Guest post by: Roxana Oliver
Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle is not always easy in the modern world, especially if you have a pet to look after. Trust me, I know – I have two dogs and I love to take them for their walks and a little bit of hiking every once in a while. It took me a while to figure out how to prepare and what to pack for an outing with my canine friends, though, as I had no previous experience with outdoor adventures with a pet onboard. That’s why I have some useful tips for all dog owners who want to set out on a joint excursion into the wild for a couple of hours now and then – so keep reading and cut yourself some hassle and unexpected incidents the next time you and your fido decide to hit the road for some al fresco fun and recreation.
- Planning the trip
Before you set out to brave the wilderness for a few hours with your furry friend onboard, check the regulations for your trail to see whether dogs are allowed in the area. Canine pets are not allowed in some national parks, and you can even be fined for breaching the rules by bringing along your dog. Also, make sure you have a strong, six-foot leash and collar with ID and contact info as dogs can get confused, frightened or overeager to wander off if left unattended in a new environment. If your dog is not very sociable and does not work well in a crowd, it’s best to pick lonely paths or go hiking outside the peak trail traffic hours to avoid canine-to-canine or canine-to-human encounters with unwanted outcome.
- The vital gear
Once you’ve settled on the trail for the day, it’s time to pack some critical gear for both you and your pet. Though the excursion will take just a couple of hours and not several days, you’ll probably need to bring along some supplies for your dog like food, water, dog bowl and poop bags. Though this may seem needless to inexperienced dog-owning hikers, dogs do need extra energy for a few hours of walking, hiking or running, so it would be a good idea to have some snacks all packed and ready for refreshment, just to stay on the safe side. Fresh water is also important, because dogs can experience dehydration after an exhausting trailblazing session across unknown terrain. A great item to have if you have a small pooch is a comfy pet backpack called Ruffit, which will make it easier for you to transport your dog if tired and it will also give them time to rest during several miles’ long hiking trip. Also, the little furball will be close to you which kinda helps you bond with him even more!
- Snug and warm
If you decide to go hiking with your dog in fall or winter, make sure your pet is snugly dressed to keep out the common cold when you take walks on a chilly day. Dog vests and boots are exceptionally important for trail explorations on rainy and/or windy days as your pet may catch cold if not adequately outfitted for the hike. Also, don’t overestimate your furry companion’s stamina: however fit, young and healthy your dog may be, its energy still has its limits, just like yours.
- Safety first
When packing the essentials for a short hiking trip with your pet, don’t forget to include some critical pet medicines and a first aid kit. If you decide to go on a longer trip, make sure your pet is vaccinated and on an adequate tick, flea, parasite and heartworm prevention program. However short your trail hike may be, some gauze, disinfectants, stop-bleeding powder, bandages and cleansers in your first aid kit may well save your pet’s life in case of an emergency so don’t leave them behind if you’re about to venture across rough or unknown countryside terrain, and the long city walks aren’t all that different.
All set? Then it’s the right time to explore the world the dog ‘n’ owner way!