A dog is a great companion on a hike, if it is prepared for such a journey. Your pet will be happy to go with you, because dogs easily adapt to new conditions. It remains only to learn all the nuances of organizing a joint outing, so that it will bring pleasure.
The benefits of dog hikes
The answer to the question whether to take a dog on a hike is simple. This depends on the nature of the dog, its physical condition and health, as well as the degree of obedience. Does the dog like long walks? Keep in mind that the smaller the dog, the faster it will get tired.
If in doubt, here are good reasons to go together:
- you will spend a lot of time together. During busy weekdays, there is not enough time to communicate with your pet, and weekends fly by too quickly? Then a joint trip will make up for this lack;
- you will get an assistant who will always help you out, for example, find a path;
- you don’t have to think about where to put your dog during your absence;
- the dog will get tired during the hike and will not be bothered by the desire to go outside for a run for a long time.
Walking in the fresh air will benefit both you and your dog. Running in huge open spaces without fear of getting hit by a car is much more pleasant than on the streets. And the experience of living in a tent with a four-legged pet will be a pleasant discovery!
How to prepare a pet
You can only take a healthy pet on a hike. Even if there are no obvious health problems, consult a veterinarian. At least 10 days must pass after the last vaccination.
If the dog is not very obedient, you will have to train it. The more control you have over your pet during the hike, the more enjoyable your time will be. You should not be too afraid – even freedom-loving dogs are afraid to run away from their owner in the open. The more frequent joint trips, the more experienced the dog. She will understand the rules of such sorties, figure out when to run away and when to return.
So that the animal can walk 10-15 kilometers a day, start gradually increasing the daily walks. Choose more difficult routes to make sure that the dog copes well with mini-hikes.
What else to prepare:
- tag with information for the collar – enter your phone number, if the dog is lost and found, you will be contacted;
- the leash is a sturdy and comfortable, better canvas. Leather and roulette won’t work;
- a spare carabiner to the leash.
Think about how you will provide for two important needs of the dog – food and a place to rest at night. It is good if the pet likes both dry food and treats from the common table. It’s great if they don’t have allergies or digestive disorders, and they don’t need a special diet. Choose lightweight and unbreakable bowls for food and water. For a large dog, choose your own backpack, where you put food, water and dishes.
Take dry food with you on a hike – it’s more convenient. If your dog eats natural food, prepare it in advance. It’s a bad idea to change your diet while you’re Hiking. Stomach problems may occur.
Sometimes the dogs ‘ appetites change during a hike. If too many impressions beat it off, don’t worry. The dog adapts and starts eating normally on the second or third day. In the air, the appetite can be played out. In future trips, you will understand how much to take food. For now, take the volume based on the dog’s appetite at home. Do not forget to leave a bowl of water in the open at night.
You choose your own place to sleep. It is advisable to set up a tent and allocate a vestibule to the dog. So there is no risk that the pet will run away for a walk, spending the night outside the tent, or dirty everything inside. In the vestibule, it is protected from cold, wind and precipitation. If the weather is bad outside, the choice is obvious.
Perhaps the dog will refuse to sleep in the vestibule. A small pet can be placed in a tent. It is enough to pre-wash the dog. The best place to sleep in a tent is at your feet. On cold nights, sleeping next to a dog will keep you warm.
To prevent your pet from freezing to sleep on the ground, take a bedding – an old karemat, a blanket, a thin mattress or just a thick cloth. This rule is also relevant for summer hikes, because the temperature decreases at night. Use the bedding during the day’s rest at the camp.
Overcoming dangerous places
If the route involves traveling over rough terrain, consider overcoming dangerous places. Sometimes there is no other option but to carry the dog on your own. Will your fitness allow it? Perhaps you should reconsider your route?
What dangerous situations can be encountered on the way and how to overcome them?
- Ford on a mountain river – if the current is strong, insure the dog with a rope or leash. A small dog can be carried in a backpack on your back;
- Rocks – even a naturally agile dog may need your help. Descents are particularly difficult. If the dog panics at the sight of a dangerous descent, it will behave unpredictably. In search of an easier way, he risks simply getting stuck on a rock without the ability to go down or climb up. To be safe, let your pet go forward and control it from behind. Take a small dog in your arms.
- Stone scree – here it is important that the dog unquestioningly follow the command “next”, or take it on a leash. Otherwise, independent movement of the pet risks causing a collapse of stones. If the stones are large and do not move, trust the dog to make the most convenient path for himself.
The correct behavior of the owner when overcoming difficult sections of the route is to calmly encourage the four – legged companion. Don’t shout, scold, or comfort the dog. When she gets used to the new conditions, she will find convenient ways to overcome obstacles without panicking. After you have passed a dangerous place – hold the dog so that it does not climb back. It is advisable to keep the dog on a leash. If you need free hands, then tie the leash to your belt or backpack straps. Adjust the length of the leash – it should not drag on the ground.
Going camping with your dog is a great adventure for her. The main thing is to go on a trip prepared. Then positive impressions from a joint foray into nature are guaranteed.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and I’m a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.