Tails from the trail and tips on training your human

Must Have Items While Hiking With Dogs

Hiking With Dogs - Happy Breath

Hiking With Dogs | Going for a hike with your dog can be a really enjoyable experience. Not only do you get a great chance to get outdoors and get moving, but it is also the perfect excuse to get some quality bonding time with your furry companion.

However, a hike with a dog requires a little extra planning than usual. You want to ensure that you have all the gear to make the journey safe and comfortable for your dog. So if you’re planning a hiking trip with your dog anytime soon, make sure to pack the following things in your backpack.

1. Collar or Harness

This is something your need every time you leave your house with your dog – whether it is to go for a hike or even just down to the grocery store. This helps identify your dog as a pet and makes it easier to find in case you somehow lose them outside.

While going on a hike, make sure to buy a brightly colored collar – red, orange, or blue – so that it doesn’t camouflage with nature and is easily visible from a distance. Also, make sure that the collar or harness is loose enough for your finger to comfortably slip in but not loose enough to slip off your dog’s neck.

2. Leash

In addition to a collar or harness, you also need a leash to make sure you don’t lose your dog on the hike. The leash should be durable and strong enough to withstand the rigors of the outdoor trails. Both nylon and leather are great options to choose from.

Since the purpose of the trail is to let your dog enjoy the outdoors, you may want to get an expandable leash to provide more freedom for your dog to explore. Make sure that the lease is long enough to let the dog enjoy but short enough for you to retain sufficient control.

3. Doggy Backpack

If you aren’t already aware, you can actually make your dog carry its own gear for longer hikes. With some training, you can enable your dog to carry a backpack. This can help take off some burden from your shoulders.

You can easily find a variety of lightweight doggy backpacks in all shapes, sizes, and colors. You’ll have to pick a bag after taking your dog’s breed into consideration. However, avoid putting the bag on dogs who are younger than a year old, as that may cause development issues.

4. Dog Foods

While going on a hike, you should pack more food than your dog usually eats. This is because a hike is as energy-intensive for your dog as it is for you. And since they will be expending more energy than usual, they will also need more food to keep going.

You may also want to pack in some trail treats for your dog. These are perfect for providing a quick dose of energy and can help them through a rigorous hike.

5. Water & Water Bowl

A lot of people tend to make the mistake of assuming that they’ll find multiple sources of fresh water during their hike – especially for their pets. This results in them not packing enough water for their furry companions. Do not make this mistake.

Even if there are rivers where you are hiking, always bring water with you. You need to pack enough water to keep yourself hydrated while also meeting the water requirements of your dogs. If you are hiking on a warm day, make sure to pack a little extra than that to be on the safe side.

6. Canine First Aid Kit

No matter how much you try to keep your little furry companion safe and protected, small accidents and mishaps are sometimes inevitable. This is even more true when you’re participating in a physically intensive activity like hiking.

To make sure that you are prepared for the worst-case scenario, pack a canine first aid kit for the trip. This kit should include basic supplies that can help you deal with injuries your dog may sustain on the trail. Hydrogen peroxide, bandages, gauze pads, tweezers, scissors, and small socks to protect the wound are some of the things you need to add to the first aid kit.

7. Insect Repellent

Your dog wants to shoo away those annoying mosquitos and other insects as much as you do. So carrying a good insect repellent with you is a necessity – especially if you’re planning an overnight hike.

However, make sure to do a patch test of the insect repellent on your dog before the trip. Apply it on a small patch of your dog’s fur and observe it for at least 24 hours. If there are any signs of drowsiness, nausea, or lethargy, try switching to a gentler insect repellent.

While applying insect repellent on your dog, make sure to avoid places where your dog can lick it off. Instead, opt for places such as shoulders, back of the neck, and around the ears to prevent your dog from reaching it.

8. Identification Tag or Microchip

While it is important to have your dog wear a collar ID, it is possible that your dog may lose it under extreme conditions. a vet can easily provide your dog with a microchip or tattoo that can help you be reunited with them in case the two of you are separated.

Make sure that your dog’s microchip or tattoo is registered with an authentic online registration service and that your contact information is up to date online. Having an identification tag engraved with your phone number can also be helpful since anyone who finds the dog will be able to contact you without needing a special microchip scanner.

With these gears and equipment, you can make the hiking experience so much better for your dog, as well as yourself. Make sure to have a checklist of these things while packing your stuff, so you don’t end up forgetting anything at the last minute.