Hiking outdoors is a wonder; however, many pet owners find it painful to leave their companions at home waiting. The doubts about taking it or leaving it are languishing for some: could it come? Is he prepared?
But the good news is that hiking with dogs is a great idea for both the animal and its owner. In this way, together they can enjoy nature, exercise and, most importantly, strengthen their bonds.
Although it is a beneficial and safe activity, there are still many doubts about it. For this reason, the most frequent questions will be answered as well as tips and tricks to take into account to make this activity an unforgettable experience.
What to Bring?
One of the basic things that you have to take when venturing into hiking is a backpack, in it, you take all the necessary equipment. In the case of dogs, it is not very different; your dog could carry his own backpack.
It must be small and designed according to size (no more than 25 percent of your own body weight) and age of the dog. Contrary to what many believe, this will not harm the dog, nor force him to carry a weight he can not.
But it is of great importance to accustom the pet to carry the package before the trip, as well as to ensure that it fits perfectly in his body, and of course, to make sure that the straps are properly tied when starting the route.
The Luggage Should Contain the Following Elements
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is essential. And just as we usually carry medicines for human consumption, we must consult with the veterinarian to find out what medications and items the dog needs in the circumstances that may arise.
Bed for Dogs
If we are going to be on route for several days, for the rest of the pet it is also necessary to provide a comfortable place to sleep. A comfortable dog bed can be made with a small quilt (the size of a crib) and a piece of closed cell foam.
It is essential to keep the dog well hydrated throughout the journey, which is why it is mandatory to take a large capacity water container with you. To serve the dog you can use a light and folding dish, and pour the water there.
For the protection of the legs of the animal of sharp thorns or rocks, booties are often necessary. But spare parts are also necessary since the animal releases them.
Towel and Nail Clippers
These items will be necessary if you are going to spend the night in a tent. To maintain the cleanliness inside the tent of the passage of the legs of a dog, a towel (for cleaning the mud from the legs) and a nail clipper (to prevent the nails from breaking the fabric of the tent) are necessary.
In case of being in a cold area, you have to shelter the dog correctly in low temperatures, especially at night. This is more important when the dog does not have a thick coat that protects it from the cold.
When the night falls you have to be very careful not to lose sight of the pet, which is why a security light helps to locate it more easily when the sun goes down. On the other hand, there are reflective bracelets, which increase the visibility of the animal.
Tips to Consider
There are several tips to consider if you want to practice hiking with a pet. These are some:
Accustom the Dog to the New ‘elements’ of Hiking
Some of the practices that will be carried out during the trip may be strange for the animal. That’s why you have to get used to it at home. For example, to familiarize you with your backpack you can make it walk with this empty first for a few days, and then go entering weight.
Or when it comes to boots, you can get the dog at home to adapt to the feeling of having them.
Hiking in Natural Parks and Reserves
The natural parks and reserves are ideal for hiking. These are safe and protected places where a pet can be calm and covered against an incident.
However, you must first ensure that the site allows dogs since in many parks and reserves it is not.
Cleans the dog’s waste
It is necessary to clean the dog’s waste no matter what. Not only because it is a common practice, but because other hikers visit that same site and should prevent the spread of diseases.
You have to carry small plastic bags for this. If you can try double bags, much better.
Tricks and Other Data
Submit it to a training regime during the weeks leading up to the excursion. It is necessary that the animal is accustomed to the kind of exercise that will be done during the trip.
That is why with short daily walks, which increase their duration, the legs of the dog will be strengthened. If it is night, you can get rid of the waste of the dog by digging with a small shovel a hole and depositing them there.
It is recommended that you measure at least half a foot deep. The booties for dogs can be made with old wool socks. You only have to fix them to the legs with adhesive tape.
If you plan to sleep in a safe shelter, find out beforehand if dogs are allowed. Today there are many shelters and hotels where pets are allowed, but even today this is not normal.
Safety During Hiking
Safety is a topic that should be a priority when it comes to dealing with hiking with dogs. That’s why you have to ask yourself if the pet needs preventive medications or specific vaccines for the trip.
For greater prevention and safety, a visit to the veterinarian should be made, where the veterinarian will explain the diseases to which he will be exposed and the medicines or measures he must take or practice. The same will happen with vaccines and the dog’s immune system.
On the other hand, one must be aware of the regulations of the site that was chosen as the destination. You need to know about the rules of the park that will be visiting. For example, in some reservations a dog cannot be without a leash, in others it can not even be.
We must also be able to control the dog in all aspects. It is not enough to keep it on a leash, but obey the instructions given, in order to avoid problems with the rest of the walkers and other pets and wild animals.