Are You Ready to Go Hiking With Your Dog? Read This Before You Hit the Trails

With the warm weather upon us, we are more inclined to want to get outside and be active. And what better way to do this then by taking our canine companions out on a hike?

But before you hit those trails there are some things you will want to keep in mind. These simple tips and hints can make the difference between a fun-filled day and one that ends on a sour note.

Before the Hike

Although, the following tips may seem commonsensical, the very simplicity of them may not be considered before embarking on a romp through the forest. However, they are vitally important for your pooch.

Make sure your dog is up-to-date on his or her vaccinations. Some dog diseases can live in the environment or be transmitted through the feces of infected dogs.
Be sure your dog’s rabies and ID tags are securely fixed to his collar and that his microchip information is up-to-date. If the worst should happen and your dog gets lost, you will have a better chance of getting him back.
Your canine should have a flea and tick preventative to keep those nasty pests at bay and to prevent an infestation on your dog and in your home.
Your dog should be in good health. Be sure there are no open wounds that could become infected from a hike in the woods.

Where to Hike?

Taking your pooch on a trail may seem simple enough, but where you go can make a huge difference. For a safe hike seek out trails that are “paw safe.” These include those with leaf or needle-covered terrain, free of sharp rocks, steep drops or extremely hot surfaces. In addition, trails that are rutted with horse hoof tracks or dirt bike grooves can be difficult on your dog’s paws and natural gait.

Before You Hike

The day of your hike it’s best not to feed your dog a large meal before you leave. This is particularly important for large breeds that are genetically prone to bloat (a potentially fatal condition when the stomach flips over on itself and pinches off the blood flow and digestive process). Instead, take along treats and dry kibble to feed smaller meals throughout the day. If you do plan a larger meal, do so when you want to take at least a two hour break or when you get back home.

Checklist of Items to Take Along

Whether you plan to carry all the gear or share the load with your canine companion (dog-friendly hiking packs are available) you will want to include all the necessary items to make your day safe and fun. These include;

Plenty of water
Snacks for you and your pooch and/or light “meals.”
Portable bowls for your dog’s food/water.
Wet wipes
Bug repellent
Basic first aid kit

In addition to sunscreen for yourself, be sure to have pet-safe sunscreen for your dog if it has a light-colored or pale nose. These dogs tend to sunburn very easily which can cause pain and discomfort for your pet. You may also need to apply sunscreen to protect those pooches with a very short or light coat to also protect its delicate skin from burning.

Keep These In Mind, Too

While you’re hiking, don’t let your dog drink from standing water or puddles. These can harbor parasites and bacteria that can be detrimental to your dog’s health. In addition, keep a watchful eye out for wild animals, broken glass and other debris or anything that could cause potential harm to your pooch.

Finally, always have your dog on a leash. This gives you the ability to keep track of your canine companion, as well as making sure he doesn’t wander off and get lost.

Lishinu’s retractable leash offers the perfect hands-free option so you can hike with ease, while still allowing your dog the safe “freedom” he or she craves when out and about. Check out everything this revolutionary leash has to offer.

Hike Away the Day

With these handy tips and hints in mind, your hike is sure to be filled with all things wonderful. After all, there’s nothing quite like enjoying the great outdoors with your best furry friend.