More and more of us are wanting to go hiking with our dogs. It seems like the perfect scenario to combine two exercise regimes – that of the human with that of your pet. You will both end up healthier and feel satisfied by the experience.
So, when it comes to considering How to hike with your dog, let us think about some tips that will make the experience practical and as enjoyable as possible. Your dog will thank you, in its loving and unconditional way, for the creativity that went into making the experience possible. Taking your dog for a walk will now hold a whole new meaning.
Maintaining Your Dog’s Energy Levels
As you would keep an eye on your own energy levels when exercising, you should think of your dogs too. You should, perhaps against immediate thinking, not give your dog a big meal on the morning of your hike together, just the amount they will have time to digest. A tip here might be to feed your dog at intervals, even if you normally only feed them in the morning and evening. This will aid your dog in exerting even amounts of energy throughout the hike. You will avoid your dog trying to feed on scraps along the hiking trail, which are not going to be what you intended them to eat for a healthy diet.
It is important to keep your dog cool. This can be achieved by not hiking during the hottest part of the day. We should remember that dogs are not able to sweat to cool down as we can. Frequently stopping for water breaks will be a way to keep our dog cool and hydrated, as we should regularly take sips from our water bottle too. You will need to remember to take enough water and a separate receptacle for you both to have regular drinks. You need to have fresh water, so as not to leave your dog drinking out of a stream where you do not know how clean the water is. Even if there is a spring, the source may be contaminated at some point or other.
Keep Your Dog Away from Farm Animals and Unsuitable Locations
Knowing your route beforehand is the key to avoiding your dog coming into contact with farm animals. Hilly areas, particularly, might have sheep on them, whereas flatter fertile ground will be used for growing crops. It is better not to put yourself in this position of having to negotiate around farm animals such as sheep and cows. If it does happen, make sure that your dog is on a lead and under your control. You do not want to worry sheep or any farm animal and find yourself out of favour, too, with a local farmer who may then ban you from his land, even if it is a public right of way.
Bear in mind too, how rocky an area is likely to be. Choose places to hike that are suitable for you and your dog. However, a dog’s pads do become thick, tough, and callous over time, so they will be able to walk on many surfaces with little pain or discomfort. They are more likely than you to still enjoy the hike no matter what is underfoot. Your hiking boots, though, should easily be the equivalent of a dog’s pads.
Wherever you choose in the country, it is going to provide you with the kind of fresh air that cannot be found in cities, towns, or populated urban areas, where you would ordinarily be passing traffic and be inhaling those fumes.
So, think about the tips above and also about having the best hiking gear for your dog as well as yourself. Remember to take a coat along for your dog in case rain should come upon you both suddenly or it should suddenly go cold.
To summarise, you should think about energy levels for both you and your dog and be prepared to be flexible about your dog’s mealtimes on hiking days. Consider the temperature when you go hiking, in terms of the time of day. It will make all the difference to how comfortable both you and your dog feel on your hike. Also, pick your hiking locations carefully to avoid any awkward situations that might occur, such as you and your dog coming into contact with farm animals that can end up frightened by dogs despite them being on a lead.
So, think responsibly when hiking through the countryside. Take care where it is rocky. For an extra tip, always carry a mobile phone with you so that you can telephone for help if required. It will also help navigate you and your dog to the best hiking spots. Above all, enjoy the fresh air together that was never possible when walking your dog alongside traffic.