When hiking with your dog there are some things you should keep in mind and eventualities for which you need to prepare. A hike with your dog can be a highly rewarding, and fun experience for both you and her; however, if you go in unprepared, the results could be at best unpleasant. So, how can you prepare for a hike with your dog?
Is Your Dog Well Behaved?
Your dog must be well trained, and respond properly to commands, otherwise, the hike could become problematic. On a hike you are bound to run into other hikers and/or wildlife, and your dog is sure to encounter new sites, sounds, and scents; so it is important that your she is well behaved.
Get Your Dog a Backpack
You will have to carry some food, snacks, and water for your pooch, so why not have her carry her own weight? There are a variety of doggy backpacks available which are made specifically for dogs, which can be used to carry food and water—just don’t get lazy and end up using your dog as a pack mule.
Food, Treats & Water
Since your dog (and you) will be burning more calories than usual, it is important to pack enough food and snacks to make sure your furry companion is properly fed. Snacks also help to keep the trek lively. Of course, you will also need to have water for your dog. All this can fit in the backpack discussed above. Having clean water is very important, because if the dog is forced to drink from stagnant puddles or water then she might contract a waterborne illness. There are collapsible water bowls which you can purchase and stow in your dog’s backpack.
Leash or Harness
This should go without saying, but a leash or harness is a must for your dog on a hiking trip. At the least it may be required by local regulation. Leashes can also be very handy if you are trying to maintain closer control of your dog during certain parts of a hike which might pose a danger to the dog if left to walk freely and explore off the path.
Microchips, IDs, and Pictures
It is an unfortunate truth, but dogs can get lost whether you are in the city, or out in the great outdoors. So it is important to prepare for such an event by making sure that your dog is microchipped (this is a relatively inexpensive option), have a proper ID tag with your contact information on the dog’s collar, and also have a picture of her handy in case you have to ask others nearby and locals if they have seen your dog.
Before heading out into nature, make sure that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, and that she has had her rabies shot as well. You never know what you will encounter on the hiking trail, and having as much protection as possible is never a bad thing.