When you take on the responsibility of looking after a dog, you also have the chance to do things you may not have ordinarily done without your four-legged friend. For instance, you could do what so many other dog owners do and take a hike up a local mountain.
Perhaps you have dismissed the idea though as being too intimidating. With proper planning though and preparation, it is a challenge worth undertaking. In this article we will look at some key considerations you need to make.
Pre-Hike Training For Both Of You
Above all else, the most crucial tip for preparing for a hike with your dog is making sure you are both suitably fit and able to take on the challenge. As well as ensuring you can both handle the distance, you also need to ensure that your dog is able to obey the most basic commands such as sit, lie, stay and come. The last thing you want to have is your dog run away and not come back, when you are halfway up a hill in the middle of nowhere.
Choose a Route Suitable for You Both
So you’ve done the training and have a rough idea of where you want to go to do the hike. Stop. You need to make sure that dogs are allowed on the trail you have in mind and whether there are any specific rules about leashes or not. You also need to give thought to choosing the right route because there is often more than one trail that leads to the summit. Choose one that won’t be too much of a challenge.
Pack Enough Food and Drink
When it comes to packing for your trip, it makes sense that the most crucial element is the food and drink you take. Dogs obviously use their energy up quicker than us humans and seeing as energy levels are so important to completing something physically taxing like a hike – you need to make sure you bring enough food and water. For your dog, their normal food and some high-energy snacks should be enough alongside a larger bottle of water. If you are worried about taking a container and it taking up too much space in your bag…invest in a collapsible dog bowl. These are highly portable and help to conserve space.
Don’t Forget Bags For Dog Mess
It is important when you go to the countryside, whether it is for a hike or a picnic, that you leave it the way you found it. In other words, make sure you leave no trace that you were even there. This relates not just to the rubbish created from the food and drink you take on your hike, but the mess your dog makes on the grass or ground. Be a contentious hiker and dog owner and clean up your dog’s mess. Dog poop bags are very affordable these days and come in large rolls that fit easily into your backpack. Be sure also to pay close attention to where you dispose of them. Some routes have specific dog mess bins sets aside. On others you may have to take them home with you and dispose of them yourself.
Keep An Eye On Your Dog
You need to keep a close eye on your dog throughout the course of your hike. Look out for any signs of fatigue, tiredness or even injury. You can avoid any of these things from happening though, by taking plenty of breaks. A hike with your dog should be seen as a journey not a race. So don’t worry about finishing it as quickly as you possible can.
Following on very nicely from the above – the last tip we want to give you is that you should enjoy your hike. Remember, the reason you are doing it is to have a nice time with your pet. Take time to smell the flowers and plants, take in those gorgeous views and document your hike with lots of pictures – including the odd doggie selfie or two.
This post was written by Mike from poochingaround.co.uk