If you love the great outdoors then there is nothing more wonderful than bringing your dog along to hit the trail. It’s not just a fantastic exercise and a perfect way to enjoy nature, it can also boost the dog‘s mental, physical and even social well-being.
Great Hiking Companions
Dogs make great hiking companions and watching them flourish in the natural environment is amazing for every dog owner. However, just as you wouldn’t head out for a hike in tennis shoes, there are some things to bear in mind when hiking with your dog.
Planning Your Trip
Planning is vital for all hiking trips. Don’t always assume your dog is welcome to hike everywhere you are. Always check if your dog is allowed to accompany you before you set out on a hike. Check the route in general. First, consider where you want to go and whether the journey is reasonable for your dog. Remember: All dogs have different physical predispositions, so you should always start with short hikes and slowly increase the duration. If in doubt, discuss your plans with your vet in advance.
If you go hiking during the breeding and weaning season, dogs should be kept on a lead – no matter how well-trained they are. Even if it is not compulsory everywhere, you are protecting the young farm animals and your dog at the same time. Also, be considerate of other walkers with or without a dog. Not everyone wants a strange dog to come running towards them. In addition to this, fields and crops are sprayed in late spring and summer to protect them from insect and parasite infestation. This spray can also be very dangerous for dogs so avoid letting your dogs run wild through fields at this time of the year.
Dog Food and Water
Of course, you’ve got to bring food and water! It is hard enough figuring out what you need for yourself, but what about your dog? Think about how much your dog typically eats during the length of time you’ll be away from home, and then bring additional with you. Dogs will burn more calories than usual – just like humans. The foods you bring can include full meals that they would typically eat, depending on how long you plan to be gone. Kibble can make a great snack too. The best thing, however, is to bring some treats that you can feed your dog periodically along the trail. This can include nutritious, high-quality and easy-to-pack snacks like PLATINUM Click-Bits Chicken + Lamb. Take enough breaks during your hike. If you are thirsty, hungry or tired yourself, then chances are big that your dog is, too.
Monitor Your Dog
Your dog is susceptible to most of the dangers you are. Monitor how quickly your dog’s breathing is and check their heart rate, to see if a break is needed. If it seems excessive, take more breaks or shorten the hike. Always keep an eye on the surroundings and always act with foresight. So if your dog’s hunting instinct is triggered, you’ll be prepared for the situation and can intervene.
Dog Grooming Session
You and your dog may be roaming into flea and tick territory on your hikes. Always check your dog’s fur for that, because early removal helps reduce the chance of secondary illness. A grooming session after the hike will allow you to check for invaders as well as other stuff caught in your dog’s fur.
Finally, for a truly enjoyable hike, you should come prepared with appropriate dog hiking gear. Some suggested items to bring with you include poop bags, a water supply and a portable water bowl and high-quality dog snacks like PLATINUM Click-Bits or Fit-Sticks. Finally, make sure you keep the environment clean and carry poop bags to pick up after your dog’s waste.