During these warm weather months, you probably have some big hikes planned with your thrill sniffer. If that's the case, make sure you follow some dog hiking safety guidelines to keep your four-legged friend happy.
Planning a Dog-Powered Hike
As with any adventure, safety is the most important factor. You want to make sure you have a healthy and happy pup before venturing on any long hikes. A quick check-up with the vet will let you know your dog is ready for a lot of exercise and has the endurance to keep up. After your pup gets a clean bill of health, it’s all about packing the right necessities and knowing the trail.
Picking which trail to hike should be based on your hiking experience and how comfortable you are with your surroundings. If you’re a beginner, look for a flat, low-intensity trail. If you’ve been hiking with your dog for years, look for a new trail that gives you a chance to explore something fresh.
Be sure to pack light but pack right! Bring along both the necessary gear and be prepared for the unexpected to happen along the way. Here's a list of alcott gear that can make your hiking adventures more fun, more convenient and safe:
- Explorer First Aid Kit
- Explorer Cooling Bandana
- Explorer Adventure Boots
- Explorer Adventure Backpack
- Essential Visibility Gear
If your hiking trip is longer than a few hours, you may also need:
Once you’ve finished your planning, it’s time to start your adventure.
Using a leash is important while hiking. You might think your dog is easily controlled and well behaved off leash, but you don’t know what kinds of creatures are lurking out in the wild. Protect your dog and everyone else who walks on the trail by using a leash.
While hiking, watch for uneven ground and loose rock, and give your dog some slack in the leash in case you trip or fall. Stop frequently for water and always pick up after your dog. Also be aware of your dog's physical limitations. If their tongue is hanging out of their mouth more than half way, it's time to stop and rest.
Remember to stay hydrated and bring plenty of water for both yourself and your dog.
Once your hike is over, make sure that both you and your dog get plenty of food, water and rest to recover for your next big adventure!
Have some hiking advice? Leave it in the comments below!