Looking to escape the stress of city life? Get outside and go hiking with your canine best friend. Hiking is an amazing activity that will give you and your dog much needed exercise amid the fresh air and lush surroundings, providing an incredible opportunity to bond.
Why hike with your dog?
Exercise – Dogs and us hoo-mans need lots of exercise to stay balanced and happy. Your cardiovascular health will thank you! A tired pooch is a happy dog, and so are humans!
Better mental clarity – No one likes to be bored. Hikes are a great way to stimulate the mind, whether you want to take a break from your routine or unwind after a long day at the office. The sun and fresh air never hurt anyone!
Together – What better way to enjoy time with your dog than enjoying the great outdoors together?
Socialization – Not only will your dog have valuable socialization opportunities, you may even meet a parent dog or two.
Tips for hiking with your dog
While hiking is a fun, low-impact activity that can be enjoyed by everyone, a few small tweaks could make it a little more enjoyable.
Watch the weather
As summer approaches, watch out for weather and know when it’s too hot for a walk. Try to stick to grass and trails rather than asphalt and concrete which absorb and retain much more heat.
Water, water, water!
Hydration is important for all living things, so be sure to bring plenty of water for both of you, as well as a lightweight, collapsible water bowl.
Use a harness, not a collar
Get one well-fitting harness for your dog, especially if your dog is going to be leashed. Too much tugging and tugging on the collar can damage your beloved dog’s sensitive trachea. Free leash training dogs can wear collars, but if you have a puller it would be best to use a harness.
Check the legs
Dogs also have sore feet, especially when climbing over rough terrain and rocks. Regularly check your dog’s paws for cuts and scrapes, and consider bringing dog booties, especially if your dog has sensitive paw pads that are prone to abrasions and cuts.
You really don’t want to have to carry a 100 pound dog out of the woods!
As always, check your dog vaccines and make sure everything is kept up to date and in order. There are lots of dogs on popular hiking trails, and the last thing you want is for your dog to get infected.
Apply preventive medications
With hot weather come insects! Make sure you have been given medications like flea and tick medicine and heartworm pills. You will need to protect your dog from any insect-borne and transmitted diseases that could escalate into more serious illnesses.
During the warmer months, you can also consider using medicated flea shampoos, or switch to a flea collar until the bug situation subsides.
Final Thoughts on Hiking With Your Dog
Fresh air, sunshine, exercise and the company of your furry best friend. What’s not to love? Grab that leash and head out now for some nature time!