Hiking or backpacking with your dog can be an incredibly rewarding and essential time.
Hiking is an incredibly beneficial activity, both physically and mentally. Hiking allows for natural time to recompose yourself and step away from the busy affairs of everyday life.
Plus, the extra exercise and fresh air can do wonders for your health. You can even plan a camping trip with your dog.
Taking your Dog Hiking or Backpacking
However, hiking can be improved with the addition of a furry companion. Dogs make fantastic hiking buddies, and hiking is just as good for them as it is for you.
However, there are some things you should know before you hike with your dog.
Dogs have different needs and physical capabilities, which must be considered in order to hike or backpack with them.
There are many benefits to having your dog with you on outdoor adventures and following are the basic things you will need to know to stay safe and have fun!
Benefits Of Hiking With Your Dog
There are many benefits to hiking with your dog.
First and foremost, walking, hiking, and backpacking are significant sources of exercise for both you and your pooch.
- Having your dog with you gives you company, which can be nice on longer trips.
- Further, your dog can help keep you safe from wildlife and other threats and alert you too threats before they occur.
- In the event of an accident while hiking, your dog can help you or alert others nearby to come to your aid. This is especially true if your dog has any survival or emergency training.
Your dog can also provide benefits by grounding you and keeping you from running on autopilot. During hikes and other trips, it's easy to engage in auto pilot and simply walk to the end of the trail.
However, with a dog this is more difficult as you'll watch them, which will force you to pay more attention to your surroundings.
This means you are more likely to observe other animals, or notice nice landscape scenes.
Is It Safe To Hike With A Dog?
Safety is always the number one priority during any outdoor activity. As far as hiking with your dog goes, research is always required beforehand.
Research the trail you wish to take and make any necessary accommodations.
For example, if the trail involves lots of climbing or even going through bodies of water, you will want to ensure that it is something your dog can handle first.
You will also need to consider the state of your dog’s health, along with their vaccinations.
There is always the chance to run into wild critters while hiking or backpacking, some of which can carry diseases.
You will want to ensure that your dog’s as protected as possible against these diseases.
How Far Can A Dog Hike In A Day
Typically, depending on the breed and health of your dog, some dogs can hike up to twenty miles per day, but certain factors such as environment and breed can change this.
It’s recommended that you start with smaller hikes with your dog and work your way up to longer ones.
You will also want to research the specific breed of your dog for better estimates on how far they can hike in a day. Of course, the biggest determining factor will see when your dog gets tired while out hiking.
My Labrador Retriever, Callie could easily do 20 miles a day. However, my Goldendoodle, Ruby could do about 3-5 miles a day and be exhausted from doing that much walking.
It is very important to monitor your dog’s condition while hiking, to ensure that they are happy, healthy, and alert. Sleepy, hungry, or thirsty dogs are at a higher risk for health problems during a hike.
You may also wish to consult with your dog’s veterinarian for recommendations on hiking or backpacking.
How Much Weight Can A Dog Carry Hiking
Typically, your dog can carry about ten percent of their own body weight. As far as wearing a pack goes, there are a few steps you will want to take before backpacking with a dog.
Start by introducing the pack to your dog in the comfort of your home. Allow them to wear it with nothing inside of it for a few hours a day. This will allow them to get used to wearing one, and they will quickly grow used to it.
After they adjust to the pack, start slowly increasing the weight of it over a couple weeks. During this time, monitor how much water and food they drink, and if they get especially tired after wearing it.
Keeping Your Dog Fed & Watered On A Hike
This is perhaps the most important thing to consider when hiking with your dog.
Dogs need access to food and water consistently. Like humans, dogs are very susceptible to dehydration and hunger, especially during physical exertion.
Without proper access to food or water, your dog can quickly become tired or even sick, which can be detrimental while on a hike.
To ensure proper access, you will want to research the breed of your dog along with consistent monitoring on how much food and water they go through in a day.
Further, you will want to ensure that you pack enough food and water for them for the worst circumstances, such as extreme heat or cold.
When packing food you will want to use sturdy, airtight containers to not have the food soiled or spilled along the trip.
No matter what activity you choose, having your dog along for the ride can be loads of fun, and beneficial to both you and your dog when done right.
With the right preparation and research, it’s easy to bring dogs into our outdoor mix.
Safety while out on the Trail with your Dog
It is important to remember that safety is the number one priority, so it would be wise to consult with a veterinarian before embarking on any hiking trips with your dog.
Once you have made all the preparations, however, it truly can be a terrific experience.
The most important step is the first one, and with this guide, you have everything you need to prepare for an unforgettable outdoor adventure with your favorite furry friend!
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