Hiking is a fun and exciting activity, especially when you do it with your precious pup. It allows both you and your pet to exercise, get out of the house, and enjoy the beauty of nature. Also, hiking with your dog can help strengthen your bond with them.
Hiking lets you and your pup create memorable experiences together, being in the wild outdoors exposes your dog to various elements that can be harmful to them or cause discomfort. You need to ensure your pet remains safe by taking care of your pup’s needs and doing the necessary preparations before you go hiking.
If you’re planning to take your pup with you on your next hiking trip, here are some tips you can follow to keep them safe and comfortable.
Bring Enough Food and Water
When your pup joins you for the hike, they will be exerting more effort than the typical walk around the block. They’ll need more food to stay nourished and energized. Also, keeping your pup hydrated is very important. While your hike may lead you to rivers and streams, keep your dog from drinking from these sources. Untreated water may contain harmful bacteria that can cause illnesses. So before you leave for the hike, make sure you pack ample food and water for your pup.
In addition to bringing sufficient supplies for the hike, take customizable foldable travel dog bowls, too. This way, your dog can eat and drink safely in a clean container that you can quickly pack away and won’t take up much space in your backpack.
Choose an Appropriate Trail
Before you hike with your pet, make sure to do some research about the trail you plan to follow. Make sure pets are allowed in these areas. Some hiking trails prohibit pets because they may not be safe due to the harmful wildlife present or water sources that are unsafe to drink. Also, be mindful of your dog’s physical fitness and if their health is suited for the distance and difficulty of the hiking trail you’ve chosen.
If you’re taking your pup hiking for the first time, it’s best to pick an easy and short trail. Then, gradually build up their endurance and strength before going to a more difficult trail. In case you have a puppy, an elderly dog, or an overweight pooch, stick to level trails where they won’t overexert themselves.
Be Mindful of the Weather
Aside from picking the right trail for your dog, you need to be mindful of the weather when going on a hike. Consider the preparations you need to take for yourself and do the same for your four-legged friend. For example, will you need to take an extra layer of clothing to stay warm? If this is the case, then you may want to pack a warm coat for your dog, too. Remember, some dog breeds can’t withstand the cold as well as others. Smaller and short-haired pups often get colder faster than larger long-haired dogs.
Additionally, check if the weather is perfect for a hike and opt to reschedule if the weather is far from ideal. For instance, hiking on a rainy day can increase the chances of slips and injuries so it’s best to stay home. If the weather is too hot or the sun is at its highest point, skip or postpone the hike to later in the afternoon or a cooler day so you can avoid having your dog suffer heat stroke or dehydration.
Follow Rules About Leashed Dogs
It’s vital to be aware of the rules and regulations of the hiking trail you follow. Most places require you to keep your dog on leash during the entire hike. Even if it isn’t the rule, it’s still best to use a leash and have your dog close by rather than letting them roam on their own. This way, you can avoid getting separated from them and easily maneuver them away from potential dangers. When picking a dog leash, remember to get one that’s durable and long enough to allow your pup some leeway to explore.
You may also want to consider using a dog harness instead of a collar. It provides better control over your pet than a traditional collar would because it wraps around your dog’s torso rather than their neck. A harness is also more comfortable for your dog as it doesn’t pose a choking hazard or increase their risk for throat damage.
Teach Your Dog Basic Commands
One of the best ways to keep your pup safe while hiking is to train them to follow basic commands such as come, sit, stay, leave it and down. These commands will be helpful for situations when your dog is off-leash, whether deliberately or accidentally. At times, simply responding to your call can prevent them from getting into a dangerous situation like running after a wild animal or heading into a treacherous area. So before you take your furry friend hiking, make sure they consistently respond to your commands.
Hiking with your pup provides you with a new way to bond and create memorable experiences together. While the activity can be fun, it also poses some dangers to your dog. If you aren’t careful and don’t prepare well, they can get sick or injured while hiking. By taking note of these tips, you can ensure your beloved canine stays safe, healthy, and comfortable the next time you take them to the hiking trail.
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