Hiking is an amazing activity for people, but it’s also a great way to have a fun adventure with your dog and strengthen your bond. But before you take your pup to the mountains, you need to make sure he is ready for such a feat. If you prepare well and train your dog, both of you will get to enjoy the adventure, knowing you’re safe and comfortable. Here are some tips to keep in mind for hiking mountains with your dog…
Start with training
When your pup runs away somewhere near home, that’s a dangerous situation in itself. Now just imagine having a lost dog deep in the mountains! So, if your pup isn’t the best-behaved travel companion, make sure to have a few obedience classes before you hit the mountains. Your dog needs to be able to come when called, stop when ordered to stop, and leave anything that you might deem dangerous. Ideally, you should have your dog on a leash at all times to prevent straying and scaring wildlife and other hikers. Plus, many trails in the USA and other parts of the world only allow pets on leashes. And just for some extra security, think about investing in a GPS pet tracker.
Make sure you’re healthy
You probably know very well how to take care of your own health before a hike, but what about your dog’s health? Visit your vet before you embark and make sure your companion is up to date with necessary vaccinations. You might even need some extra vaccines if you’re traveling to certain exotic areas. All in all, pests like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes can carry various deadly pathogens like heartworm, so ask your vet about different parasite prevention measures. Today you can find anti-parasite collars, chewables, topicals and even injectables, so there’s really no reason to risk your dog’s health and comfort.
Get some good gear
When you’re climbing mountains you can of course expect to come across various rough terrain and extreme weather that can hurt your pup’s paws and cause cuts or frostbites. Make sure to take good care of your dog’s paws with protection wax and buy some dog booties. These will take some time getting used to, but they can keep your dog’s feet warm and provide them with some extra traction. And don’t forget about your own warmth. In order to ensure you’re warm, invest in good socks and shoes. And look into some good gloves. If you don’t know where to start your search, look for some winter gloves ratings online and you’ll find just what you need for all weather conditions. You don’t want to risk frostbite on your hands when you have to take care of both yourself and your dog!
Pack a first aid kit
There are many amazing benefits of hiking, but it’s not a risk-free activity. Both you and your pup can get hurt on the trail, so make sure to bring a good kit with disinfectants, tweezers, and bandages to cover injuries until you can tend to them more carefully. When traveling with your pup, make sure to double up your first aid kit and pack it safely among your dog’s food, water, collars and raincoats.
Grab a doggy backpack
As you can see, your dog will need plenty of things during your mountain hike, so let him carry some of the extra load. These days you can buy practical doggy backpacks that will allow your pup to carry its water, food and clothes. Just make sure your dog is fit and that his body can handle the extra weight.
Once you and your dog are ready physically and mentally for your mountain adventure, and equipped with all the necessary gear, you can be sure both of you will fall in love with hiking and make it your go-to activity!