Taking Your Dog for a Hike? Here Are Some Useful Tips

Dogs are amazing creatures. Loyal, friendly, and always happy to see you, they make the perfect companions. And nothing beats spending some quality time with your furry friend outdoors and enjoying the sunshine or the fresh air. However, before you take your furry friend out on a hike, there are some things you need to keep in mind. In this article, we will outline six of the most important tips for taking your dog hiking. So whether you’re a first-time dog owner or an experienced hiker with a four-legged friend by your side, read on for some essential advice.

Get Your Dog Used to Walk on a Leash

If your dog isn’t used to wearing a leash, then it may be difficult for you to control them while hiking. Furthermore, if they aren’t accustomed to being on a lead and get into difficulty in the outdoors, there is a risk of injury. The last thing you want is for your hike to be cut short due to an injury, so it’s best to get your furry friend used to wear a leash before taking them on a hike. Start by walking them around the block on a lead and gradually increase the distance as they get more comfortable. You may also want to try a harness instead of a leash, as this can provide more control and be more comfortable for your dog.

Bring Plenty of Water

When you’re out hiking, it’s important to stay hydrated. And that goes for your furry friend too! Dogs can get dehydrated quickly, so make sure you bring plenty of water for them to drink. A good rule of thumb is to bring one liter of water per hour of hiking. It is also essential to invest in a quality Dog water bottle to ensure your pup can drink easily while on the move. Some of the best dog water bottles have a built-in silicone bowl with an anti-slip base and a carry strap, so you can keep your hands free while hiking. You can find some great options online, so do a little research to find the best water bottle for your dog. Just remember to pack some extra water in case your dog drinks more than anticipated.

Choose the Right Time of Day to Hike

The time of day that you go for a hike can make a big difference in how much your dog enjoys it. If it’s too hot, they may become overheated and uncomfortable. Conversely, if it’s too cold, they may start to feel the effects of hypothermia. So, when planning your hike, take into account the weather conditions and choose a time of day when the temperature will be comfortable for your dog. Early morning or late afternoon are usually the best times to hike with your dog as the temperatures are cooler. And if it does get a little warm, take plenty of water for your dog to drink and find some shade to rest in. 

Bring Along Some Food

Just like humans, dogs need the energy to hike. And while they may be able to sustain themselves on their regular food, it’s a good idea to bring along some extra snacks for them to munch on. This will help to keep their energy levels up and prevent them from getting too tired. However, it’s important to choose the right kind of food for your dog. Avoid giving them table scraps or anything high in fat as this can cause stomach problems. Instead, opt for high-protein, low-fat treats such as chicken jerky or freeze-dried liver. These will give your pup sustained energy without making them hyperactive  And if you’re unsure what to pack, ask your veterinarian for advice.

Be Mindful of Your Dog’s Paw Pads

One of the most important parts of your dog’s anatomy to consider when hiking is their paw pads. After all, they will be doing a lot of walking (and possibly running) on different terrain, so it’s important to make sure their paw pads are up to the task. If you’re hiking in the summer months, then hot pavement can be tough on your dog’s paw pads. In this case, you may want to invest in some booties to protect your feet. Alternatively, if you’re hiking in the winter, salt and other chemicals used to melt ice can irritate your dog’s paw pads. So, make sure you wipe their paws down after the hike to remove any residue.

Be Careful With Wildlife

When you’re out hiking, you’re likely to come across some wildlife. And while it may be tempting to let your dog off its leash to explore, it’s important to exercise caution. Some animals, such as deer and squirrels, are harmless. However, many dangerous animals live in the wild, such as bears, coyotes, and mountain lions. So, it’s best to keep your dog on a leash at all times and be aware of your surroundings. If you do come across an animal, make sure you stay calm and back away slowly. And if you’re ever in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and contact a professional.

As you can see, even though it takes some extra planning, there are many ways you can ensure a safe and enjoyable hike with your dog. Just remember to pack the essentials, be mindful of your pup’s well-being by keeping them hydrated and fed, and use common sense when it comes to wildlife. With these tips in mind, you are sure to have an amazing time exploring the great outdoors with your dog!​