Preparing For Spring Walks

 

This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Jenn Lee

 

 

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Enjoy a Great Hike With Your Dog With a Little Preparation

Hiking is a great way to experience the outdoors and get some good exercise. If you plan to bring your dog along for the adventure, keep yourself and your pet safe with some thoughtful preparation.

Ready Yourself

The most important thing to do before taking your dog on a hike is to make sure you are prepared. You are the first and best line of defense when it comes to keeping yourself and your pet protected, so don’t forget to consider what you will need to do and bring for yourself to stay safe and have fun. Choose the correct clothing for your hike. Be aware of the weather you may be facing and dress accordingly. You also want to have quality hiking boots. Pack water and high energy snacks. Supplement your energy with enhancers such as Thrive. According to Thrive reviews, a supplement and patch combined with a protein shake can keep your energy up and mind clear all day long. Pack an emergency first aid kit, sunscreen and, depending on the wildlife in the area, you may want to bring some kind of protection such as bear spray.

 

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Prep Your Pet

Once you are ready for your hike, make sure your pup is too. It is important to know your dog’s limitations. Don’t plan a hike that your pet may not be able to handle. Don’t dive in with long and challenging hikes to begin. Build your pet’s stamina by starting with shorter hikes on easier terrain and build up to big hikes. Have a sturdy leash when taking your dog hiking. While it may seem more fun to let your animal roam on your hike, it isn’t advisable when it comes to your pet’s safety and often will be against the rules. The collar or harness you use should be one with a buckle so that it will be easy to release in the event your pup gets tangled on something. Remember to have food and extra water for your furry friend. This means bringing some sort of portable bowl. Solid training with a few simple commands such as sit, stay, drop it and leave it is also a good idea when hiking. Knowing your dog will listen when you encounter potential hazards and other hikers will go a long way into having an enjoyable time.

Pack Supplies

There are supplies and accessories you should think about packing for your pup as well. On rough terrain or hot days, protect their paws with paw protection wax or dog booties. If you opt for boots keep in mind there is a learning curb, so let them practice wearing their shoes before hiking with them. Bring a pet first aid kit, or add some extra supplies to your kit such as stretchy bandages, blood clotting powder, and a tick removal tool. Pack a comb to help with removing burrs and foxtails that may catch in their fur along the way. You should never leave behind your pet’s waste out of respect for other hikers and the safety of the environment. Bring along poop bags, but also bring along a bag with an air-tight seal to store full ones until you find a place to dispose of them. A spare leash and a towel are also good items to take along. A dog backpack can be quite convenient for you as well as a fun job for many dogs, but keep in mind that these packs are not suitable for all dogs. Check with your veterinarian that this would be okay for your pup.

There is a lot of fun to be had when taking to the wilderness on a hike, and this can be greatly increased by bringing your dog along. It takes a little extra effort to get your pet prepared for a hike, but the joy you and your furry friend will find in the adventure will be well worth it.

Jenn Lee, is a family blogger and proud parent of Reggie the Golden Retriever .