Hiking is one of the leisure activities you can share with your dog. Hiking with dogs is not uncommon and is becoming more and more frequent. After all, those of us who share our lives with pets want to enjoy with them as much as possible. Although it requires a little more planning and infrastructure, hiking with pets is doubly enjoyable. These tips will make it easier for you and your dog to do it safely and enjoyably.
1. Get Your Dog Ready to Go Hiking
If your dog is still a puppy, if you’ve recently adopted him or if you’ve never been outdoors with him before, it’s important to prepare him for it first. You will need him to learn to walk on a leash.
It is also essential that he obeys you if he is loose and does not wander away from you in difficult areas. He should also return to your side when you call him if he wanders away following the trail of another animal or playing.
Although the ideal is to take him on a leash and, in fact, it is mandatory in many places. He can go on a 10 or 15 meter leash attached to your waist and to his harness, which will be very practical and comfortable for both of you. But it is interesting that before doing long treks you practice on short walks. It is essential for trekking with dogs to be safe for him and not end up lost or in an area of difficult access from which he cannot get out.
Getting him used to long walks is also important if you want to enjoy long hikes with him. You can’t expect him to go from a ten-minute walk in the park to a several kilometer hike without prior preparation.
2. Take into account your dog’s physical condition.
Hiking with dogs is as much fun for them as it is for their owners, but keep in mind that not all animals are the same. Before recommending a hiking route with dogs, you should always assess whether it is suitable for your dog. Its age, breed and state of health will determine its suitability or not.
Issues such as the difficulty of a small dog to walk on thick snow or a dog accustomed to the cold on a summer noon, are decisive to decide whether or not to choose a route.
3. Plan the route well
Take into account issues such as the slope or the danger of the road. It is also important that you take into account if you will have to go through areas that are impossible for your dog because they require climbing or rappelling. A route without shade in the middle of summer or a via ferrata is not the most appropriate for your pet.
If you are going to trek with dogs and spend the night in a campsite or other establishment, make sure that pets of any size are allowed or opt for free camping. Also, be sure that there are waterways for refreshment and drinking fountains along the way.
4. Find out about the type of terrain you will find on the route.
Some terrain is not suitable for dogs. If it is a long rocky road it will be terrible for his pads that can be very damaged and cause him a lot of pain. And a long asphalt road in summer could cause burns. Choose appropriate terrain and times so that he enjoys himself and the fun doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
5. Water and Vaseline Are A Must In Your Dog Hiking Backpack
Both are essential when hiking with dogs for their health and well-being. The dog needs plenty of water. Especially if he is doing a continuous physical exercise. And even more so if it is hot. Always carry extra water and an appropriate utensil so that he can drink without difficulty.
It is advisable to carry more than one water bottle or water can in case one runs out or spills. Dogs need more water than people in relation to their size.
As for petroleum jelly, you can use this or another natural product specifically to treat their pads. They will help prevent them from cracking and damage. Wounds on the pads are very painful for dogs. If you go trekking with dogs you should know that there is a type of boots specially designed to protect their pads and paws: consider buying some.
6. Protect your dog from external threats and learn how to react to them
Hiking with dogs involves being aware of what is dangerous for them and trying to avoid it. Use appropriate tick and flea repellents, such as pipettes or sprays. Avoid pine forest areas at the time when the processionary fly is on the ground, as it can cause serious problems for a dog and even death.
Be cautious in areas of vipers and be alert to any reaction such as a squeak or lameness to act in time if necessary.
As important as knowing the dangers is knowing how to identify them and how to avoid them. And, also, how to react in case they do occur.
7. Always carry appropriate food for your pet.
Choose a quality food or a wet food that does not make your pet excessively thirsty. Make sure it provides the right nutrients to keep his energy level at an optimal level.
8. A First Aid Kit For Dogs And Your Documents, Essential In The Backpack
You don’t need anything too heavy or bulky, but you do need adequate protection for the place and the dangers he may face. It is important that you have written down the telephone numbers of at least two veterinarians that attend 24 hours a day in the nearest possible area. And do not forget their veterinary and legal documents at home.
9. Take out insurance for your pet is a good decision.
If you go hiking with dogs, it will save you from possible unpleasant surprises. If you do excursions with dogs abroad, include it in your travel insurance. It will be worth it both for their safety and for your peace of mind.
Go hiking with dogs. Enjoy outdoor sports with your pet. Leisure time is always more fun with your best friend by your side.