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One of the most ideal ways to spend a weekend is to go hiking, tagging your dog along with you. It makes for a great weekend getaway, helps you work those muscles and get some cool, fresh air. It is also quality time that you get to spend with your dog.
You guys can trek up hiking tracks (dog-friendly ones, mind you!), camp by a lakeside, and have a fun bonfire at night. Just the two of you, on top of the world, having the time of your life. All this sounds incredibly fun.
Before taking your dog up for hiking, remember to pack up his essentials, so he is happy and comfortable during the trek. Pack a warm blanket for the night, sufficient food and snacks and even sunblock to protect him from the sun.
Hiking isn’t just fun; it is also incredibly healthy for your dog. Playtime and exercise are super important for dogs, and they need to burn off the extra energy they accumulate. In our hectic and busy lives, we barely give enough time to our dogs, and we barely let them have the exercise they deserve. Bigger dogs need far more exercise than a 20-minute walk each day, and it is incredibly unhealthy for them to not receive their due share.
However, you can even that out by taking your dog for an occasional hike now and then and let him burn off those extra calories. Your dog can run and climb and walk till he’s tired, making up for all the idle time he spends sitting at home.
Hiking provides great exercise for your dogs, but they are also equally beneficial for you. How many of us take out any time to work out, despite regular exercise being recommended by every doctor and physician out there? Very few. Thus, a day out hiking with your dog can give you the necessary exercise that you need as well.
So, pack your bags and go out on an adventure this very weekend!
Hiking with your dog is fun, but you must remember that as a dog parent, it is your responsibility to keep your dog safe from harm and keep the surroundings safe from your dog. Here are a few things you must do when hiking with your dog.
Keep your dog on a leash. Even on dog-friendly trails, unleashed dogs are not appreciated. Dogs can get excited easily and over the most mundane of things, causing havoc to everything and everyone in their path. This can be dangerous on rocky, hilly terrain, so keep the leash on and maintain complete control of your dog at all times, lest he ends up hurting himself or others.
Do not let him harm the wildlife around. On your hike up, you may encounter beautiful animals, insects and plants minding their own business in their own habitats. Do not let your dog disturb them or damage them in any way. You are passing through territory that is their home, and you harm anything in your path would be extremely disrespectful.
Clean up after your dog. Sure, you’re outside, but that is no excuse to leave your dog’s mess behind. Just as you wouldn’t leave it in the middle of a road, don’t do it in the middle of the trekking path. When your dog has done its business, either cover it with mud or pick it up and discard it where and how you see fit. Do not pollute the area with dog droppings and the likes.
If you are careful and mindful of such things, you are a good citizen, and you and your dog deserve to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and the serene hiking trails and mountains. Leave it the way you found it when you came; clean, undisturbed and beautiful.
The sad truth of the matter is that these mountains, these trekking paths and these hiking trails are not the way they used to be. Once lush and green, with all sorts of birds and wildlife surrounding you, the places have undergone major change during the past decade or so.
Who is to blame? Well, us.
Now when you go up these paths, you can’t help but notice the trash lying about, the way the wildlife is leaving the place, and the grass is receding. We have commercialized everything to the extent that natural beauty has no place in the world. Plastic wrappers from chocolates and crisps stare at you from the corner of the trails, and discarded food and other junk can often be seen rotting around. Irresponsible and careless treatment of such places has ensured that these places do not serve us the way they used to. The loss, in the end, is ours and ours alone.
There are some people who work diligently to clean up these spaces and restore them to their natural beauty. Though these heroes work tirelessly, they can’t possibly save all the places that we have destroyed. It is up to us to help in whatever capacity we can to save OUR planet. If you are physically fit, lead a cleanup drive along the trekking trails and on the mountains. If not, the least you can do is to donate to organizations that are trying to save these places before it’s too late.