Hiking with dogs sounds like lots of fun. Dogs are the perfect companions for a solo hike. You won’t feel lonely or fearful on a trail, especially if it’s unfamiliar terrain.
It takes time to prepare your dog for hiking. You won’t wake up one morning, and off you go. Take time to build endurance first. Your furry sidekick is bound to make the hike even more memorable. Take lots of pictures together and treasure them forever.
Preparing for Hiking with Dogs
Take time to prepare your dog for the journey ahead. Remember, you might be used to the terrain and long walks, but it’s all new to them. Start by researching how long a trip your dog breed can endure.
Visit the Vet
Next, visit your local vet and have a conversation on matters of distance and endurance. The vet can help you learn if your dog is in any physical shape for a hike. A small pup might not have the needed bone density for such an energy-consuming undertaking.
Vaccinations and medications the dog requires for a safe hike. You might be flying to a new country for the trek. In that case, there are certain vaccines the dog needs. The vet can also prescribe some medicines and supplements to help it keep high energy.
Additionally, the vet checks your dog’s immune system thoroughly. You can then determine whether it’s strong enough for a hiking trip. Strong dogs have a good vaccination history. The result is a healthy immune system.
Train the Dog
After a visit to the vet, get your dog trained for long walks. Start adding to the regular walks around your neighborhood. You can even tackle small hilly areas to help them master going uphill. If there is an area with tougher terrain near you, address that. The more the dog gets used to long walks and harsher terrains, the better.
Furthermore, as you add the walks and intensity, amp up obedience training. Head to unfamiliar areas and train the dog on specific commands. You might be hiking in a different area, and they get tempted to explore.
Getting the Right Dog Pack
Tagging your dog along is more beneficial. A dog can carry a pack with some essential items in it. Get them a dog backpack that fits their size. Start training them around your area to walk long distances carrying it. It takes some getting used.
To buy the correct dog pack, measure your dog’s circumference then buy accordingly. Buy a backpack that’s the right size. Ensure it’s neither tight nor too wide. There are many brands and sizes to choose. Find a dog pack with numerous pockets for packing essential items.
Make sure the backpack is not too heavy for the dog. Even with ample training, it can wear the dog down on the hike. The dog needs to be comfortable enough to move with ease. Taking time to train the dog builds endurance. Still. The dog pack should weigh less than 25% of the dog.
Also, get your dog appropriate paw wear to protect its paws throughout the hike. They can get blisters and injuries if left bare. Please choose the right size and train them around the house to walk in them.
Essential Items to Carry for Dogs
In the dog pack, have some essential items ready to use in case you need them.
- First Aid Kit
Injuries happen when hiking. You or the dog cam trip or get a cut. That wound must be cleaned and dressed appropriately before proceeding or heading back.
- File and Clippers
Bring along a file and nail clippers to keep dog nails in control.
If you intend to camp out or head back in the evening, it can get cold. Cover up your dog with a good coat that protects it.
Carry a raincoat even if the weather is beautiful outside. You don’t want to bring home a wet dog.
- Water Bowl
As you keep hydrated on the hiking trip, ensure the dog is taken care of as well. Bring its bowl along to help it drink up.
Safety for Dogs
Hiking can be tough for a dog. If hiking in the wilderness, take extra precaution due to wildlife. The best action to take is to always stay on the trail. Wondering off can land you both in trouble. No one wants to come face to face with a bear.
Hiking with your dog is bound to be lots of fun. Prepare accordingly and get ready for a memorable trip. Once you set out, make every step a chance for more bonding. The open wild beckons to all who enjoy a good trek.