Walking boots. Check. Backpack. Check. Loyal furry companion. Check. If you love nothing more than walking or hiking with your dog then there are few things that you must remember before setting off on your adventure together…
Things to consider before going hiking with you dog:
- Most dogs can make the perfect hiking and walking companion if they are physically fit. Make sure that you prepare your dog physically before going on a long hike by taking them on long walks or jogs to get them into shape and so that they can handle the distance. Remember to be realistic about the fitness of your dog and what they can achieve.
- Whether it is walking in the Swiss Alps of Zermatt or climbing the peaks of the Lake District, involving your pooch is a unique experience if it’s not too hot. Remember to carry a food and water dish along with extra supplies; collapsible dog dishes are ideal when hiking as they are light and easy to pack. Don’t go walking with your dog during the hottest periods of the day and ensure your dog has access to shade. If the whether is hot always keep an eye out for heat exhaustion.
- Your dog can make the challenges of the great outdoors even more fun if they are obedient. It is essential that your dog responds to your commands. Make sure they can heel, sit, stay and are comfortable on and off the lead. It is also important that they have been socialised with other dogs and humans – just because you are half way up a mountain doesn’t mean you are alone, trails are narrow and you need to know that your dog will behave when meeting others.
Kit you should invest in:
- Dog’s paws are often quite soft and can tear when walking on rough terrain so why not invest in dog wear booties that will protect their feet. And for after the hike why not treat your pooch to paw balm that will help soothe and soften rough and cracked paws.
- Dogs are no different from us when it comes to burning extra calories while hiking, so remember to pack extra treats and a full water bottle.
- For those warm days pack a cooling vest for your dog to wear to make sure their hiking experience is manageable but remember to avoid hiking in really hot conditions.
- A vital part of your hiking gear should always be a first aid kit for both yourself and your dog.
- Always be prepared. Make sure you pack an extra lead just in case you lose or break one. Invest in one that will give your pup room to explore and enjoy the great outdoors.
- It is guaranteed that your dog will find the muddiest puddle on your trek so its a good idea to take a towel to give them a wipe down at the end of your adventure.
- Hiking is not only a great way to see nature but its a fun way to spend time with your dog. Take a few hardy toys such as a ball or a Frisbee and take advantage of the space to play.