Everything to Know About Hiking With Your Dog (Part 2)
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Today we want to share with you something special:
Are you sure your pet is ready for the road? This is what you need to pack before you go!
Food and Drink
Like you, your dog is burning energy on the trails. Even if your dog normally only eats twice a day, he will want to bring you a snack to keep his energy up (a handful of his regular kibble will probably do just fine). He will also need to bring extra water. Because dogs don't sweat, wheezing is usually an indication that your dog is on the way to dehydration.
Do not allow your dog to drink from a natural water source unless you are drinking from it yourself. Although dog stomachs are generally more tolerant than humans, waterborne illnesses are common, so it's best to err and be careful. You will need a bowl or container for your dog to drink, and be sure to overestimate the amount of water both of you will need.
For most dogs, walking in a harness will be much more comfortable than walking on a leash. Be sure to choose a harness with adequate padding and breathability to avoid overheating and chafing. Large, very active dogs can use a harness with saddlebags to carry their snacks, dog-safe sunscreen, or whatever else they need.
Many hikers find it advisable to carry a spare leash, especially if you are at the beginning of a trail with heavy vehicular traffic. Depending on the terrain and weather, your dog may need boots or a sweater. Make sure your first aid kit has the right medications and supplies for you and your dog. If you're driving to the trailhead, wear a dog harness and seat belt to keep your pup safe on the road.
Dog Track Sticker
While most people like to see dogs on the trails, it is still important to respect the environment around you and other hikers. To see how.
While it may be tempting to let your dog run wild, be sure to keep an eye on him at all times. Dogs can scare wildlife, separate forest parents from their newborns, and disrupt the animals' natural behavior. You wouldn't allow a human to destroy a groundhog's den, so don't let your dog.
Leave No Traces
Humans should always practice the principles of no footprints when walking, which means you will need to collect your dog's droppings on trails. Bring biodegradable poop bags and pack them just like you would trash and plastic. Part of Leave No Trace also involves keeping food away from wild animals so they don't start to associate humans with food. Safely store your dog's food out of the reach of wildlife when camping (this may require a bear cage in some more remote locations) and don't leave dog food out after your pup's noon snack.
Even on off-leash trails, your dog should be under his voice command in case he runs into other hikers who don't like dogs, wild animals, or other pups that aren't as friendly as yours. Make sure your off-leash dog knows how to calmly approach people and dogs, and ask owners if their dogs are friendly before allowing you to say hello.
Dog owners know that their pet's personality, tastes, and preferences are as varied as humans, so keep in mind that your particular dog may need adaptations beyond those listed here. And don't forget that there is something that all dogs love after a walk, regardless of their age or breed: a good nap. Give your pup plenty of time to recover (and lots of positive reinforcement) before hitting the trails for another day of exploring.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about Tips for hiking With Your Dog
Source: Simpawtico Dog Training
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