Hiking with dogs
Hiking with your best friend is really wonderful. But there are some things you should keep in mind when your dog joins you on an adventure.
Dog backpack, a bag for your dog that he can carry like his own backpack. There are different types of Dog backpacks. The most important thing is to find one that fits your dog. There are those with fixed pockets and those with pockets that you can remove from the harness. The second model is more practical during breaks, because you only have to remove the bags and not the whole harness. A trained dog can carry up to 25 percent of his body weight, but it is important to train him slowly. Not all dogs can carry the same amount, so you should observe your dog carefully.
There are different models, but in general they all take up very little space and you can give the dog both water and food in it.
Is your dog short-haired or long-haired? Does he easily get cold or does he cope well with the cold? Wet dog in the tent? If you have a short-haired dog or a dog that gets cold easily, it can be useful to put a protection on the dog that can also be used under a rain cover. If it is very hot, like on a hot summer day, you can put a cooling vest on the dog instead.
In case of an injury
Just like us humans, dogs can also get injured. A first aid kit in the backpack is therefore essential. Remember that dogs do not tolerate the same medication as humans. So buy one that is specially designed for dogs, or get advice on what it should contain.
Make it a routine to examine the dog during breaks and when you have finished hiking. Check for ticks, cuts, chafing and burns. The paws are particularly important. Check the ground on which you will be hiking beforehand. Sometimes dog shoes are necessary to protect the paws. Dog shoes can protect the paws from sharp stones, but also in snow or when it is hot, as hot asphalt or hot sand can easily burn the paws.
Water and food
It is important that the dog drinks plenty, so be sure to bring extra water with you. For example, if the dog has a dog backpack, he can help carry it. If you’re going on a long hike, it is a good idea to provide the dog with extra energy, as he will probably burn more calories than usual. Take a little more food with you than usual, but also some favorite treats that can act as a motivator.
Distance and breaks
Consider how much the dog normally walks. Do you normally only walk a few kilometers? Then it might not be a good idea to walk 12 miles daily for several days in a row. Make sure that the dog is in good shape for what you are planning.
Breaks are important. Often the dog does not show that he is in need of a break, but it is important to take regular breaks and make sure that the dog is resting.
In many places, also in the mountains, it is mandatory to keep your dog on a leash all year round. Which leash you prefer to use is very individual and can vary depending on the environment.
Remember! “Leave no trace” also applies to your dog, so pick up after him! Leave only paw prints.