Proper Gear For Hiking With Your Dog

Proper Gear For Hiking With Your Dog

Taking your dog on​ a​ hike with you​ can be an​ enjoyable experience,​ provided you​ have the​ right hiking gear to​ accommodate the​ both of​ you. Taking your best friend along shouldn’t bog you​ down with extra gear but you​ will need to​ consider where you​ are going and how long you​ plan to​ hike in​ order to​ ensure you​ have what you​ need for a​ safe trip.

Whether hiking for an​ afternoon or​ taking an​ overnight trek,​ you​ should make sure to​ stock your backpack with the​ following items to​ help Fido,​ Lassie or​ whom ever you​ take with you​ have as​ much fun as​ you​ do.

Adequate water for both you​ and your dog. if​ you​ know that there will be water sources along the​ route,​ carry a​ water bottle with you​ that you​ can refill if​ needed. if​ you​ are unsure about water availability,​ pack 1-2 quarts of​ water for your dog for a​ day hike plus enough for yourself. Collapsible dog bowls are good for dogs that may not drink from a​ stream or​ from a​ water bottle.

A leash. Most trail ways require that your dog be on​ a​ leash or​ harness while hiking. a​ leash will also help keep order should there be a​ lot of​ dogs on​ the​ trail with you.

First aid kit items. Most pet injuries while hiking occur on​ the​ pads of​ their feet. the​ pads can easily be cut on​ sticks,​ stones and roots in​ the​ ground. you​ should stop hiking intermittently to​ check your dogs paw pads for cuts or​ blisters. Have the​ appropriate bandages and disinfectants with you​ in​ case this happens.

Proper ID tags for your pet. the​ dog tags should include information on​ your pet’s vaccination as​ well as​ your home address and phone number. Make sure the​ rabies tag that you​ received from your veterinarian is​ attached to​ your dog’s collar.

Clean-Up Items. Zip-lock bags are great for hiking trips to​ reduce the​ odor of​ the​ feces while on​ your hike. Be sure to​ pick up all your dog’s feces while hiking using paper towels or​ your bag and dispose of​ it​ in​ a​ garbage container. Also carry a​ towel to​ clean off your dog should he or​ she get into dirt or​ water. • Snacks or​ Treats. Your dog will get tired just as​ you​ will. Make sure to​ pack a​ few treats to​ keep him energized until you​ get back home. However,​ you​ don’t want to​ over-feed your dog while hiking or​ they may get sick. Treats can also be helpful in​ getting your dog’s attention should they run off unexpectedly.

Above all,​ make sure your dog is​ up to​ the​ challenge of​ an​ afternoon hike. Make sure they are healthy and well-nourished before setting out on​ the​ hike. Older dogs should be treated to​ a​ trail way with a​ level terrain and with little to​ no incline. Small dogs should be taken on​ well groomed trails that won’t have a​ lot of​ low hanging brush or​ leaves that may cause eye or​ skin irritation.

Pay attention to​ the​ signs your dog may give while on​ a​ hike that there is​ something wrong. if​ they avoid the​ sunshine or​ lay underneath leaves they may be dehydrated and need to​ stop for a​ long drink of​ water. if​ their stride becomes labored or​ if​ they favor one paw over another,​ they may have gotten a​ sliver or​ cut on​ their pad. Your dog will tell you​ what they need while outdoors so long as​ you​ listen.

~Ben Anton,​ 2008

Proper Gear For Hiking With Your Dog

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