Hiking is one of the activities you can do with your furry friend. It is a great way to explore the great outdoors and bond with your dog, and you also get to enjoy some incredible views along the way. However, before hitting the trails, there are a few things you need to take into consideration to ensure both you and your pup have a safe and enjoyable hike.
This blog post will give tips on how to hike safely with your dog. It will also provide information on what your dog will need while hiking.
Top 5 Hiking Tips with your Dog
1. Hiking Courtesy
Hiking courtesy with your dog means that you are aware of other hikers on the trail and are taking steps to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience. This includes always keeping your dog under control, not letting them approach or jump on other hikers, and cleaning up after them.
Remember to use B.A.R.K during your hike:
- B- Bring a leash
- A- Always clean up after your dog
- R- Respect other hikers and wildlife
- K- Keep your dog under control at all times/Know where to go.
2. Plan Ahead
When hiking with your dog, planning and preparing for anything is essential. This means bringing plenty of water, food for you and your pup, and any necessary medications. Packing a first-aid kit in case of accidents is also a good idea.
In addition to physical preparation, it is also important to mentally prepare yourself and your dog for the hike. This means getting yourself in the right mindset and ensuring your dog is comfortable and happy with the idea of hiking. If your dog seems nervous or unsure, it may be best to start with a shorter hike or wait until they are more comfortable.
3. Choose the Right Trail
Not all trails are created equal; some may be more suitable for hiking with your dog than others. When choosing a trail, ensure you consider the following factors:
- The length of the trail
- The terrain
- The weather conditions
- How crowded the trail is likely to be
If you’re unsure about a particular trail, it’s always best to avoid caution and choose another one. There’s no shame in taking the easy way out; after all, you’re hiking with your dog for fun, not to prove anything!
4. Understand your Dog’s limits
Like people, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and each has unique abilities when it comes to hiking. Small dogs have little legs and thus get tired more easily. Understanding your dog’s limits is essential to keep them safe on the trail.
If you have a small dog, start with shorter hikes on level terrain before working up to more strenuous hikes. Pushing them too hard too soon could result in injury.
5. Reinforce Obedience Training
Obedience training is the best way to keep your dog safe on hikes. If your dog knows basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down, you can better control them on the trail. Practice these commands in various environments, so your dog is comfortable obeying them no matter where you are.