Your four-legged friend can be a great companion especially if you’re planning to hit the trail. But, if you’re worried about your dog’s safety, no worries because we’re here to help you. Here, we have compiled some proven tips on how to safely hike with your dog.
Keep on reading, so that you and your dog can make the most of your hiking.
10 Tips on How to Hike With Your Dog Safely
1. Don’t let your pet drink water from parts of standing water
Typically, standing water docks bacteria as well as parasites which can make your furry friend sick.
Thus make sure to bring with you fresh and adequate water to keep your pet hydrated hence you can escape puddles, marshes, or ponds which make your pup sick.
2. Watch Your Dog’s Paws
The paws of your dog are very delicate. That is why if you are planning to go on a hike over snow or rocks, or in more than 70 degrees temperature, we are advising you to invest in dog booties so that you will be able to protect his/her paws from scrapes and cuts at the same time.
If you want to make sure that your dog is safe after your hike, you can take him/her to a vet to examine if they obtain an infection.
On the other hand, if they show some symptoms of slowing down or pain while you are hitting the train your dog needs your support.
3. Take frequent breaks for snacks and water
Overheating as well as dehydration are some of the common issues that your dog may experience during your hiking.
That said, make sure to keep your dog as well as yourself hydrated to avoid such issues. Offer your dog water to drink every after a couple of minutes or so.
However, if your canine is slowing down or panting extremely, look for a shady where you and your dog can rest.
On the other hand, make sure to bring plenty of treats and snack and give them through the duration of your hike. Just like human beings, dogs also need some fuel to keep their energy level and more importantly finish the trek successfully.
4. Keep your canine on a leash
This tip isn’t only for the safety of your dog, but the other hikers as well.
Either way, keeping your dog on leashes will prevent them from hunting wildlife. Plus, it lessens the environmental damage which may occur when your pet run off the trails.
Dogs, on the other hand, might leave behind a hunter scent which disrupts wildlife and might hinder feeding and nesting activities.
Even so, keeping your pet on a chain helps to make sure a dog safety, as it keeps him by your side and under control.
An unleashed dog may run off more rapidly when he/she notices a scent. Or might disappear quickly from your view.
Nevertheless, always utilize a leash to ensure that you as well as your pet will finish and enjoy the hike safely.
5. Give your dog a health check after your hike
As we all know dogs are extremely tough. But ensuring that they are safe and in good condition is very important.
At every break as well as when you get home, it is highly recommended to offer your furry dog a health check.
6. Be alert to the things your dog ingests
Apart from standing water, your four-legged friend may ingest something like random socks and mushrooms that can be very deadly and dangerous for him/her while hitting the trail.
Even so, if you notice that your dog is chewing something make sure to check it immediately.
Luckily, this scenario can be avoided with ease. How? Make sure to keep your canine on a leash. And if ever you remove their leash make sure to keep your eyes on them so that you will have an idea what they are smelling as well as eating.
7. Keep an eye on Predator signs
At the beginning of most trails, you will see various signage showing what predators are present in the location as well as the last place they have seen.
Some signs, on the other hand, advise about ongoing threats such as the existence of either coyotes or alligators.
While bigger canines may look at as a good source of defense when hiking, smaller dogs, however, might be looked at as a delicious piece by predators. As a matter fact, a coyote may create an instant lunchtime out of small dogs traveling excessively far from its owner during hikes.
Thus, to ensure that your dog is safe while hitting the trails, watch for predator signs which are commonly found in trailheads. And as what we said a while ago, always keep your dog especially the small ones on a leash.
8. Consider bringing a first-aid kit
Even though you’re only taking your dog for short hike bringing a small first-aid kit is always a good idea to make sure that your dog will remain safe especially when he/she got some minor bruises while on the trail.
Bring a first aid kit which consists of tweezers, topical disinfect, bandage tape, as well as gauze pads.
9. Check for Poison Ivy and Ticks
Your canine’s health, as well as safety, are your top priorities. Either way, stopping to see the trail ahead for poisonous plants and poison ivy will help your pet free from injuries and stay safe.
In addition to that, make to look for ticks after and during the hike. The best way to get rid of them is to use the right tool or seek help from a vet.
10. Make sure your dog is suitable for the trail
Old dogs and young dogs simply can’t handle the same trail intensity and length as other canines.
That said, be respectful about the limitations of your dog. And most importantly do not push them to fatigue to avoid serious damage.
Either way, if you want to confirm that your chosen trail length and intensity is suitable for your dog, it’s best to consult your dog.
What to Bring When Hiking or Camping with a Dog?
Listed below are the must-have equipment that you need to bring when going on a hike with your dog.
- Food and treats with great fat levels and protein content.
- Collapsible water bowl and bladder.
- First aid kit
- Trowel or poopy bag
- Dog booties or socks
- Alcohol pads and ice packs for heatstroke prevention
- Foot care
- Blanket and sleeping pad
- Dog pack
- Short leash
- Collar or harness with a name tag
- Dog comb or brush
- Glowstick or flashlight
- Dog vest or coat
- Dog floatation device
- Insect repellent that is dog-friendly
The equipment mentioned above is not only considered hiking essentials. These are also the gears to bring for camping with dogs.
So if you are planning to go camping with a dog make sure to prepare such gears to make the most of your outing.
While enjoying outdoor with your dog is a great idea, ensuring that they are safe is very important.
Nevertheless, with proper planning and by following the tips mentioned above on how to safely hike with your dog, rest assured you, and your pet will have a safe and excellent adventure.