Hiking can help you get the much-needed exercise and enjoy the outdoors. It’s often easier to hike with your dog than without them because they can help you find exciting scents (and sticks) along the trail. If you’re thinking about taking your pup on a hike, here are some tips for making sure everyone has fun:
Dogs Should Always be on a Leash
This is for your dog’s protection, other hikers’ safety and to help keep you both safe. If your dog gets spooked by wildlife or another hiker, they may bolt into the woods! Always keep them leashed so that you can control their movement. Dogs also like to mark trees along trails and sometimes people. Letting them off-leash could cause problems down the road if someone else wants to hike there again in the coming days.
Bring Plenty of Water and Snacks
Dogs need to stay hydrated like people do, especially if it’s a hot day. Make sure you bring enough water for both you and your pup and pack some snacks in case they get hungry along the way. There are also special dog treats made for hiking that provide energy and help keep them hydrated. These can be helpful on long hikes.
If you’re new to hiking with dogs or haven’t gone very far, start with shorter trails until everyone is comfortable and knows what to expect. If your dog is active, loves swimming, or explores off-trail, then longer hikes may be perfect for you. Make sure you’re always aware of your surroundings and have a sense of where you are. Have fun out there.
Keep your Pup Safe and Happy
Dogs love to explore fresh scents, mark territory, and run around. If you’re hiking with a dog that loves those things, then consider bringing an extra leash or two and some rope. This will allow you to tether them if they get out of hand. Make sure there aren’t any poisonous plants along the trail. Keep in mind that huckleberries are edible for humans but toxic for dogs. A quick Google search can help ensure everyone has fun on their hike. When it comes time to head back, make sure your pup isn’t tired or overheating before continuing down the path, so no one gets hurt trying to move too quickly.
Be Prepared for Anything
Bring a first aid kit for both you and your pup in case of any emergencies. Include supplies like bandages, antibiotic ointment, tweezers (for ticks), and Benadryl in case of an allergic reaction. You should also have some identification on your dog in case they get lost – this can include tags or even micro-chipping them. If something happens, don’t panic! Stop, take a breath, and assess the situation before trying to remedy it.
Know your Dog’s Limits
Not all dogs are suited for hiking, and not all hikes are suitable for dogs. If your pup is elderly, very young, or has a health condition, it’s best not to take them on a hike. You also need to be aware of their abilities. If they’re the type that likes to bolt off-trail into the bushes or swim in any body of water, then you’ll want to keep them close by.
Your dog will appreciate it if you bring along some special snacks for them to enjoy. You can even break these into pieces and use them as rewards. Make sure not to give too many, or else you’ll risk getting sick yourself from all the leftover crumbs in your pack. Plus, make sure the food won’t cause diarrhea by avoiding raw meat and dairy products before hiking, or at least speak with your vet first. These could lead to an upset stomach, which would be much worse than giving up one treat.
Bring a Doggy Backpack
This is a great way to help your pup feel like they’re part of the hike and can carry their supplies. You can find packs specifically designed for dogs or use an old one you have lying around. Make sure it’s comfortable and not too heavy. Load it up with water, snacks, treats, poop bags, and other necessities like sunscreen, hats, or insect repellent. Not only will this free up your hands, but it’ll also tire out your dog so they can relax when you finally get back to the car. Bonus: they’ll love feeling essential and helpful.
The most important part is to enjoy your time hiking with your pup. Take lots of breaks, let them explore and get dirty and be prepared to laugh at all the silly things they do. It’s a great way to get some exercise, fresh air, and bonding time in nature, so relax and have a good time. Who knows, you may even want to hike without them once they’ve mastered this skill. Dogs love new challenges, and Coleman camping is one of the best ways for hikers who love camping with their furry friends.
If you’re looking for a great way to get some exercise and spend time with your furry friend, hiking is the perfect option. With the above-mentioned tips, you will be able to keep everyone safe and happy along the way. Happy trails.