When you’re well-prepared, bringing your dog on long hikes adds to the fun. To ensure your pal’s safety and comfort, you must provide certain items.
Below are essentials to have on hand, equipped for all chance events.
Ample Water and Pet Food
On lengthy hikes, a dog needs 8 ounces of water per hour. If possible, carry a few plastic water bottles in your pack.
Before hiking in hot weather, fill each bottle 3/4 full of water, freezing it overnight.
During your outing, the ice will melt, keeping the water refreshingly cool.
Will your trip span more than a day without access to clean water?
In that case, pack water purification products, such as a small filtration system.
You’ll need to treat water from natural sources, such as lakes, rivers, and streams. Since they teem with bacteria and parasites, purifying such water ensures that it’s safe to drink.
As your pal will be burning extra calories, bring ample nutritious treats and food.
Also, pack a collapsible bowl. If your pal is large and strong, perhaps they can tote a backpack, too.
Even if you take precautions, your dog could stray from your sight, getting lost.
In that case, two forms of ID foster a happy reunion.
One type is a microchip. Is this device unfamiliar?
If so, it’s a grain-sized electromagnet gadget, storing a pet ID number and your contact info.
A vet implants the tube beneath your dog’s skin. When you enroll with a microchip registry, the company adds your record to its database.
If your dog disappears, notify the microchip registry.
An employee will return your call, advising if your dog was found.
Or, if someone brings your pup to a vet or shelter, the staff will scan the microchip. Then, the registry will phone you with the finder’s information.
Also, attach an ID tag to your dog’s collar or harness, engraved with your contact information.
Since friction can fade lettering over time, check that it’s legible before each hike. This way, any rescuer can reach you, even if they don’t have a microchip scanner.
First Aid Supplies
Along with emergency care items for yourself, pack dog-specific ones. Here are a few over the counter pet wound care products to include:
- styptic powder to stop bleeding
- lick-safe antiseptic spray
- blunt scissors to trim the fur around wounds
- self-adhering tape and bandages
- illuminated magnifying glass
- tweezers to pluck ticks and other foreign objects
- pad balm, such as wound care clay
- booties for protecting wounds
Even if your dog is a sweetheart, pain can prod them to bite. Thus, pack a soft muzzle, sparing you of getting nipped.
Additionally, bring insect repellent formulated for pets.
Collar or Harness and Leash
Some parks require dogs to be leashed. Even if you take off-leash trails, keep your dog on a tether, a courtesy to other hikers.
Be sure the leash extends less than six feet. Anything longer can get tangled in brush.
A harness has several advantages over a collar.
Whereas a leash tugs on your dog’s throat, a harness doesn’t.
By grasping the halter, you can help your dog scale rough terrain without causing pain.
Plus, a harness reduces back strain for both of you.
Before each hike, note the weather forecast. Then, bring appropriate dog clothing, such as a coat, sweater, or insulated jacket.
If rain clouds loom, dress your pup in a poncho.
To improve your dog’s visibility at night, choose reflective gear.
Moreover, secure a small light to your dog’s collar or harness.
Booties protect your pooch’s feet from sharp rocks, icy trails, and hot ledges.
Will you be camping overnight? In that case, bring an insulated blanket for your pal.
Also, attach a bell to your dog’s tether, alerting wildlife and other hikers of your pup’s nearness.
If you’re well-equipped for all contingencies, your dog will love their time with you. Plus, the heartfelt bond you share will deepen.
First, ensure adequate food and water for your pal.
Even if the trails are off-leash, outfit your pup with a collar or harness. Either way, bring a leash.
By keeping your dog on a tether, your fellow hikers will feel safer.
Depending on weather predictions, consider dressing your pup in a coat, sweater, poncho, or insulated jacket.
If you plan to camp overnight, tote an insulated blanket.
Include dog-specific items in your first aid kit, such as pad balm and booties.
Should your pup get lost, you’ll likely find them with a microchip and durable ID tag.
Also, affix a bell to your dog’s tether, giving advance notice to other animals and trail users.
Now, you’re ready for hiking in delightful canine company.