takes a walk every day, so he’ll be good on a trail, but this might ruin your perfect hiking plan.
Hiking is not like the everyday walk you take your dog on ; it takes more effort and needs some training to avoid any injuries to you and your dog. Also, as there will be encounters with other people and animals, make sure your dog is comfortable and able to interact with them.
How long should a dog hike? Taking your dog to a veterinarian will give you an idea of the ideal duration. If you are not careful about the limits of your little friend, it may face some problems in later life.
When you are at the vet, also make sure that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date. Also, ensure that your dog’s microchip is working properly, so your pet doesn’t get lost in the wild.
If you are planning a hike on rough terrain, it may damage your dogs’ paws, so make sure you invest in some good quality dogs boots.
09- Research About Dog-Friendly Trails And Rules
Many things can go wrong when you are hiking. For example, many hiking treks prohibit dogs, and others may not be suitable for them. So it’s always essential to do your research before planning a hike.
Among the things you should research is whether dogs are permitted on the trail, what other animals or wildlife you may encounter, and what plants can be dangerous to your dog . In other words, everything that may ruin your adventure.
You should also confirm if any event is going to take place on your hiking day or if you need to leash your dog on all or some of the trails.
Apart from trail hazards, you may not be able to get a network signal during your hike, so make sure you inform someone about your hike’s date, time, and when you will be returning just in case of injury or if you get lost.
08- Pack A Dog-Specific First-Aid Kit
Are you wondering, “How do I keep my dog safe while hiking? “ A dog-specific first-aid kit is the answer. It is always advisable to take a First-Aid Kit on any outdoor adventure like trekking and hiking.
And when your furry buddy is involved, it is a must. Hopefully, you won’t even need it, but if an accident or injury happens during the hiking, you will not be able to take your dog to a vet right away. So it’s best to be prepared.
If your dog is on some medication, double-check if you have packed them, and keep your vet’s contact number handy in case of emergency.
During the trek, make sure you and your pet stay in the shade as much as possible to avoid overheating, and if possible, pack a cooling pad and your first-aid kit.
07- Bring Enough Food And Water
It wouldn’t be much fun if you run out of food and water during the trek, would it? Pack extra water, food, and medicine so you’ll always have more than enough to survive.
Since your dog will burn more calories, you will need to feed it more than usual ; keep giving your dog treats so it doesn’t get tired along the way. Because dogs do not sweat, make sure you keep them hydrated by giving them plenty of water.
06- Take Breaks And Keep An Eye On Your Dog
Of all these hiking with dogs tips, the most important one is to watch your dog’s body language for any changes, like excessive panting or breathing, or any other changes you might not have noticed previously.
Also, be watchful and ensure your dog does not ingest anything dangerous or poisonous on the trail. This can include dirty water, toxic plants, fungi, and many other things that will be harmful to your little buddy. In the event your dog eats something he should not, you should make your dog throw up.
However, don’t wait for your dog to show signs of tiredness ; you must take frequent breaks, feed your dog, and keep it hydrated; this alone will prevent most problems.
05- Find A Perfect Trail
Doing research always helps, so make sure you learn as much as you can about the hiking location and rules there. You can find this information on the website of that hiking spot, or you can call them.
You will probably find more restrictions in a state park compared to a national park, but it may vary. Additionally, the research includes mapping out the trail journey to reduce the possibility of getting lost.
You’ll want to check any additional rules for pets on the trail since some require that your dog is always leashed. It would be best if you also tag your dog with your contact details so that in the event your dog wanders away from you, the tag will make finding you easier.
04- Be Aware Of Wildlife
There is a chance of potential injury to you and your dog during the hike from wildlife, so make sure you check what kind of wildlife is prevalent in the area. Coyotes try and lure small dogs away, so if you own a small dog, you should be careful.
Some big animals, like deer and elk, may not be so aggressive, but they might attack you and your dog if they feel threatened.
In addition to these big animals, you should also be careful of reptiles, such as rattlesnakes, which are present in all of the lower 48 states of the United States. In the same way as other animals, snakes will not harm you or your dog unless they perceive a threat or are disturbed, so do not leave your dog near fallen trees, bushes, or grassy areas near water sources.
03- Clean Up After Your Dog
This rule applies everywhere you take your dog , it may be just down the street, a park in the city, or the hiking trail. Keep in mind that you are responsible for your dog, and leaving your dog’s waste is not only disrespectful but is also harmful to others and wildlife.
Among other essentials, pack plenty of dog poop bags so that you can collect your dog’s waste in them and place them inside the dog stool stations in the parks. If you can’t get a poop bag, dig 6 to 8 inches deep and dig at least 200 feet away from water bodies, so it doesn’t harm other wildlife.
02- Bring A Toy and Appropriate Clothing
If you are planning an overnight camp, make sure you bring some toys so your dog will have something to play with. Dogs may occasionally wander, but their toys will keep them at one location and can serve as a distraction. You will also need to pack appropriate clothing for your dog.
It is important to pack clothes according to the weather. For example, you may want to pack a jacket or sweater in winter, while in summer, you may want to bring a cooling collar or bandana.
In addition, if you are staying overnight, bring some camp towels so you can wipe your dog and avoid the mess in the tent.
01- Post-Hike Checkup
Another one of our most important hiking with dogs tips is the post-hike checkup. In the end, the day you planned for so long has been spent in the best possible way, but don’t forget to praise your good boy.
While you kept an eye on your dog the whole time, it is essential that you do a final check before you hop into your car and head home.
Ticks and bug bites are carriers of Lyme disease, so check their paws, belly area, and all over their body for any bites or ticks. Additionally, you should look for any cuts, scrapes, and other injuries that could become worse if not treated.
Even though there are certain things you cannot avoid on your hike, following the hiking with dogs tips listed in the article above will help you avoid most of the problems you may encounter.
Almost all dogs enjoy going on adventures, but you should keep in mind that some small dogs will not be able to handle such a tiring adventure. So, you should check if your dog is up to such an adventure before going on one.