All dog owners know how much dogs love to go for walks, and if like me, you find it hard to leave home with out them then you probably wouldn’t dream of leaving them at home while you go camping. But there is a difference between their daily walks and going hiking and camping with your dog in remote places. There are some things you should consider before attempting any kind of serious hike with your dog including but limited to the following tips.
This goes for any kind of outdoor activity but when you have your dog with you there are certain things you should always keep in your backpack or dog saddle bags. You should of course pack enough food and water for both of you but also think about getting a solid dog leash and collar. Follow this link for a list of the best dog leashes for hiking.
Understand your dogs capabilities and limits both in breed and in health/age
Some breeds of dog are designed to cover long distances and have thick fur withstand extreme weather conditions. These kinds of dogs are great for camping and hiking in cooler climates but may struggle in heat. Other dog breeds originate in hot climates, with short noses and stumpy legs. These types of dog may not be able to handle a long hike or enjoy camping in the cold and so it is important to do your research before your set off on an adventure.
Work with your dog to achieve a pace that works for all
While your dog may have been sprinting for miles on end just a few years ago, slowing down as they get older is normal. It is important to recognize signs of stiffness early and don’t over do it if they look like they are struggling. Remember that your dog is having the time of its life when it is with you in the great outdoors and they will often work themselves to exhaustion just to make you happy.
Avoid hiking in high temperatures
I don’t mean stay inside if the sun is out, I simply mean that it is better to hike during the morning and afternoon if temperatures are high to avoid the mid day sun. Direct sunlight on a dogs coat must feel like you are wearing a woolly jumper (or two) so be considerate and seak shade when the sun is at its highest point.
Allow your dog to recover
Just because your dog walked 15 miles one day doesn’t mean that kind of distance is sustainable for a week. If you are planning a long distance hike with your dog then you should allow plenty of breaks throughout the day and also pick routes that have plenty of water sources for your dog to drink and cool down.
Inspect your dog at the end of the day
Specifically look at the pads on their paws for damage and make sure none of their claws have snapped in a nasty way. You should also be checking for things like ticks and fleas if you are sharing your tent with them at the end of the day.