Hikes are a magical activity because after a few hours you all of a sudden emerge from way down on the ground to far above the trees surrounded by the clouds and sky for as long as the eye can see. And if you’re lucky enough, you will have people or a beloved pooch with you to share in the wonders supplied by nature from eons ago.
Planning on heading up to the top of a summit, whether that is by yourself, with fellow humans or with a four-legged friend requires some definite planning on your behalf and possibly even more so if you want to take your dog along with you. Therefore, we decided to simplify the process for you and tell you exactly what you need to do prior to going on the hike and what you need to bring on the hike for success.
Prior to heading out to the trail in your car with Benji on the front seat, it is important to have him checked out by his vet to ensure that he is functioning at maximum performance and will be physically able to complete the hike with you without any foreseen complications.
A Trained Dog and a Responsible Owner
Then ensure that your dog is fully aware of basic commands and is well socialized and aware of common behaviors on the trail that will be expected of him and you. You can also build your dog’s ability to be able to engage in this type of activity by taking them for daily walks at various intervals and for different durations or intensities in order to make them more likely to be able to complete the hike.
Make sure that if your dog is carrying a backpack that he is used to it and that he has trained with it on. That way, it does not cause too much discomfort on the day of the hike. Also, please consider bringing a first aid kit along that is specific to the needs of dogs and other animals. Also, if it is an overnight trail run be sure to pack some form of a tent for you and the dog, or you can have a separate tent for the dog to sleep in.
Make sure you have an adequate amount of food, clean drinking water and treats for the trip. If you are going to place these or other items within the backpack on your dog’s back, make sure that the backpack’s weight is carefully controlled so as to ensure that not all of the weight is concentrated in one spot, therefore avoiding spinal injury.
Furthermore, certain dog breeds, such as German shepherds are very good at engaging in pursuits such as long hikes. This means they are very unlikely to gain an excessive amount of weight, like many other obese dogs and humans. Although, other dog breeds are also quite good at hiking, just make sure to always get the approval of your vet first.
Furthermore, make sure that the trail you have chosen to walk on is suitable for your dog with numerous rest stops with shade, water points for cooling, limited encounters with dangerous wildlife and little interactions with plants that are poisonous to dogs.
In summary, hiking is an amazing workout for both young and old to try, now you can even get your dog involved and really spread the magic of hiking to your friends, family and four-legged community. After all of your hikes with your pet dog, why not try writing a blog about your experiences hiking with your best friend and let the whole world know about just how much working out with a dog really can help.