Of all the activities we enjoy with our dogs, hiking is one of our favourites. Our furry friends are the perfect hiking partners for both strenuous and leisurely treks, and they enjoy a good hike just as much as we do. The fact that hiking keeps us and our mature pups active and healthy is just another added bonus!
When hiking, there are always certain measures we take to make sure we’re safe, like sticking to the trail or avoiding hiking after dark. Just as there are precautions for humans, we need to take precautions to hike safely with our dogs. Before you partake on a hiking adventure with your new puppy, senior dog, or any buddy in between, consider these five tips to be prepared for any situation.
#1 Prep your pooch with vaccines, tags, and licenses
Prior to your hike, first make sure your dog’s vaccines, licenses, and tags are up-to-date. It’s crucial your dog has all of their vaccines, especially for things like rabies. Licenses are required according to the law, but they will also ensure your pup gets back to you if they were to get lost. As for tags, ensure your dog’s collar has your current contact information in the case you two are separated.
#2 Research the trail’s regulations
Before heading out on a trail, make sure you’re aware of its specific regulations. Certain trails require dogs to be kept on leash, and some don’t allow dogs at all. It’s better to know before rather than when you get there!
#3 Be aware of the climate/environment
As always, it’s important to know the temperature and weather before you leave for a hike. You’ll need to dress for the weather, and your dog might as well; depending on your dog and their coat, they might need a bit more insulation with a jacket. If it’s hot out, also remember to bring extra water for you and your furry friend. Checking the weather will also prepare you for the elements and indicate whether your excursion may be better suited to another day.
#4 Know your dog’s limits and needs
For a safe hike with your dog, it’s essential that you understand their limits and needs. Every dog has different levels of mobility, hydration needs, and tolerance for temperatures and terrains. Understand these needs, and make sure you’re well aware of your dog’s signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion. Make sure your dog is getting the nutrition and supplements it needs to support healthy joints, mobility and cartilage tissue. Don’t push your pup beyond their limits!
#5 Recognize potential threats
Be aware of potential threats on your hiking trail, such as animals and pests. Prepare for potential animal encounters and consider bringing a first aid kit in the case of bites or stings. As well, keep your eyes peeled for toxic plants, ensuring your dog doesn’t ingest anything. After your hike, always make sure to inspect your dog for pesky ticks, if applicable to your location — remove with care and keep your pooch happy!
Here at Hike Again Remedies, we’re huge hikers on the amazing trails that BC has to offer. These tips help keep our furry friends safe and provide a more enjoyable experience for both us and our hiking buddies by ensuring peace of mind. Want more tips on hiking with your senior dog? Feel free to reach out us on our socials, we’d be happy to recommend a hiking trail or two!