Get Your Dog Hike-Ready!

If you are looking forward to getting out into the country to go hiking, and you are planning on taking your dog along, it’s important to help him get fit and ready. Now, I’m not a dog owner but I know that plenty of you are, so I’ve pulled together the best tips around. After all, you wouldn’t just set out on a long walk yourself without being prepared and ready, so you need to give your dog the same chance. 

There are a number of steps you can take to help your dog be ready in terms of fitness, safety and to make sure he ends up enjoying the hike as much as you, without risk of injury or health problems. 

So here are some top tips to get your dog hike ready:  

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Get his fitness up 

If you are planning to take your dog hiking you need to start short to build up his muscle strength and stamina, just like a person who has never been hiking before. Start out with an easy hike and see how he gets on, and then build up from there. 

Make sure to check on his energy levels and take plenty of water for him to have on his hike. If he needs to lie down and rest, then the hike is probably too hard for his current fitness, so let him rest before carrying on. 

Another way to build their fitness is to give them enough space in their playpen to move around and stretch those muscles. Just make sure to select the right playpen for dogs.

Think about the weather

It’s important to plan ahead for the weather for your hike, both in terms of your own clothing and equipment, and making sure your dog is going to be comfortable. Avoid hiking if it’s going to be a really hot and humid day as your dog will struggle to stay cool. 

If it is a warm day, does your dog need protection from the sun and a cooling jacket, or if it’s cold then your dog might need a coat and booties to protect his paws from the cold and icy ground. 

Think about your dog’s paws

If your dog is not used to walking over rough ground and terrain, then his paws might be sensitive so it’s worth thinking about how to get your dog’s paws ready so that he doesn’t end up injured. 

There are paw protection products which you can invest in or dog booties if your dog will tolerate them, but you will need to get him used to wearing them before attempting to take him out hiking with them on. 

Protect your dog’s health

Depending on where you are going hiking your dog might need some extra protection in terms of vaccinations and other support. If you are going hiking in the countryside there are several health risks to your dog including ticks in long grass, mosquitos and other parasites. 

Your vet can help to give you parasite preventative medication to protect your pet against attacks from any of these insects as they can cause nasty health problems which is not the end result you want from your hike. 

Pack the right supplies 

Just as you prepare all your own equipment and supplies, you need to make sure you have all the supplies with you that your dog will need to be comfortable and happy on the hike. The most important thing is to have water and a way for your dog to drink it. 

You must never let your dog drink from streams or puddles as they could contain bacteria so bring plenty of water and a bowl for your dog, or if it’s a really long walk then bring water purifying tablets. 

You will need to take dog food treats for your dog to keep his energy up as the hike goes on so go for light and easy to carry treats that will boost his energy. You also need to make sure you have poop bags and something to put them in, as well as a dog first aid kit, just in case. 

Other supplies you might need to think about are an extra leash in case you need tie your dog, was well as a towel in case they get wet, or you can use it to cool your dog down if need be. 

Check your hiking trail beforehand

Make sure you check that the hiking trail you are planning to use does allow dogs and check any restrictions or requirements first. You can also check the difficulty of the terrain and assess how your dog will cope before you head out. 

Preparing your dog for a hike before you go out and making sure you have everything you need for a safe and healthy trip for both yourself and your pet, means you will both have a much better and more enjoyable time when it comes to hitting the trail.

Just a few preparations in advance and some forward-planning can make the difference between a hiking fail and a hiking success for you and your dog. 

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