Taking a hike doesn’t have to mean a week long backpacking trip through the Himalayan mountains. Hiking can simply mean a half hour walk through the woods or simple stroll down a city street. Depending on your hiking preference though, you need to give thought to certain items in order for you and your pup to enjoy yourselves. Here are some basic points to keep in mind to help get you started
- Start slow – If you can run marathons and hike for weeks, don’t expect your 4 month old puppy be able put in the same miles as you. See how your pup does on a mile hike, then two, then five, and hopefully after a gradual increase in distance/difficulty/speed you guys will be on the same level in due time
- Water and food – Just like you, your pup needs water and food for energy, if you’re thirsty your pup is probably thirsty as well. Also, bringing some dog treats that are high in protein may be welcomed by your pup.
- Leash laws – Most states have laws on where/when your pup HAS to be on leash. Respect that and others by obeying the law. I don’t want strange pups running up to mine, not knowing how they will interact and I don’t want my pup running up to you now knowing if you or your children like dogs. Be in full control for your sake and your pups. Remember most states have a 0 tolerance for a dog that bites a person, so for your pups life always keep them in your control!
- Waste products – Please be respectful of others and clean up after your pup, no one likes stepping in a smelly surprise or seeing a lard on a trail! You’re out to enjoy the beauty of nature, don’t ruin it for others by not picking up after your pup. Plus, dogs have been banned from many places due to negligent owners not picking it up and ruining it for everyone! If you’re deep in the woods just dig a small hole and at least bury the waste a bit.
- Know the wild life of the area – Are ticks prevalent? Snakes? Bears? If you’re not sure see if you can find the information online, also look up how to deal with the common pests of the area. It’s scary to see a tick on your pup, but knowing how to properly deal with it can make all the difference.
- Have fun! – Hiking should be a fun experience, so bring whatever would make it more enjoyable for you guys to experience it together. I personally never leave with out my camera! I don’t think my pup minds, he’s learned to pose very well for our hiking photo-shoots! 😉