Hiking adventures with dogs make an irreplaceable experience. The silent human companion makes the journey all the more peaceful and secure for you. Unlike humans, your pooch will demand nothing more than food and water. In return, he will provide you with his faithfulness, trust, companionship, patience, and protection. Most of all, no complaints and no demands!
Such a huge package doesn’t come free; you need to take care of the needs of your dog too. Some basic training requirements are a MUST for preparing him before the journey begins. These dog-friendly travel tips will make your trip almost trouble-free and near-to-perfection.
Things to Carry with You:
Before starting off with the packing stuff, make sure it’s not the hottest summer day when you will be hiking to the mountaintop. Your pooch can get a heatstroke because he doesn’t sweat but can only pant. Plan to visit such places during mild winters.
The things you should pack up for your companion other than food and water are:
- Harness or backpack
- A collar having waterproof identification tags
- Booties for too hot or cold places
- A raincoat of the dog
- Sleeping bed
- A chew toy and some treats
- Strong leash
- First aid kit
- Dental chews if your stay overnight. Find best dog dental chews here.
Things to Prepare For Hiking with Dogs:
Here are some important tips on safe-hiking tour with dogs:
1. Get Familiar with Leash Laws:
Are dogs allowed or not allowed; and if they are allowed, whether they have to be put on-leash or off-leash; collect all the necessary data.
Before setting off to the hiking trail, beware of the likes and dislikes of companion hikers. Some people do not prefer pets.
If your dog is not well-trained to stay on-leash, it can endanger the dog’s safety. Is recall training your dog’s forte? Does he listen to you even in a crowd? If yes, then, adventure parks or hiking trails allowing the dogs to stay off-leash can be preferred.
Harnesses can keep the anxious and curious fidos in safe distances, and you can maintain your control on dog better.
2. Health, Behavior, and Training:
An aged dog or young pup is not ideal for a hiking trail. Health issues of your dog’s breed should be considered regarding weather conditions and required activity levels. A less active dog will require food to walk every few miles ahead.
Make sure your dog is not suffering from arthritis, liver, heart or any other critical health problem because the trip will make things worse for him.
Aggressive, anxious, shy, anti-social, and fearful dogs can cause trouble for the owner too. He should have an easy-going personality to get along with other dogs.
Moreover, you have to give training for recall training, staying on-leash, walking close to you and staying calm during tough situations. The dog should follow the owner’s commands without being first bribed with a treat.
3. Dog Backpack:
You must be handling your backpack and the fido, so let the dog carry his backpack. The basic necessities of the dog include his food, treats, water, and medicines. To avoid over-heating of the body, you should rehydrate the dog after every hour. Provide him food after every couple of hours, but in a measured amount. If he overeats, he will feel lazy and tired to walk ahead. Make sure he is not starving or panting with lack of proper hydration.
Provide moments of rest to the dog every now and then. If you’ve to stay overnight, keep his blanket or bed with you to create the feel of home at the resting spot.
Besides all that, train the dog to walk with the backpack weighting his necessities. Understand his needs like for how long he can walk comfortably with the weight on his back.
4. Dog’s First Aid Kit:
- What should a First aid kit for dogs contain? Here are the basic ones you will need:
- Tweezers for pulling out any thorns
- Booties or sock to wrap injured paws
- Adhesive tape or bandage
- Disposable razor for fur removal around the wounds
- Anti-flea and anti-tick sprays
- Cold and heat packs along with towels
- Rehydrating solutions like Gatorade
- High sugar dose such as Karo syrup
- Wound disinfectant like Betadine Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting of toxic substances
- Active charcoal for absorbing ingested poisons.
5. Prepare Your Budget For Vet-Visit:
Hopefully, if your dog will be well-trained and adventure-lover, then things will not go wrong. But, we never know if the routes are way too long and dangerous, unforeseen circumstances can happen. Prepare yourself for emergency situations and stay in touch with the veterinary.
If the dog has fallen sick or returned injured from the trail, you’ve to spend the saved money on your dog. After the return, make sure your dog has not gotten any ticks and fleas.
On an apparent level, it seems a lot of responsibility and supervision, but at a deeper level, you can never find a companion better than your dog. A well-behaved and well-trained dog is a blessing in disguise on travel tours. They’ll have fun with you all along, and accompany you quietly when you need them.
James is a part-time dog-trainer and dog behavior consultant with years of experience in dog training and the man behind LabradorTrainingHQ.com. He is interested in finding out fun ways to handle dog behaviors, specifically, Labradors to help dog-owners enjoy their companions at all times.