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Dog Owners, Don’t Miss These Important Tips for Hiking with Dogs

Image via REI

They say, “Not all who wander are lost.” That goes for pets as well. While I suppose you could take just about any pet on a hike with you, we’re talking dogs here. Don’t leave them home next time, use these few tips to make for a great outing with man’s best friend.

There are few things more satisfying than sitting on a rock overlook during the fall of the year seeing the rainbow of colors dance in the wind, feeling the autumn breeze softly wisping through your hair. A hike of solitude to get away from the hectic pace of life can truly be renewing.

Even more satisfying is taking along your dog. Dogs are great company in general, but are even better on the trail. However, there are a few things that are important to remember.

Water

Water is important to everyone, but it’s easy to overlook Fido. We all take along a water bottle or reservoir for ourselves. However, Fido depends on you for his hydration and food needs. This is especially true if there are no natural water sources along the way. The most common item to overlook in reference to water is a water bowl. You can find numerous collapsible types that are lightweight.

Foot Care

Some trails can be rough on the pads of dog’s paws. Though their pads are tough, some rocky terrain can cause cuts or even abrasions due to sharp edges. Uneven ground can also cause their feet to get caught and perhaps cause more severe injuries.

First Aid

Image courtesy Peppy Tails

A first aid kit is one of the essential items that every hiker should have on hand. For the most part, the same items you need for yourself can be used for your four-footed friends.

Leash

Even if you have a well-behaved dog and you never have to worry about aggressiveness, be sure to take along a leash. This will help you ensure others who you may encounter on the trail are at ease.

Food

While dogs don’t normally need snacks along the trail, be sure to take along at least one serving of food for your dog. This will serve as a portion of your food essential that you should carry for preparation purposes.

Know Your Dog

You should know your dog’s abilities better than anyone. Be sure to realize that dogs will hide their pain for a long time. By the time they show it, they will be in severe pain. Make sure you take into account their age, physical condition and attitude.

Image courtesy Pinterest

Aside from enjoying the outdoors with your family, sharing nature with your dog can be the most enjoying experience. Dogs will get reinvigorated while on the trail. Older dogs, that can handle the trail, will appear more youthful and have more spring in their step.

The next time you head out and look down into the pitiful eyes of your little friend take him along instead of leaving him at home.

NEXT: CONFESSIONS OF A KNOTHEAD: BASIC ROPEWORK AND KNOTS

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Dog Owners, Don’t Miss These Important Tips for Hiking with Dogs