For homes with pets, especially dogs, outdoor adventures will almost always mean heading out with your pup in tow. After all, it wouldn’t be a family activity without the entire family, and that includes your cherished four-legged children. Whether you’re setting out for your first hike with your new fuzzy companion or you’re a seasoned trailblazer just looking for a few pointers, our list of quick tips for hiking with pets will help ensure a fun and safe time for you and your beloved pet!
1. Pack water for you and for Fido. This might seem like common sense, but it can be easy to forget, especially if you’re planning a hike near natural water sources. Providing your pet with fresh, clean water will keep them hydrated and you from worrying what might be lurking in the water they would otherwise lap up along the trail. Don’t forget to pack a water bowl too!
2. Long hike ahead? Pack extra pet food. Your pet will be just as active, if not more so than you, so it is important to have enough food packed to keep their energy high and help prevent lethargy. If this is your first time hiking with your pet, you may want to consult your veterinarian for a recommendation on how much extra food you will need to make sure your they are properly fueled and comfortable.
3. Share the load. This one applies more for larger dog breeds and lengthier hikes. Depending on their size and age, your pet can help carry some of their own supplies with the assistance of a properly fitted pack. If you haven’t hiked with your pet before or aren’t sure how much weight is appropriate for your pet to carry, it is best to consult your veterinarian for guidelines. Pet packs are available in a variety of styles, however we recommend investing in a pack that is both waterproof and reflective to help ensure your pet’s safety. Most packs are fitted based on chest measurements, so it will be helpful to have these handy when purchasing your pet’s pack.
4. Pack dog booties for cold weather hikes. Not only can extreme temperatures cause discomfort and damage to your pet’s paws, but so can the salt used to keep roads clear from ice and snow. Dog booties are small shoes that help protect paws and can be purchased at most pet stores and outdoor retailers. Keep in mind that it may take your pet some time to get adjusted to having something attached to their paws. If you can, try to get your pup used to wearing the booties around the house for short periods prior to your hike. Then, when the time comes the booties wont be a distraction from your adventure together.
5. Other considerations. Check out our list below for a few other items you may want to consider taking along with you.
Pet First Aid Kit
Gear for Sleeping
Clothing – especially for small dogs!
Toys for Water Fun!
GPS Tag / Collar
Need more help? We understand first hand how important it is to be properly equipped when hiking with your pet. If you have any questions or need advice on your upcoming hike with your own pet, sound off in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!