Hiking is a great outdoor activity for everyone who wants to relax, get closer to nature, or just to get some great exercise. But, have you ever thought about a hike with your dog? Wouldn’t that be an amazing adventure for you and your four-legged buddy?
If tips on how to go hiking with your dog are what you’ve been looking for, then look no more. This article will help you learn everything you need to know around hiking with a dog. Get ready!
Check the rules and regulations of the place you want to go
It is understandable that some national and state parks and forests don’t permit dog entrance due to the safety of the local flora and fauna. Some parks require having your dog on a leash during the whole time of the visit.
This rule is not only good for the environment protection, but it’s also safe for your dog. You can check the access requirements on each park’s website and save yourself from disappointments and wasted effort.
If you want to take your dog on a hike, you better do some preparation before. It may seem our dogs have endless energy, but just like us, they need to do prior training and get rid of excess weight.
Be sure to do a lot of outdoor activities with your dog to toughen its paws. Also, take your furry companion to a vet to check if all the vaccinations are up to date. If you usually cut your dog’s nails, then do it before the trip as well because dog nails and tent materials don’t get along. You don’t want a hole in your tent during a stormy night, right?
Your dog could meet many dangers in the wilderness, such as snakes, poisonous plants or cliff edges. If you’re planning to let your dog loose, make sure it will come back on your verbal commands.
Check the gear
Give your dog’s collar a quick check to be sure it fits securely. Imagine your dog started chasing some wild animal, slipping away from the collar? Not actually what you want. Leave a width of two fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck. A long lead will give your dog more freedom, but the longer it is, the more likely it will get snagged on bushes. If the weather is cold, get a jacket for your dog to protect it from hypothermia.
Follow this link to find out more about hiking gear for your four-legged hiking buddy.
Enough food and water
Hiking takes a lot of energy to humans and dogs, so you would need to pack more food than usual. Plan to feed your dog extra than you do it back home. As for the water, you can’t always rely on rivers or lakes, especially if you don’t know the terrain. Take two ounces of water for every pound that your dog weighs. Your dog has the same needs as you do, and can suffer dehydration just as you, if not worse.
If you want your dog to sleep with you in the tent, then you need to practice back home and introduce it to the tent. Don’t let it see it for the first time while in the wild at night. Put a thin mattress and a blanket inside the tent for your dog. It will provide a comfy bed and will protect the tent’s surface.
First aid kit with a tick remover and sunscreen is a must-have. Your dog paws can be burnt or hurt easily, especially if it’s used to walking on soft carpets. If needed, buy a set of dog’s shoes, which look funny but will protect your buddy and make it easier for you as well.
It doesn’t mean things will necessarily go wrong, but it’s better to be safe than to regret. If your dog is your best friend, treat it like one. Good luck!
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