Just like human beings love hiking especially during the Spring, dogs too enjoy the long adventurous walks into new places. Hiking is one of the ways through which dog owners can bond with their dogs, play, and visit new places together.
Hiking With Your Dog
However, hiking with a dog does not involve just setting loose on a trail with the dog. It is a more involved process that every dog owner needs to prepare for days before the hiking starts.
To ensure that everything is safe, you need to understand what your dog likes, the status of its health, have a certain meal plan, and what it needs during long walks. You also need to ensure that you have an idea of the terrain you will use to see if it is good for both the dog and yourself.
When hiking with your dog, you need to observe several things, key among them;
Understanding the Hike
The type of hike comfortable for your dog will depend on its fitness level, stature, as well as its age. Old dogs get tired faster and develop itchy joints compared to younger ones or those in their prime.
If you go on a tough hike with your puppies, it might affect their development especially when there is a lot of scrambling and jumping before their bones and joints are fully developed.
Those with shorter dogs need to carefully consider the trails they choose for the hikes. This is because such dogs might find it difficult to jump over rocks. They also use more energy when moving in rough terrains.
To ensure that your dog is at the right fitness level for a hike, you can consult some of the best vets such as Veterinarian.org for a checkup. This will be important in deciding whether you can hike with your dog and choose the best terrain that fits the fitness of the dog.
Controlling the Dog All the Time
Hiking is one of the easy ways through which you can lose sight of your dog. Even when you are hiking on trails where you can let the dog walk freely, you need to make sure that the dog is on a leash at all times.
This helps in preventing many problems such as having them engage or fight with other dogs, running after wildlife, and being hostile to other hikers. You can get a leather leash or even a simple nylon leash.
Imagine a situation where your dog runs off then encounters a poisonous snake due to lack of a leash. A simple bite might leave the dog fighting for its life. It is, therefore, important to make sure that your dog is controlled at all times when hiking.
Considering Your Fellow Hikers
Not every dog owner agrees with this when hiking with their dogs, but this is an important fact. You need to understand not everyone likes dogs – some people fear them, others are allergic to them, while others feel that it is wrong to hike with dogs.
Due to this, you need to find a way to make every other hiker happy. One way of doing this is assuming that your fellow hikers do not like dogs, not unless they show that they do. If a hiker asks you about your dog or wants to interact with it, then that is okay.
When other hikers approach you, your dog should always be on a leash. Ensure that the dog does not go up to them on its own. Ensure that those hikers that do not have dogs have a right of way and always keep your dog close to you.
In conclusion, you also need to take care of yourself when hiking. One way of doing that is ensuring that you have all survival items for hiking. These are items that will help and make the experience memorable for you.
In addition, you need to ensure that your dog does not interfere with either plant or animal life when on a hike. It is easy to have your dog running after everything that it comes across, or even destroying anything that it feels like.