Happy Breath will pay your shipping with orders of $50 or more (mainland US orders only).
Dog Safe During a Hike | Over the last few years, the amount of momentum hiking has gained has been unmatched. One of the reasons for its growing popularity is that it’s accessible to almost everyone and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, unlike several other activities. However, when it comes to taking your dog along, taking some extra precautions is incredibly important.
Before we jump into how you can keep your dog safe during a hike, we must have some equally important background work sorted. Your dog needs to build its physical strength and endurance before embarking on a journey as strenuous as a hike which is why you must condition them days before the activity takes place. It’s also important to note that dogs such as overweight, elderly, or flat noses aren’t meant for long hikes.
We all may find the idea of minimal packing very tempting, but emergencies don’t come announced. Your dog is especially more vulnerable to getting injured or falling sick if it’s their first time, so the least you can do as a dog owner is to bring a first aid kit along.
However, be mindful that using the same products on a dog as you use on yourself could be harmful and may cause an adverse reaction. Always keep supplies like bandages, gauze, and tweezers in the kit, and try to keep dog-specific products at your disposal at all times.
It’s always better to take more than less, especially when you take a pet along. Since your dog won’t follow their usual routine, you don’t know how the body might react. Estimate the quantity you may need and add more to it just to be safe. Additionally, hydration is more important than keeping yourself full so take more than enough water for you and your pet as you both will be shedding more calories than usual.
No matter how well-trained your dog may be, never underestimate its power to get lost. Every dog needs some form of identification, especially when they’re out and about. Some people prefer microchips, but if that doesn’t seem like an option, the least they should have is a collar with your contact details.
Every public place has some rules and regulations. The chances are that there will be more individuals on a trail, so keeping their space in mind is also necessary. While we don’t recommend keeping your dog leashed at all times (at least if they’re trained enough), it is important to do so in the presence of other people or wherever it’s required.
If you feel that your dog isn’t a good listener, it’s important to have some form of control over them, and collars can get uncomfortable. Therefore, always use a harness over a collar.
Taking a dog along on a hike is the same as taking a child. In fact, it can prove to be much more draining both physically and mentally since a dog’s reaction to people, actions, or other animals can’t always be predicted. So think of it like a toddler who will never survive on their own and will need constant adult supervision to perform even the most basic tasks.
A trail can have many potentially poisonous plants on the way, and your dog may try to eat them. So, keep them away at all times and also be very careful with untreated or spilled water, as it can lead to several substantial illnesses.
Dogs are susceptible to catching several flu-like diseases, and unfortunately, Leptospirosis is one found in stagnant water and contaminated soil. So, if your dog is not vaccinated against it, you may be taking them to their death row in the name of a hike.
Now that you know how important it is to keep your dog vaccinated, you should schedule it way ahead of time. Speak to a veterinarian and see when it’s the right time to vaccinate them. Typically, you should get the procedure done at least two weeks before the scheduled hike.
You don’t necessarily have to get your dog a raincoat but sleeping with a wet dog in a constricted space is definitely something you want to avoid. If there are chances of rain, keep a set of boots made specifically for dogs in the bag pack.
Also, there are many lightweight jackets made specially to keep them warm and protected. On the other hand, if there are signs that the weather may get hot and sunny, you may want to keep sunscreen in the pack. Generally, you should apply it to their ear tips, noses, and any other exposed areas to keep them protected from the harmful rays.
The bottom line is that your dog needs as much protection as you do. They may need more, too, but hiking is known to take a toll on even the most active animals. Therefore, make sure to know how much physical exertion their body can handle. It may vary based on their breed, overall health, weight, and, most importantly, their age.
However, this is not it. Even if all the factors are in favor, keeping the weather in mind is crucial, which is why we don’t recommend going hiking on hot days as your dog can easily overheat.
In the end, having a dog comes with a lot of responsibility, whether it’s at home or at a trail. If you’ve spent enough time deciding what breed to get, it’s only reasonable to understand what each breed can handle physically.
Dogs like pugs and Boston terriers, for example, can have a hard time regulating their breath if exposed to hot weather for long. Therefore, some breeds are always better off staying home while others can be taken out but with all the precautions followed.