10 Crucial Tips For Hiking A Mountain With Your Dog
There are numerous different activities you can do with your dog that makes owning one pretty great. However, one of the best undoubtedly is hiking up a steep hill or even a mountain. The majority of dog breeds, regardless of their size, require a reasonable amount of exercise and enjoy getting this from a walk or running.
Perhaps you are simply tired of walking around the local area or going to the dog park and fancy something more challenging though; then a mountain hike may suit you. It is not quite as simple as getting your dog into the car and heading to the nearest hill or mountain to walk up to it – it takes some serious preparation and planning.
To help you out then, we are going to look at some helpful tips in the following post to help you prepare properly for a trip up the mountain with your dog.
Before heading to the base of a mountain or even planning where to hike, it is recommended you put your dog through some training beforehand. You need to ensure that your canine buddy has been properly socialized and will feel comfortable in the company of other dogs and people; as it is unlikely that you will be the only owner and dog partnership walking the mountain when you go.
If you know that your dog is not very good at dealing with new surroundings, you need to get them ready for this too. It may be worth considering the prospect of enrolling them in a training class of some kind.
Another tip is to take them along to a dog park local to you, regularly, to help test them in safer and comfortable surrounding. It is better to test the water, so to speak, in a dog park than on the mountainside, where their negative reaction to the influx of people and dogs might cause you or them an injury.
It is also vital to take part in some training of your own because if your dog gets injured or too tired, you will need to carry them back down, so look at a harness with a handle. So it is important for you to be as fit and healthy as you can before tackling a mountain with your dog.
Research Suitable Hikes For Dogs
It is possible that you will probably have some idea of where you want to go hiking with your dog. You would be foolish though, to just decide that you are going to hike at a particular location, drive out there ready to walk, to discover dogs are not permitted to use it. Therefore, it is important that you do proper research online to find hiking trails in your local area or where you intend to visit, that are not only suitable for dogs in general, but ones suitable for your dog's level of experience.
As this is probably your first hike with your dog, you are best choosing a trail for beginners.
Take Lots Of Snacks, Food and Water for You Both
When you hike by yourself, you need to pack a lot of snacks and food with high-energy levels along with enough water for the duration of your hike. When you decide to take a dog along then, it is vital you ensure you have sufficient water and food for them too.
To help make things easier, it is best to stick to the regular brand of dog food you normally feed your dog. Be sure to include some of your dog's favourite treats as well, as you may need to give them some treats while hiking to keep them motivated and happy. Don't worry about packing more than you normally would feed them as they will burn off more calories during the hike than they do on a normal day of exercise.
When it comes to water, alongside the supply for you, you need to take some for your canine too. You should also take a bowl of some kind – such as the Roysili Collapsible Dog Bowl.
This particular dog bowl is collapsible and manufactured by Roysili and is made using silicone, FDA-approved and free of BPA. As well as being straightforward to use, it also comes equipped with a special clip for fast and efficient release that allows you to attach the bowl to your dog's leash or backpack.
Bring Plenty of Dog Poo Bags
When you are out and about with your dog in the countryside, in this case hiking up a mountain, there is one rule more than all others, that is imperative that you follow. That rule is 'leave no trace.' Therefore, when you go hiking up a hill or mountain, you need to clean up after yourself. This may mean carrying your rubbish in your own bag if there are no bins around, or at the very least filling the bins
Further to these aspects of 'leave no trace,' as you will have your dog with you and nature will call regularly, you need to ensure you clear any mess your dog makes. This is why it is vital you include plenty of these handy little bags in your backpack.
If you are looking for something to carry dog poo bags in, the Dog Care Company Dog Treat Bag, featuring a built-in Poop Bag Dispenser is a great choice. One of the reasons why we highlighted this bag, in particular, is that it actually deals with two problems with one solution. It is not just a handy dog poo bag dispenser, but also has a compartment for keeping your dog's favourite snacks and treats.
Take a Doggy First Aid Kit
Another essential item that needs to be included in your bag for your dog is a first aid kit. First Aid kits are essential for humans as a way to cover many bases if cuts, bruises, and any other less serious issues occur. It is exactly the same for your dog. You need a kit that includes all the things you need to treat non-serious injuries as and when they occur. If you are looking for a good value first aid kit that is approved by professional vets, you should consider the Pet First Aid Kit.
Try Giving Your Dog Something to Carry
Of course, it depends on your dog's age, size and level of fitness; but, you could try and give them something to carry during your hike. This will obviously help to lighten your load somewhat, but it is advised that you go with your dog to a pet store to test out which gear fits most securely and the one your dog is most comfortable wearing.
Always Pack Extra Clothing for Your Dogs
You need to bring the correct clothing for your dog, based on the forecasted weather for the day you are hiking and the actual area where your walk will be taking place. Interestingly, the human layer system can is used with dogs too. A high-vis jacket, like the Track Jacket from Ruffwear, as well as fleece and waterproof jacket. The high-vis will help your dog and you to be easier to spot, even in poor visibility.
Bring Your Dog's Favorite Toy
For when you take any breaks during your walk, it is a good idea to pack your dog's favorite toy. Sticking to one that you know they will actually play, rather than just assuming they like one and taking up more space than is necessary for your bag. Opting for a favourite toy could also help to prevent your dog from getting too stressed while out and about.
Closely Monitor Your Dog During Your Walk and Make Regular Stops
Throughout your hike, you should closely monitor your dog, to catch any signs of discomfort, overheating or fatigue. For example, if your dog starts to pant more than usual or you'd expect, limp or behave in any way that suggests something might be wrong, take a break and carefully examine them. Take the time to offer some water or food to them and use your first aid kit if you need to. It is wise to take regular stops and prevent them from suffering, rather than waiting until there are physical signs of fatigue or something else.
Invest In a Decent Leash
The vast majority of mountain trails that are dog-friendly require that canines are kept on their leash at most or all of them time. It is wise then to check how hike-worthy and robust your dog's leash is before taking them up a mountain. You may have to invest in a completely new one, such as the AOShop Hands-Free Dog Leash. This is a versatile and sturdy leash that can also be attached to you around your waist, keeping your dog at a safe distance and freeing your hands up at the same time. As a nice extra, the leash also includes a dog poop dispenser.
There is no doubt that there are few experiences more exhilarating with your dog than taking your furry friend up a mountain, but it is not nearly as simple as heading in the car with your dog to the nearest mountain, under prepared. Rather, you need to put the above tips into action to ensure your adventure is as safe as it is fun.