11 Essentials You Most Know Before Hiking With Dogs
For those who love hiking, they can agree with me that hiking with your favorite pet is more fun and interesting. You can try it with the dog and get the experience. A dog should however first be trained before they are taken out. Training your dog while he is still young can be of great advantage. It is best to begin taking your new puppy everywhere with you to get him or her use to the car, and socialized around other people and dogs. Take your dog with you when you go on short outings in the country or away from other people, but consider keeping them on a leash, especially if their recall is not consistent.
Once you have given your dog some training, you will need to head to a short hiking trail that will be easy for you and where you can keep your dog on a leash. The leash should be long enough to allow him to explore, but not so long that your dog could become tangled if they head out too far. The point of the first short hike with the leash if you want to make sure your dog's recall is good and he or she consistently comes when called. You would have trained the dog and this way he or she would have been ready to be left off the leash and remain confident that he will return once called by his name.
Here are 11 essentials when hiking with dogs:
1. Keep your dog under voice control or leashed at all times
For the safety of your dog from wildlife and other humans, consider keeping your dog under voice control or leashed while out there. He should have his id tag on his collar at all times. You need to be familiar with the basic animal first-aid for ticks, poison ivy or scrapes and any other emergencies that may come up.
2. Bring some of his favorite essentials from home
Your dog can become nervous with the unfamiliar scents, objects, and new people. Consider comforting the dog by packing a bag with his favorite items from home like for instance snacks, dog hiking gear, camping pillow, bed/blanket, and toys — anything that makes him comfortable works well. I have one dog that wants to hold on to his stuffed toy the whole time while traveling in the car, and another one that does much better away from home if he has his tennis ball with him. Just carry the items that will make him feel comfortable.
3. Dog Manners
Before going out with your dog, ensure that the dog has acquired basic training like not barking to strangers, making a comeback when called and not jumping on people even weird strangers, which you are bound to encounter at some time.
4. Plan ahead for everything
Everything works out smoothly after proper planning has been done. No one ever wants to think about being involved in an accident, but it does happen. Have a plan for your dog in case of a serious accident, flat tire, or any other emergency that could happen while you are out. I suggest that you use a dog seat belt; or better yet, have them travel in a carrier.
5. Keep him hydrated
Ensure to carry along plenty of water, and water him often. We have found out that the backpacks that carry water work very well for us. You will have to train your dog to drink from the reservoir, which does not take much if they are thirsty.
6. Learn about the surroundings and prepare for it
Before the day of your trip, ensure you are aware of all the possible challenges that you might encounter on the big day. Some of these challenges can be dangerous animals, harsh weather conditions, treacherous plants, and many others. If you do not know what you are doing, you might inadvertently be putting yourself and your dog in danger. Use common sense, if your dog is long haired and gets hot easily; do not take him to the desert. He would be much happier going somewhere cooler
7. Abide by all rules of camping with pets
In case you plan to use an outdoor guide or rent a canoe, abide by all the camping rules and take responsibility for your pet. Most businesses expect you to be a responsible dog owner, and they are giving you the privilege to use their services. If in case it is the first time your dog is trying an adventure, consider letting the owner of the company be aware, they may be able to help you and your dog feel more comfortable.
8. Find a dog-friendly campground
Ensure you do extensive research before setting off for the trip. Ensure you have all the information that if pets are allowed at the campsite, then what is the size limits? Are there any restrictions? Do they have a dog run? Are you required to bring and show your dog's rabies certification? Once you are at the campsite, do not leave the dog alone in the tent, keep her in sight at all times, and refer to section 4-dog manners. Nothing is annoying to campers like a dog left barking all day long and night.
9. Prepare Your Dog's Documents
There are so many campsites that are pet-friendly, but others do require to check pet's documentation so be sure you have these to save yourself the trouble. Bring their vaccination papers, ID tags, and license. Organize it in one folder, so it's easy to pull out of your bag. These papers may also come in handy in case an emergency happens during your trip. This is also a good idea in case you have an emergency, and you have to take your dog to the local veterinarian. If your dog has special medications, always bring them with you.
10. Pack a First Aid Kit for You and Your Dog
It is equally important to carry along a first-aid kit for you and your pet. Being out in the woods, your dog's curiosity might peak, and he may eat or encounter things that he shouldn't so there is a higher risk of choking, getting sick, poisoning and the like. Having a pet-specific kit and guidebook will be extremely handy in case of emergencies.
11. Book a Visit to the Vet
As humans, we need to make sure that we are healthy enough to go on a trip. The same thing goes with our furry friends. At the visit to the vet, make sure that their flea and tick prevention/medication is updated.
Always remember to check thoroughly for any damage that may have happened to your dog’s paws and the rest of his body parts after every hike you take. You can also get your dog hiking boots for extra protection against anything that might pierce their paw. Also be on the lookout for any ticks that might have attached themselves during the walk. It's a good idea to make sure he's vaccinated and up to date with everything at the veterinarian before you start taking him out to unusual places where you can't control the environment. You'll also need to be sure he's well trained, quiet and obedient. If there are other hikers on the trail, your dog will need to know he should steer clear of them and remain close to you instead. A dog that pulls on the leash and is overexcited to run away and explore things isn't a dog ready to go hiking. It will only end in trouble and perhaps injury.
There is an advantage of considering taking your dog hiking more often. One of it is that his/her instincts become in the open trails or even mountainous trails, depending on where you plan to hike. Make sure ahead of time before arriving at the hiking trails that dogs are allowed, because some of the trails will not allow dogs on their paths, so make sure if you are heading out for some hiking that you know where the trails are that do allow dogs. Moreover, make sure you pack a small portable drinking bowl and water for your dog to drink while on the hike, especially if it is in the summer months, you and your dog will need to stay hydrated.
When you enjoy hiking, you can also have your dog enjoy the hiking with you by getting them in the correct conditioning them to hiking. Make sure you do not decide to hike in hot weather because this is not good for your dog or you because both can easily become overheated. Therefore, choose your time to hike wisely and work with your dog to slowly build up their endurance and soon you will have the best hiking partner to take with you on any of your hiking trips. Remember, you are responsible for your dog's actions as well as his well-being in and out of your home. Keep these dog camping tips the next time you visit the outdoors. This is what to bring with you when you go hiking with your dog