There are many different fun things you can do with your dog, but one of the very best is hiking up a mountain. Although it may feel intimidating and overwhelming, contemplating it – trust us when we say a hike with your dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences you and your dog will share.
If you are planning on taking a hike up a mountain with your dog though, you need to properly plan and in this post we will help you out with some tips and advice.
Training for a Hike With Your Dog
We would say this is the most important thing you need to do when planning a trip up a mountain with your dog. Make sure that at the very least, your dog will be able to cope with the distance of the hike. Although you may have never been on any walk of that kind of distance in the past in one day, you need to be sure their legs and body will be able to cope.
It is also important that your dog is obedient and can follow simple commands such as sit, lie, stay and come. If not, it may be worth investing in obedience training for your canine pal.
As you are probably going to be taking a hike with your dog at the same time as many other people, you also need to ensure that your dog can cope well enough with other dogs, animals and people.
Choose the Right Path for You and Your Dog
Obviously a big part of a hike is the path you choose. You may have a mountain or hill in mind and may even have a particular route you want to try. Before you go though, you need to make sure that firstly, your dog is permitted to go on that particular path; and secondly, that you obey any leash laws that may be in place.
Remember though, that a hike is more about the journey and enjoying it at your own pace (or your dog’s) and not about completing it quickly no matter what.
Bring Enough Food and Water
It can be tiring for us humans – hiking. So imagine what it’s like for your dog, which is maybe half your size and has smaller lungs etc. Therefore when packing your own food and drink, give special consideration to your dog’s needs too. It is good practice to take their regular food as they are more familiar with this, and bring a long high-energy doggy snacks too that they can nibble on as you walk along. A collapsible bowl for water is a good idea too as many products now fold right down and save you space in your pack.
Remember Dog Poop Bags
Leave no Trace. That may or may not be a phrase you are familiar with. It is a practice you should follow anytime you go into nature. Take your rubbish with you and do your best to leave the countryside or in this case, hillside the way it was when you came. This means you also need to bring dog poop bags so you can collect up your dog’s mess and dispose of it appropriately – not leaving it on the trail for someone else to walk on and to stink the place up.
Monitor Your Dog Throughout the Hike and Take lots of Breaks
It is wise to monitor your dog closely throughout the entire hike. Look for any signs of fatigue and other issues relating to their health and fitness. If they start panting or slowing down, it could be the sign of something else. At the very least, they may just be telling you it is time to stop and have a break. On that note, remember to take regular breaks.
Above all else, it is crucial that you make sure you and your dog enjoy your hike. If neither of you enjoy it, then what is the point in even doing it? Take the time to smell the flowers, drink up the views and just enjoy your time with your furry friend.
This post was written by Mike who owns Pooching Around.co.uk