Are you looking for something different to do with your dog, that doesn’t involve a trip around the same dog park that you always take.? Although your dog is undoubtedly happy to be doing stuff out and about with you, wherever you go, do you sometimes think he or she might need more of a challenge?
If you are really looking for a challenge, perhaps you should consider taking your dog on a hike with you up the mountain. Although that might sound daunting and even a little impossible, with the right preparation beforehand, it can be a very rewarding experience.
To help you out, we have gathered together what we feel are the most important tips that will help you to prepare for a successful hike.
Fit, Healthy, and Energetic
Before you start getting your bag packed and choosing a mountain and route, you need to make sure that both you and your dog are ready for the physicality involved in hiking. You need to give special consideration to your dog’s medical history, age, weight, and even breed.
Those factors should all determine the mountain and trail you choose. So, rather than looking for the route that will be the most exciting, challenging or even quickest; look for one that you both will be able to complete safely.
You need to also give some thought to the weather conditions and climate expected for the time of your hike. The weather can change very quickly when you are on a mountain and it’s important to remember that dogs can overheat very easily especially on warmer days when they burn off energy quickly.
Follow The Rules
It may be that you have a particular hike in mind. However, before you start planning with a specific mountain or route in mind, you need to ensure first that you are allowed to take your dog when using it.
There are various trails and routes that are not dog-friendly, so make sure you are not preparing for a trip that will stop before it gets started when you arrive at the bottom and are not allowed entry.
Even on hikes where dogs are permitted, there are normally strict policies about where and when you can’t let your dog off his or her leash.
Flea and Tick Replant
Obviously, when you are walking up the side of the mountain, there are a lot of insects and bugs around. While most of these are completely harmless, you need to invest in some good quality flea and tick repellent. It is crucial that you apply this around 48 hours before your trek to ensure your dog is completely protected.
First Aid Kit For Dogs
Following on nicely from the above tip, it is also sensible to make sure you have some kind of dog first aid kit. If you have been hiking before, you will know how important it is to have one of these for yourself when you get into some trouble halfway up a mountain.
The exact same can be said for your dog. What would you do if you didn’t have one and then your dog cut his or her foot?
You may never have to use it, but having a doggy first aid kit in your possession on the side of a mountain gives you peace of mind.
Sufficient Water And Food
Although it is just common sense to make sure you have enough food and water on any sort of trip, it bears repeating. It is best to pack dry dog food and preferably one of their regular brands, to ensure they won’t have any issues eating it. You should also pack as many high energy doggy treats and snacks as you can.
While you don’t want your dog to pig out they need those regular boosts to their energy levels. Water and lots of it, is essential, on colder days just as much as the warmer one. In addition to the food and water you are bringing, it is a good idea to invest in a collapsible dog bowl.
That way you can easily provide food and water for your dog, and because these kinds of bowls fold up, they don’t take up too much room in your pack. Saves you having to hand feed and hold a bottle to your dog’s mouth at least.