Tails from the trail and tips on training your human

Pre and Post Hiking Care for Dogs

Hiking Care for Dogs - Happy Breath

Hiking Care for Dogs | Hiking with your dogs can be a great bonding opportunity. Not only do you get to enjoy beautiful views, but you also get to make memories with your furry friend. However, you can only ensure this when you have accounted for pet care, pre and post hiking.

For efficient pet care, it’s important to evaluate your dog’s needs before hiking and after you have successfully reached the summit. Like yourself, you will see that your dog has a different set of needs after a challenging hiking session.

However, it may not be easy to detect them, which may put your canine under stress. Therefore, this article will lay down some tips for pre and post hiking care for dogs.

Pre Hiking Care for Dogs

Pre hiking care is important for dogs because you’re taking them out on a high altitude with challenging topography. Therefore, make sure you consider the following tips for excellent pet care when hiking with dogs:

Take Care of Nutrition

Before you train your dog for hiking, make sure to provide special nutrition so there’s no lack of energy. This is important as you will be taking your pet for running long distances or even at slightly higher altitudes. All of these physical tasks require good energy deposits that can only be sourced through food. Therefore, give your pet a more protein-rich diet, along with supplements, after a vet consultation.

Ensure Physical Training

Hiking with dogs requires physical stamina as it’s a strenuous activity. Just as you need the training to feel fit, your dog also requires physical movement before taking up this challenging task. To do this, make sure you take our dog out for jogs and walks. Start by covering shorter distances; however, increase it with time.

Moreover, if you plan on making your dog carry its own backpack, make sure you train it with one. Don’t strap a backpack right before a hike, as your pet may not be used to the weight. Another way to ensure physical training is by going for test hikes on less challenging trails, so your dog has an idea of what to expext. This will also help you determine if your dog has severe or mild altitude sickness.

Stay Up-to-Date with Vaccines

Taking care of your pet’s physical needs also includes routine immunization. Before you take your dog on a hiking trail, ensure you have crossed off all required vaccinations suggested by its vet. This is important because your dog should be able to withstand the environment of the hiking trail. It may have certain pathogensdogs can catch, which might make them sick. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to reduce the chances of any such issue beforehand.

Gather Must-Have Dog Items

Finally, you don’t want to be stranded without the necessary items needed by your dog at a high altitude. Therefore, make sure your pet care kit includes taking everything your dog will require to make your hiking journey memorable.

Don’t forget dog food, clothes (fleece jacket for winter/cooling coat for summer), and an identification tag on its harness or collar. Apart from these items, make sure you have a separate list of items for your dog’s first-aid kit. Ideally, it should include gauze, bandage, tweezers, and altitude sickness medicine.

Post Hiking Care for Dogs

Post hiking care is sometimes not emphasized by hikers. It may be because dog owners assume their pets will return to their daily routine once they are back home. While this is true, it does not discount negating after-hike care. Follow these simple tips below to ensure hiking with dogs doesn’t turn into a bad experience in the long run.

Give Your Dog Ample Rest

After returning from your hike, make sure you give your canine ample resting time. Let it sleep in its kennel for as long it wants, so you may find your dog refreshed. Moreover, your dog may want to go for a run, a quick jog, or some physical activity. But try to refrain from it for at least a day after returning.

Make Sure to Hydrate

If you’ve hiked in the summer weather, especially on a trail that does not have enough shade, then you should pay extra attention to your dog’s hydration. Make sure to keep its water bowl filled and in its sight, so you don’t have to remind it.

Moreover, you can mix water into its food in a proper ratio. This way, you can eliminate the chances of dehydration. However, if your dog displays symptoms, you can combat it by adding electrolytes to its drink, but only after consulting a vet.

Check for Fleas and Ticks

Always make sure to check for fleas or ticks on your dog’s skin after hiking. Your pet may have caught it from the trail or other wildlife present on it. It may cause skin irritation and your dog to shed its hair. To avoid this entirely, you should carry tick repellants and stay vigilant while hiking, especially if the trail is known for this sort of issue.

Plan a Vet Visit

Finally, you can conclude dogs hiking care by planning a vet visit. Try to get the earliest appointment so you can rule out any issue your dog may be facing after a hike. This can also be a good opportunity to get your pet vaccinated or inspected for any illness it may have caught when hiking with dogs.

The Bottom Line

You may feel overwhelmed by dogs hiking care. However, it’s an important aspect of ensuring that your pet is cared for and safe from any physical, mental, and emotional turmoil. Usually, hikers emphasize pre hiking care, but post hiking care is just as important. You may think your pet can resume a normal routine after a hiking journey, but it’s not true. They do need attention and care after it, so they can get back to being the playful little pet you love.

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