As the warm weather rolls in, you may be noticing the urge to explore the great outdoors. A long hike in nature with your furry best friend is perfect for this. Not only is hiking with your dog a great bonding experience but it's also a fun way to enjoy the sunny weather.
But before you grab your hiking shoes, there are a few tips to consider before you head out. These will keep you and your dog safe as you enjoy your pawsome adventures together!
Before setting off on a hike with your dog, it’s important to consider where you will be exploring. It’s a good idea to research the trail online and check how far it is, and its difficulty level. This is to ensure it’s suitable for your dog’s energy levels. Even high-energy dog breeds can tire after a while.
Make sure to bring plenty of water for both you and your dog to drink on the hike, especially when the weather is hot. It's also a good idea to pack a collapsible bowl for your dog to drink from. This will make it much easier to give your dog a well-deserved drink without taking up too much space in your backpack. Other essentials to bring include:
First aid kit (for you and your pup)
Up-to-date ID tags for your dog’s collar
Though hiking is a great way to enjoy the summer sun, it's important to check how hot the weather will be on the day of your hike. This is to ensure it won't be too hot for your dog to hike in. Your dog may overheat and become dehydrated if you are hiking in the blazing heat.
If you suspect your dog is too hot whilst hiking, it's best to take a break. Give them plenty of water and let them have a rest in the shade.
Common signs your dog has overheated are if they:
Are panting excessively
Have labored breathing
Have become much slower and are looking weak
Their gums feel dry and sticky
As tempting as it is to let your dog run freely, it’s important to keep them on a leash for their safety. This will prevent them from running off and getting lost whilst in an unknown area. This is especially important if your dog has a high prey drive.
A lot of wild animals carry diseases that are harmful to both you and your dog. It's best to avoid letting your dog interact with the wildlife by keeping them close by.
When hiking with your dog, it's always good to follow the ‘pack in pack out’ rule. This means you should take any waste your dog creates and dispose of it responsibly. You can usually find trash cans at the trailhead to make it easier for you to leave no trace.
By following these 5 tips, you and your dog can have a wonderful hike in nature together. Remember to take plenty of water and rest if needed. So grab that backpack, lace up your shoes, and enjoy the trail ahead!
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Author Bio: Hannah Fitchett
Hannah is the proud dog mom of Makai, a Wolfdog with a penchant for naps and snacks. Hannah has a strong love for all animals but a special fondness of dogs. With a Masters degree in Chemistry and a love for writing, Hannah aims to share the latest scientific studies and expert knowledge with dog lovers worldwide through her blog Howling Wolf Pack.