If you love being outdoors and you own a dog, then most likely you would love to ring him along on the hiking trail to enjoy the outdoors together, explore and have a great adventure. If taking your dog for hikes is a new thing to you, here are a few hiking essential you need to consider.
Brush up on your dog’s obedience training. Make sure his response to basic commands such as ‘sit’ and stay’ is prompt. The training will come in handy on the trail when you need him to do as told on a minute’s notice.
You will be carrying your own hiking essentials and your dog too needs to carry his own stuff. This is where the doggie back pack comes in handy. The rule of thumb while packing the doggie backpack is to ensure the dog only carries one pound of weight for every 20 pounds of his weight. So if your dog weighs 40 pounds, he should carry two pounds. If you are going to cross water bodies on your trail, it’s wise to pack the thing in the dog’s backpack in plastic bags to keep them dry.
Carry some water and water bowl to keep you dog hydrated. Even if there are streams where the dog can drink from, carrying your own water is safer and cheaper.
Keep your dog on a leash collar during the hike. This way, you are better able to control him and keep him within sight. Have him wear his ID tag so that he is easily reunited with you in case he is lost.
Carry a basic first- aid kit to treat the dog in case of bites, stings, or injuries. Also carry insect repellents to keep mosquitoes at bay especially if you are going to spend the night outdoors.
Before the hike, take short hikes closer home to harden your dog’s paws. In case he is going to wear dog booties during the hike, put them on him during these practice session so that he gets used to them.Bring an extra pair of dog bootiesduring the hike so that you are ready if your dog happens to lose one.
Just like humans are not expected to leave a trace on the hiking trail, dogs too shouldn’t leave a trail on the hiking trail. Carry a roll of plastic bags and a trowel to bury the dog’s waste during the hike. Bury the waste at least 200 feet from the paths and ensure the dog does not do his business in a water body.
If you plan on spending the night outdoors, make sure there is enough space in the tent for the dog. Prior to the trip, clip the dog’s nails as they can easily damage the tent material. Bring a dog comb too to brush his hair after the hike, which keeps all the mess he has collected during the day from getting stuck on his coat.
Make sure your dog has all his vaccinations up to date. This protects him from catching diseases from other dogs, as well as from insects such as mosquitoes that spread heartworm disease and are likely to be present in the outdoors than when the dog is safe at home.
Packing for Your Dog Hiking Trip