Your dog can be the perfect companion to accompany you on outdoor adventures, but if you’ve never taken your furry friend on a hiking trip before, you’re probably not sure how to proceed. In the following post are some tips to help ensure that you and your pup have an amazing time in the great outdoors.
Long hikes can be tiresome for both humans and dogs so be sure to bring enough food and water to keep both of you energized and hydrated during the adventure. Treats will keep your pup’s energy level up and water will prevent them from overheating or becoming dehydrated. Remember, your dog doesn’t have sweat glands and are therefore at a higher risk of overheating than you are, so be sure to take regular water breaks to ensure that they stay hydrated.
If your dog likes to have a job, consider getting them a doggy backpack. You can put their food and water in the backpack for them to carry on the hike.
Dogs often like to drink from standing pools of water, but this type of water can contain parasites that may harm your pet, so if you see them gravitating toward standing water, steer them away.
If your dog isn’t used to hiking, start with a short, easy-to-follow trail and watch for signs that they’re becoming tired. Intense panting and lying down are both signs that your dog has reached their limit. If you see these signs, give them some time to rest, then turn back. However, if your dog easily handles the first trail, you can try a longer and more difficult one the next time. Just remember that you should never push your pup to the point of exhaustion.
It’s important to keep up to date on your dog’s flea and tick prevention when hiking. If you are unsure which product to use, your vet can help you select the right prevention for your dog. However, even with prevention, it’s still a good idea to check your pet for ticks after each hike.
You probably lather up in sunscreen before going on a hike but may not know that your dog can also get a sunburn. So, choose a sunscreen formulated for dogs and lather them up as well. If you aren’t sure which one to buy, consult your vet.
Even if you’re using a leash during a hike, your dog could break away and get separated. Ensure your dog has an up-to-date ID tag before embarking on a hike. The tag should have your pet’s name as well as your name and phone number so that someone can contact you if they find your dog.
Don’t take your dog on a hike before they are properly socialized as your dog may come across other hikers during the trek, even if the trail is off the beaten path and rarely used. If your dog isn’t properly socialized, they might get scared or aggressive when encountering other hikers.
For more advice on enjoying outdoor adventures with your dog, contact Country Veterinary Clinic at 530-491-4500.