Looking to escape the stresses of urban living? Get out and go for a hike with your canine best buddy. Hiking is an amazing activity that will give you and your pooch the necessary exercise amidst fresh air and lush surroundings, allowing for an incredible bonding opportunity.
Why Should You Hike With Your Dog?
Exercise - Both dogs and we hoo-man need loads of exercise to stay balanced and happy. Your cardiovascular health will thank you for it! A tired pooch is a happy one, and the same goes for humans!
Better Mental Clarity - No one likes to be bored. Hikes are an excellent way to stimulate the mind, whether you want a break in your routine or to unwind after a long day at the office. Sunshine and fresh air never hurt anyone!
Bonding - What better way to enjoy the time with your dog than to appreciate the great outdoors together?
Socialization - Not only will your dog have valuable socialization opportunities, but you might even get to meet a dog parent or two.
Tips On Hiking With Your Dog
While hiking is a low-impact, fun activity that can be enjoyed by all, some small tweaks might make it just a little more enjoyable.
Watch The Weather
As summer fast approaches, watch out for the weather and know when it is too hot for a walk. Try sticking to grass and trail instead of asphalt and concrete that absorbs and retains heat way more.
Water, Water, Water!
Hydration is important for all living things, so make sure you bring loads of water for both of you, together with a lightweight, collapsible water bowl.
Use A Harness, Not Collar
Get an appropriately-fitted harness for your dog, especially if your dog is going to be leashed. Too much pulling and tugging on the collar can damage the sensitive trachea of your beloved pooch. Loose-leash-trained dogs can wear collars, but if you’ve got a puller, it would be better to use a harness.
Check the Paws
Dogs get footsore too, especially when scrambling over rough terrain and rocks. Check your pooch’s paws regularly for any cuts and scrapes, and think about bringing some dog booties along, especially if your dog has sensitive paw pads that are prone to abrasions and cuts.
You really don’t want to have to carry a 100 lb dog out of the forest!
As always, check on your pooch’s vaccinations and make sure that everything is kept up-to-date and in order. There are plenty of dogs on popular hiking trails, and the last thing you want is your dog getting infected.
Apply Preventative Medication
With warm weather come the bugs! Make sure you’ve administered medication like flea and tick meds and heartworm pills. You’ll need to protect your dog from any bug-borne and transmitted diseases that might escalate into more serious illnesses.
During the hotter months, you can also think about using medicated flea shampoos, or switch to a flea collar until the bug situation eases up.
Final Thoughts On Hiking With Your Dog
Fresh air, sunshine, exercise, and the companionship of your four-legged best friend. What’s there not to like? Grab that leash and head out now for some nature time!
About the Author:
Adeline Ee graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Marketing. Originally from Singapore, she now lives on the road after leaving a 15-year marketing career in travel and hospitality.
A fanatic dog-lover and behavioral consultant, scuba diver, rock climber, and outdoor person, she has a keen interest in environmental and marine conservation and continually strives to be friendlier to the planet.