Mountain Hiking With Your Dog: Tips For Your Next Outdoor Adventure

Mountain Hiking With Your Dog: Tips For Your Next Outdoor Adventure

Outdoor adventures can be fun when sharing a hike with your best canine friend. Make certain your dog is physically prepared before you take that trek to the mountains. And, of course, your pup must behave to your basic commands in order to be safe. Train your dog to stay within your eyesight when off the leash, and establish commands to let him know when he reaches your boundaries. Although it maybe tempting to take a climb, it is not recommended. Stick to a trail. There’ll be plenty of sights, sounds and smells that will keep him occupied.

Choose a dog-friendly terrain.

Earthen paths are much easier on your dog’s paws than sharp, stony pebbles.

Be careful in excessive heat or cold exposure.

Chose routes that have partial shade. Dogs can’t wear a hat and sunscreen, but you certainly can provide a coat for protection. Again, be wary of his paws in cold terrain.

Start with a short trip.

If your dog is new to hiking, keep your trips short to avoid overwhelming him. It will be much better for your dog to progressively work his way up to longer trips. Taking time to build up his stamina by practicing with walks near your home, will help get his muscles used to the exercise. Remember, your dog wants to please you and he will do anything to keep up the pace by your side. It’s not unusual for him to get out of breath and tire after only an hour-long trip. Most dogs will get used to the experience with you, and it won’t be long until you’ll be scheduling your next adventure!

Keep your dog within sight

Even the most obedient dog that follows you on his leash while exploring the trail, it never fails, as soon as you remove the leash, at some point he may dash off when you least expect it. It’s a good idea to equip your dog with a GPS Tracker, that way, you’ll be able to locate him in an instant. And remember, not all people you meet will be fond of dogs. You might find that having your dog on a leash for most of the trip will be safer for everyone.

Stay away from dangerous trails

Climbing in and out of passages in the mountains can be really dangerous. For your own safety and your canine friend, save those trails for another time when you’re not with your dog. Be sure to take the lead if you find yourself in difficult terrain. You’ll help your dog make his way around puddles, rocky terrain and other obstacles. Stay clear of trails meant for horseback riders and mountain bikers.

Things to take along

Be sure to have snacks and water, and always have your dog wear a harness or collar with his up-to-date veterinary contact information and/or rabies vaccination. A packable raincoat and dog shoes that have a good grip will protect your dog from hypothermia during rainy weather or sore paws on a rough or hot terrain.