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5 Smart Tips Safely Hike For Hiking With Your Dog

Dogs love the outdoors, and even more so when they accompany their owners. If you're an avid hiker, your next expedition may be a perfect opportunity to enjoy the sun, air, and a magnificent view with your pooch. Preparation is key. You'll need to take steps to accommodate your canine's needs during the trip. You'll also need to watch out for the safety of others you'll meet along the way. 

5 Ways to Prepare for a Hike With Your Dog

Here are five tips that will help you and your dog enjoy your hike together.


1. Call Ahead To Inquire About Rules

Every trail and park is different. Some allow dogs while others don't. Some have strict rules regarding the management of canines. Others are more lenient. Avoid leaving such things to chance. Before you leave, call your destination and ask about their rules. Do you need to bring a certificate of vaccinations? Will you be restricted to a certain area of the park? The more information you can find out in advance, the better prepared you'll be when you arrive.

2. Pack Plenty Of Food And Water

Because he'll be burning more calories and expending more energy, your pooch will probably need more food than he normally consumes. He'll also need water. Remember, even though he has sweat glands on his feet, he lacks them throughout the rest of his body. He can keep cool by panting, but he'll need a constantly available source of water to remain hydrated.


3. Two Leashes Are Better Than One

A leash is very important while hiking - not just because nearly all parks require them, but also to protect your canine and others. If you intend to hike through areas that are heavily wooded, consider bringing a leather leash. A Flexi Lead will become tangled in the brush and you'll end up spending too much time untangling it. One last note: bring two leashes in case one break.

4. See To Your Pooch's Comfort And Fun

If you're only going for a short hike, you can do so without taking time before your trip to condition your dog. On the other hand, if you're going on a multi-day hike over hilly terrain, invest time upfront to build his stamina. This is especially true if you intend to have him carry some of the gear.

Because temperatures can drop sharply during the evening, bring a warm pad on which your canine can lie. He may have hair on this body, but the ground can still be far too cold for his comfort. Also, bring a few toys. A tennis ball will give you an opportunity to play together during the hike.

5. Remember His Identification

It is always important for your dog to have his tags, but it's even more so while you're hiking. There are dozens of reasons your pooch may become lost. If this happens, his tags dramatically improve the likelihood he'll be reunited with you. Include your name, your cell phone number, and any other relevant contact information.

A lot of owners presume that I.D. tags are unnecessary because their dog has a microchip. Don't rely on it. Even though most animal shelters have access to a scanner that can read the microchips, the same may not be true for the park's personnel. If they're unable to read the chip, it will do little good.

Hiking with your dog is a great way to spend time together in the outdoors. Not only will he love the chance to explore new territory, but he'll enjoy having the opportunity to do so in your company. Use the tips above to prepare and make the most of your shared adventure on the trail. You may discover your canine makes an ideal hiking partner.

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