Are you considering a break from the routine of city life and planning to go hiking with your dogs? We understand your enthusiasm
Setting out on a natural trail with your furry companion can be a fun, refreshing change of scenery, a wonderful bonding experience, and excellent exercise. While most dogs make excellent hiking partners, it's crucial, as responsible dog parents, that we ensure their well-being throughout this adventure.
Hiking with dogs involves creating the perfect trail - one that's enjoyable, safe, and stress-free. Here's how to make it happen:
Before the Hike:
- Check if your chosen destination has dog-friendly hiking trails. Some fantastic trails to explore include the Himalayan village of Sari, Shivanasamudra (Karnataka), Naneghat (Western Ghats), and Prashar Lake (Himachal Pradesh).
- Investigate any regulations regarding taking dogs on hikes in your destination city to avoid fines or conflicts with fellow hikers.
- Consult your veterinarian about your dog's overall fitness and ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date. Some underlying medical conditions might only become apparent during strenuous physical activity.
- If your dog has arthritis, mobility issues, or no prior hiking experience, opt for less challenging trails or break up the hike into shorter segments to allow your dog ample rest.
- Don't forget to pack a first-aid kit, including supplements, antibiotics, ointments, cotton, gauze, tick and flea solutions, etc., to be prepared for any unexpected situations.
- Plan for your dog's needs and your own by packing plenty of dog food, water, dog toys, and bowls. Keep your dog well-fed, hydrated, and comfortable throughout the trip.
- Water is essential during a dog hike, especially on hot days, with dry dog food, long walks, and rugged terrain. Carry enough water for both you and your dog.
- Use cues like "Come," "Stay," and "Sit" to ensure your dog's safety and enjoyment during the hike. Always have your dog on a leash for identification and safety purposes.
- Ensure your dog wears a collar or harness for easy identification and use a leash while hiking. Sploot’s collar & leash set is helpful in low-visibility conditions or bad weather.
- Be mindful that not all dogs can hike long distances, such as puppies, small dogs, and senior dogs. Avoid hiking on extremely hot days as it can easily tire your dog and cause stress.
During the Hike:
- Leash your dog to ensure their safety and the safety of others. Avoid trails known for wildlife or excessive strays to minimize unpleasant encounters.
- Be cautious about what your dog may ingest during the trail, especially if they seem uncomfortable.
- Choose trails with trees and water sources on sunny days.
- Follow the etiquette of picking up after your dog by disposing of poop bags in the nearest trash bin.
- Never leave your dog in a car during the hike, as temperatures can unexpectedly rise, even on cool days.
- Remember to take breaks, offering water and snacks to your dog when needed. Allow them to rest and regain their energy during mealtimes. Watch for signs of fatigue, discomfort, or health issues.
After the Hike:
After your hiking trip, keep walks short and let your dog rest and recover. If your dog shows any signs of discomfort, consult a vet promptly.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q) Is it okay to hike with dogs?
A) Hiking is generally a great way to provide physical and mental stimulation for most dog breeds. It allows you to bond with your dog and explore new places.
Q) How long can a dog hike?
A) The duration of a dog hike depends on factors like breed, age, and fitness level. Consult your veterinarian or trainer before planning a hike, as not all dogs can handle long distances.
Q) Can small dogs hike long distances?
A) Yes, small dogs can hike long distances, but their endurance may not match larger breeds. Start with shorter hikes and gradually increase the distance. Regardless of your dog's size, consult your veterinarian about their fitness before embarking on the journey.