If you're an outdoor enthusiast and a dog lover, you'll more than likely love taking your dog on a hike—just make sure you do it safely.
There's no doubt that your furry four-legged friend loves a good walk, so it's probably safe to assume that they'd be just as excited to hit the hiking trails with you. Even though hiking with a dog seems like a simple task, it's essential that you make sure you're ready for anything that can happen when you're on the trail. Whether you're headed for a backpacking trip or just a few-mile day hike, here are the things you need to know.
Pack Drinking Water for You and Your Pup
Staying hydrated is essential when you're outside, and the same goes for your furry friends. When you're packing your camelback and water bottles, make sure to bring just as much for your loyal companion. Additionally, they will need a way to consume the water easily, so bring along a collapsible dog bowl or a small one that's easily packable.
As you're hiking, get in the mindset that if you're thirsty, your dog is probably thirsty, too. So make sure to take frequent water breaks and give them ample time to drink up and rehydrate.
Keeping Your Dog on a Leash
While you may absolutely adore your dog, it's not safe to assume that everyone you meet on the trail will. That's why keeping your dog on a leash is always best. It's also essential for your pet's safety that they are kept leashed to you because you wouldn't want them running off and having a bad encounter with another animal on the trail or getting hurt when you can't see them.
It's essential to note that even if your dog is extremely well trained and they always stay near you on a trail, you never know what could happen if they get spooked by something, like a snake or another animal they aren't familiar with. When you take your dog on a hike, your best bet is to always keep your best bud close to you on a leash when you're hiking together.
Hike Only Where Dogs Are Welcome
This tip might seem like a no-brainer, but just to err on the side of caution, we felt it's necessary to mention it in this article. Trails that don't allow dogs are closed to our furry friends for their own safety. Sometimes it has something to do with other animals that can be encountered or plants that can be hazardous to their health. If there are no signs that indicate dogs are allowed or not, you can proceed; just do so with caution.
Another way you can check if dogs are welcome on certain trails, you can check AllTrails and use their dog-friendly filter to search for trails where your furry friends can accompany you.
Vaccinations Are a Must
Before you hit the trails, talk to your veterinarian about how you can protect your dog from things they might encounter in the wild. Vets will equip you with the right vaccinations that will prevent your dog from picking up diseases from other animals. Your vet can also give you a preventative medication you can give your pup to protect them from fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and heartworm. All of these can be harmful to your dog, so make sure your dog is well equipped to ward off diseases before you take your dog on a hike.
Protect Their Paws
When you take your dog on a hike, you might not think about their paws since they always walk on their bare paws when they go anywhere else, but you should definitely make sure that your dog's paws are protected. Depending on the trail, you may want to invest in some booties that will protect their paws. Trails that aren't well kept or considered backcountry may be examples of trials that would require your dogs to wear booties. In other cases, you can periodically check your dog's paws for debris when you take your water breaks.
Supplies to Pack
When you're packing up your things before your hike, make sure you pack items for both you and your pup. According to Preventive Vet, these are the items you will need:
- Water and portable water bowl - this is essential for keeping your dog hydrated when you're enjoying your hike together.
- Dog food, treats, or snacks - just like you do, your dog will get hungry since they are likely exerting more energy than they usually do; make sure to give them something to snack on along the way.
- Bags for picking up after your dog - This may not be for their safety, but it's essential that you do this out of courtesy for your fellow hikers; make sure you're prepared to pack out your dog's feces, and other things they leave behind.
- First aid supplies for your dog - it's important that you are prepared for anything when you're on the trail, including a medical emergency.
- Extra leash - Leashes can get caught on things or break, so it's wise to keep a second leash with you at all times.
- Towel(s) - Especially if you're headed to a trail where you are crossing water or hiking to a waterhole or a waterfall, you're dog is most likely going to get wet, so it can be beneficial to bring a towel to quickly dry off.
- Dog Brush or Comb - Having a brush on hand is an easy way to remove burrs and foxtails. It can also help to check for fleas before returning home.
Travel to Your Hike with Plush Paws Products
Ready to hit the road take your dog on a hike? At Plush Paws Products, we create products that keep your dog safe and comfortable when you are on the road together. Whether you and your pup are frequent hikers or more casual adventurers, you and your furry friend will love our Plush Paws car seat covers. With worldwide shipping, all our products are made with you and your dog's interest in mind. Shop our collection of car seat covers today!