Hiking is one of the most enjoyable outdoor adventures you can have with your dog, but only if you’re adequately prepared. If you routinely take a jog around the block or walk through a city park, you can get by with a standard dog collar and leash set. For longer hikes, you need to put a bit more thought into what you’ll bring along and what your dog needs to be safe and comfortable.
Your Dog Must Wear a Collar and Leash
Whether you’re hiking on a walking trail, in a state park, or through rugged mountain terrain, your dog needs to wear a durable dog collar and be attached to a leash. In some areas, it’s required. If you’re hiking in an area where your pet can go off-leash for a bit, you should still take a leash with you in the event of an incident with others or if your pet is injured. Don’t use a retractable leash or one that’s longer than six feet that could get tangled in the brush or snagged on rocks. The waterproof dog leashes at Pupups are the perfect length for control and safety. The addition of a “traffic” handle on these leashes add an extra element of security knowing you can get quick control of your pup if she darts after a squirrel, or sees fellow adventure pups.
Pupups offers matching dog collar and leash sets that are ideal for hiking. They are sturdy, attractive, and waterproof, so you and your dog can hike even through dirt, mud, and creeks without worrying about ruining his collar. Make sure you’ve attached your dog’s tags properly. No one ever thinks their dog will bolt and get lost, but it happens. Having your dog chipped is an added layer of protection, but having current contact information on dog tags will get your pup back to you sooner rather than later. Dogs pant rather than sweat, making it more difficult for them to regulate their temperature.
Drinking from streams, rivers, or puddles can be tempting but lead to serious illnesses such as Leptospirosis or parasites. Be sure you carry fresh water for both you and your dog and offer it to your pet at regular intervals. Inexpensive, collapsible dog bowls make it easier for her to hydrate.
Carry Poop Bags
It doesn’t matter that you’re in the woods and wild animals poop there all the time. If your dog has to relieve herself while you’re hiking, pick it up and carry it back out. Be sure you have more than one, particularly if you’ll be hiking for several hours or visiting scenic areas. For convenience, you can keep them in a Pupups poop bag holder and clip it to your dog’s snazzy Pupups dog leash with the attached carabiner.
Provide Snacks for Your Good Boy (or Girl)
You know you always toss a few granola bars in your pocket or backpack. It simply wouldn’t be fair to go hiking with your dog and not take some treats for them too! If you’re going to be gone all day, take some dog food. For shorter jaunts, a few treats or some nice, crunchy veggies will be appreciated. The organic “Blue Majik Blueberry” dog snacks from Sooper Treats are perfect for the trail, and have the highest protein concentration of any natural dog treat on the market. Avoid any foods that are heavy or too rich. You want to energize your dog, not turn him into an after-dinner slug you may have to carry home.
A Pet First Aid Kit for Emergencies
A portable pet first aid kit can be tucked into your backpack. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it, but if your dog cuts a paw on a sharp rock, gets bitten by a snake or insect, or falls and is injured, you could save their life. Essentials in a pet first aid kit include Benadryl for allergic reactions, bandages for cuts, antiseptic, and tweezers for removing thorns or ticks.
Dog Booties for Sensitive Paws
Hiking with your dog on a paved trail or smooth, grassy terrain may not require much more than a hiking dog collar and leash, but rugged terrain means you’ll need to protect the delicate pads of your dog’s feet. Dog booties will give him traction and protect his paws from sharp stones, hot sand, ice, and rough surfaces. If your dog absolutely refuses to wear booties, paw salve is the next best thing. Although it won’t protect against sharp objects, it will defend paws against ground that is too hot or too cold and keep them from drying out or getting scratched.
Properly prepared, you and your canine best friend will enjoy your next hike, and both of you will look forward to many more adventures together. To get started, check out the stylish waterproof dog accessories at Pupups, including the whimsical Gnomies collar, our popular Happy Camper adventure leash in a bold checkered plaid, and other designs sure to fit your dog’s personality perfectly.