Basic Knowledge For Hiking With Your Dog
Hiking with your dog can be a lot of fun; you’re both outside, exploring nature, and getting great exercise. However, there are a few things you should know before you hit the trails.
- Your dog should be on a leash at all times. This is common courtesy to fellow hikers. Not only should your dog physically be on the leash, he should be completely under your control. Allowing your dog off his leash can be a safety hazard and may lead to complaints to the park managers about the rules in regard to dogs on the trails. Your dog should also be trained to not bark or harass other hikers for this same reason.
- Bring the proper materials to dispose of poop. Just like when you take your dog on a walk around the neighborhood, bring bags to clean up any messes and be sure to dispose of it properly.
- Ensure that your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date and bring copies of them with you. This is an extra safety precaution that could save you from getting into trouble.
- Make sure that your dog is in shape. Don’t assume that he can go from lying on the couch to suddenly hiking 10 miles. Build him up slowly, starting with walks around the neighborhood that gradually increase in length. Take him to parks that let him try his hand at inclines and different footings.
- Bring a leash that is long enough to allow your dog to lie down when he is tied to a tree. Most leashes aren’t long enough to wrap around the trunk of a tree and still allow the dog to move around or lie down.
- Bring enough water. For a day hike, one to two quarts of water should be enough. Remember to bring a bowl for him to drink out of, and if you plan to use a natural water source like a stream or creek, bring a purifier to clean the water first.
- Check for injuries, fleas, and other problems after your hike. Look at your dog’s paws (specifically his pads and toes) and ears for cuts, and use a comb to check his body for bumps or any foreign objects he may have picked up, like a thorn or piece of glass.
These are pretty basic knowledge points about taking your dog on a hike, but if you follow them, you’ll keep both you and your pup safe on the trails. Happy hiking!