If you’re an outdoors kind of person, and a dog owner, you may have considered bringing your dog along with you on a hike this summer. Humans have been hiking and trailing the various landscapes of the Earth with dogs as companions and guides for thousands and thousands of years. This symbiotic relationship between man and canine can be observed in a very popular children’s movie that came out a few years ago known as Ice Age. In the movie, the early humans carried supplies with them to keep their dogs well-fed and occupied on the long journeys.
The first of the dog supplies that you need to have in your hiking inventory are the essentials to preserving the life of your dog. You need to pack plenty of food and water for him or her, and make sure that you pack enough in case of an emergency (such as getting lost in the woods and not being able to find your way back to civilization for several days or weeks). I wouldn’t buy the dog food that comes in bags that you find at the grocery store. Instead, I would get the canned dog food that almost looks like liquid beef when you pour it out of the can. This will save you a lot of time and energy, as you won’t need to lug around several bags of dog food. It’s also a lot less expensive to get a couple boxes of Alpo instead of seven or eight bags of Kibbles & Bits.
Next, you need to make sure your dog has a powerful leash that you can easily get your hand around and hold onto tightly. I’ve heard countless stories of people hiking in the woods with their dogs (without a leash mind you), and the dog will see a rabbit or a squirrel and run off to chase it. A lot of people have lost their dogs this way, so make sure you get a sturdy leash from a store that specializes in pet-related merchandise such as PetSmart. While you’re there, don’t forget to grab a chew toy or two for your dog in case he or she gets bored while on the hike. I would also recommend picking up some treats.
Lastly, you need to have some type of first-aid kit specifically designed for your dog. Dogs may believe they’re invincible, but you and I know that they can get hurt just like us while experiencing the great outdoors. Snake bites, bug bites, broken limbs, and overheating are all very real and dangerous things that could happen to your dog. Your dog’s first-aid kit should be made to handle any situation, whether it’s a scrape or an entire limb being severed.
Going on hikes with your dog can be a very rewarding and beneficial experience for not only you, but for your dog as well. If you’re mindful of where you’re going, and you take every precaution necessary to ensure your dog’s safety and overall well-being, your hikes should be very wonderful memories that you and your dog will never forget. Hiking with your dog is truly an amazing bonding experience that no dog owner should pass up.
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