Hiking is something that needs to be taken seriously, even so if you are going to take your dog with you. If you don’t, you may put your dog at risk and may have to turn back after some time into it. Hiking is a great activity to do when traveling with a pet, but you need to be well-prepared for the sake of your safety.
That’s why we have you covered with a little guide on how to hike with your dog, the things you should take with you, and where to get water bottles for your dog to avoid it from dehydrating.
First of All, Should You Take Your Dog With You?
Before you even consider hiking with your dog, you should know whether your dog is capable of doing it or not. Not all dogs have the same physical capabilities, and some dogs may be unable to hike because of the physical effort it requires.
Since hiking requires both strength and stamina, you shouldn’t bring senior dogs with you, or dogs that are too young. Small breeds usually don’t have the stamina and strength to do hiking, but you can still take them with you if you are ready to carry them over most of the time.
Dogs with health complications shouldn't even try to hike. If your pet has some health condition that may get more complicated with the physical effort that comes from hiking, you shouldn’t take it with you.
If your partner is not trained enough to go for a hike, they can be a threat for themselves, for yourself and other hikers. It’ll be better to leave them at home if they get too overexcited and can’t follow commands.
It would be wise to take your buddy to the vet previous to the adventure so you know for sure if they can go with you or not. It’ll save you from any potential risks and you’ll be more confident in your decision to take it with you or not. If your puppy is too young, the vet will let you know.
Pick the Right Location
Now that you know that your companion can hike with you, you want to pick the right location. I mean, a dog’s physical capabilities to go hiking are way too different from those of a human, so picking a location is crucial to make things possible.
To pick the right location, you’ll have to do your research. Depending on where you live, you might encounter several places to try out. Most national parks don’t let people take their pets with them, and if they do, you’ll probably have a leash on it and have it around you all the time.
When looking for places to go hiking, try looking for places that are paw-friendly. Their paws can get easily hurt, so shady places and places that are not as harmful are great for them. If you look online, you’ll surely find places and guides to help you pick the right location.
One important thing to do before taking your dog for physical activities similar to hiking is practice. You want to prepare your buddy both physically and mentally for the ride. As mentioned earlier, if your dog is not mentally prepared for this type of activity the risk of them acting unsafely becomes pretty high.
You’ll have to do some obedience training with your pet so it learns to obey commands. This will reduce the risks of disobedience while going for hikes and will make things safer for both of you.
Take the Proper Equipment with You
When you go hiking with a dog you want to make sure that you have everything you may need. The most important things to have are freshwater, food, treats, something to relieve anxiety and bowls or bottles to provide your dog with food and water. You can get more information here related to bottles, bowls and dog products in case you want.
A sturdy leash and collar are absolutely necessary, as well as a kennel or restraint car. A bed or a blanket may come in handy when it is time to rest and take a bite, and a first aid kit in case of injuries. If possible, try to take some protective pads for your buddy's paws in case there’s rough/rocky or hot terrain. Some sunscreen can go a long way, too.
Pay Attention to Your Dog
Your dog’s behavior can tell you a lot. If you see him panting too much, or his mouth and nose are too dry, you should rest for a bit and let it drink some water. That’s why having the right bowl or water bottle is so important. It’ll help you avoid dehydration.
If you see your dog is too tired and can’t manage to follow you around, that’s another good sign of needed rest.
Make Sure to Clean After Your Dog and Be Attentive of Its Behaviour
When you are with your pet, no matter the place, you should always look to clean after their mess. That’s why you should take with you many poop bags. Also, make sure your dog behaves properly around people and other pets. If it gets too excited or aggressive it might turn into a risky situation.
That’s why some people like to take with them anxiety supplements so they help their dogs deal with overexcitement. Nowadays people recommend CBD oil a lot since it helps with anxiety and joint problems without having too many nasty side effects.
In case you want to be even more prepared, visit this guide on how to prepare for a hike with your pet.