The weather is warming up, and we’re ready to get outside! Hiking with your dog can be one of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors. A little pre-planning will help ensure you have a wonderful adventure.
When it comes to hiking partners, it’s hard to beat the company of your furry best friend. A hike is a great adventure for your dog. New sights and smells, new places to explore, new memories to be made :).
Leashes, Collars, & Tags
Before heading out on any adventure, ensure your dog’s ID is up to date. Hopefully, you’re never separated from your best friend, but if one of you gets lost, ID can help reunite you quickly!
Choosing a suitable collar is crucial! If you’re unsure what the right equipment is for *your* dog on a hike, consider talking to your veterinary team or a local trainer. They can help you get the proper collar (or harness!), ensure the right fit, and show you the correct usage.
When choosing a leash, select something comfortable to hold and long enough for you and your dog to move freely. There may be times when having your dog right beside you will be awkward, for example, if you need to scramble up a rock or climb over a downed tree.
Leashes and collars come in many different materials. A newer option is biothane. Biothane is a coated polyester webbing that is waterproof. If your adventures will take you around water or mud, biothane may be a good option as it’s easy to wipe clean.
First, ensure that the trail allows dogs; not all do. Most trails will require your dog to stay on a leash. Adhering to leash laws keeps your dog safe and protects the flora and fauna of the area. Even the best-trained dog can be distracted by a critter crossing their path and run off.
Despite how awesome and adorable your dog is, not every hiker (or hiking dog!) appreciates a dog running up to them. Keep your best buddy leashed, respect others using the trail, and keep your dog safe.
Of course, always clean up after your dog. Be prepared to pack out your pooh bags; not every trail comes with garbage containers.
Always pack a first aid kit for any adventure. We hope you’ll never have to use it, but if your pet has an accident or injury, you want to have all the necessary supplies to take care of them until you can get to your veterinary clinic.
If you and your pet have been hibernating the cold weather away, work up slowly to your warm-weather adventures. Start small and build up to help prevent any injuries. Be aware of the temperature! On hotter days, plan shorter outings.
If possible, plan your adventures for early morning or evening to avoid the heat of the day. If your path includes pavement, ensure it isn’t too hot for your dog by holding your hand flat against the pavement for 5 seconds. Too hot for you? Too hot for your dog! Boots can be beneficial for protecting your dog’s feet.
Remember to factor the humidity into your planning. Humid days feel extra hot, and you may need to shorten your route and plan extra stops. When your dog is having fun, they might not remember to stop and rest and hydrate. Enforce breaks and encourage your dog to drink.
Cooling collars, vests, and jackets can help keep your pooch cool when out in the sun. Hot cars can be deadly for our pets - ensure your dog is never left in an unsafe environment.
Pack Some Snacks!
Bring some treats along to reward your dog for their excellent behaviour. You and your dog may need a snack on longer hikes to keep you going. Never exercise your dog right after a meal, so if you stop to eat, take some time for both of you to relax and digest before heading back out.
Pack the Essentials!
A bit of pre-planning can help ensure you and your best friend have the best time!
Antinol can help keep your dog active and mobile longer. Giving Antinol daily will help keep your dog’s joints healthy and delay the onset of degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis. Keep your hiking buddy fit and happy!