Getting out and about in the countryside with your faithful canine pal is a must. Today we are exploring The Joys Of Hiking With Your Dog.
Hiking With Your Dog Tips
One pass time that has become increasingly popular in the UK and US is hiking with our dogs. Many breeds of dog are capable of traveling long distances every day and this is why many hikers have started to have their 4 legged friends alongside them on their treks.
Today, we can look at all of the things that we should be aware of when undertaking this activity, and this great video by Hannah of Trekkit along with a super transcript will answer some important questions that you may have along with the dos and don’ts of this great activity.
How to Safely Hike With Your Dog
What to take when hiking with your dog
Hi guys, it’s Hannah from Trekkit to teach you how to hike with your dog.
So I’m going to go through all the do’s and don’ts when it comes to taking our furry friends Out in the great outdoors.
So the first thing I’m going to go through is the extra bits you need to take with you in your pack for a day out with your dog.
Hiking Dog Harness
So the first thing I will recommend is taking a collar or a harness with a tag on it that’s got your phone number and the name of your dog.
It is legal now in the UK to have your dog microchipped.
But for just someone local who picks up your dog, if he runs away from you on a hike, it’s good just to have a phone number just to reference for you so that they can contact you straight away without having to go to the vets.
The second thing is taking a little flat-pack bowl.
Now, these are great for just stopping for some water during the day. So it’s also important to remember to factor in your dog when you’re loading up your neoprene bottles and water bladders for the day.
This is just a really simple little one from sea to summit that we stock in the shop.
But there are other ones that you can pick up from life’s adventure.
So the third thing that’s really handy is a little mini first aid kit.
Now you should be taking one of these for yourself anyway, but a lot of these little things can be transferred over.
So really good. Like little tweezers to pull out thorns and grass seeds.
You can also use a little cut up old sock with a bit of tape that actually makes a really good impromptu tuber grip if your dog gets injured, and that’s a really good thing to pop in your first aid kit to number four and arguably the most important, a good stash of poop bags.
So remember to take a few of these out on your walk and dispose of them properly.
We’ll talk about that a little bit later.
An anti-histamine is also a great thing to have in your medi- kit for dogs.
I do recommend checking with your vet for exact measurements to give to your dog.
But my dog is particularly fond of eating bees, which isn’t that wonderful for me.
So her face gets all swollen!
So another good thing is to take his spare food and treats.
Now, this is of course going to depend on how long you’re out for.
If you’re out all day, then it’s probably worth just taking a little pack lunch for your dog as well.
I just use an old Tupperware to pack some spare biscuits.
That’s the biscuit face. But I also like to just carry a little bag of treats as well.
It’s just important to remember that they are outputting a load of energy to so they need to build those resources back up.
Another thing that I take too is an old towel.
Now I just keep mine in the car so that I can tell her off before driving home, she doesn’t like to sit there and just be wet and cold in the car.
So that’s just a nice thing to do. So another good thing that’s a good idea to look into, especially coming into the winter is a little coat and some of those little boots for dogs.
So one of the really common things that can happen on snowy days is ice ball buildup.
This builds upon the bottom of the dog’s paws and bellies.
So that’s basically just wet snow that has melted and reformed into ice balls.
Now, these can be quite distressing and can actually hurt your dog.
So it’s important to notice them when you’re walking just to break them up.
But also when you get home just to melt them with either a hairdryer on really, really, really low heat.
Just break those down slowly or just put their feet into lukewarm water again, being careful that that water’s not too warm.
Now there are loads and loads of tips and tricks to help them to stop forming in the first place.
The main two that I found is to ensure that the hair underneath their paws and in between their toes is kept nice and trimmed.
And also, some places recommend spritzing a little bit of vegetable oil on the bottom of their pores before you go out and that will just stop the ice balls from forming in the first place.
But you know, it’s good to just have a bit of research yourself and see what else is out there.
So now we’re going to talk a little bit about doggy etiquette.
So the main one I want to address is picking up your dog’s poop.
So there’s a couple of things to take into account in some places. It’s okay to do the old stick and flick rules so if they poop on the path, get a stick and flick it into the bushes.
In other places, it is important to pick up your dog’s poop especially if there are children around.
So just use a poop bag and dispose of it in the proper place.
Please do not be that guy that picks up a biodegradable poop into a non-biodegradable bag and then leaves it on the side in nature! That is just not a very nice idea.
The next thing I want to discuss is keeping your dog on a lead around livestock.
Hiking with your dog off-leash
I wrote an article about this and although it is UK-biased, I feel it is equally important for my US readers and it’s simply good practice to be very respectful to farmers wherever you live on the globe.
Please take the time to have a read.
It is an offense to let your pet bother any livestock.
So that means you have to keep your dog on a short leash around farm animals and horses, it’s actually a legal requirement on any open access land, it’s actually for your safety, as well as the safety of the animals, it’s important not to let these animals get distressed.
A farmer actually has a legal right to shoot a dog that is causing any distress to his farm animals without compensation to the owner.
So it doesn’t matter if your dogs are good boys, you’ve just got to keep them on a lead to stop these animals from getting distressed.
It’s also important in areas where your dog can be off the lead, that they stick to the path and that you’re confident that they will return to you promptly and on command. (see our Recall Article)
So uncommon land or open access land season leads.
So between the first of March and the 31st of July is ground-nesting birds season in the UK at least.
Please check your national nesting season in your own country to make sure that you are adhering to this.
So during that time, if you’re on those particular areas of land, your dog has to be kept on a short lead again, extendable leads do not count.
But it’s also important to note that around the coast, these sorts of timings might change the seasons might be different.
So please do Just be aware of any signs that are around.
So speaking of wildlife, another couple of things just to keep in mind.
First of all, if your dog is bitten by an Adder, please try not to let it move and contact your vet as soon as possible.
Another thing to be vigilant of is grass seeds. So grass seeds, I know it sounds ridiculous, but they can be really small and really sharp and they can embed themselves in doggies soft skin.
So in places like under their ears, under their armpits, in their paws, and in their groin area. These can be really difficult to remove.
So vets recommend doing a daily check of your dog, especially after you’ve been out for a walk.
And in the summer when the grass is really long. Try not to let them run through it.
Long grassy areas are a great place for your dog to pick up other nasties like Ticks and you really don’t want that to happen.
Also, it’s important to keep long-haired dogs nice and trim so that grass seeds or ticks don’t have a chance to attach.
Ticks carry Lyme Disease and if you don’t know what that is, then check out this link from the NHS.
Another thing that I want to address is to respect other visitors.
So our hills, our forests, our mountains are home to many other people enjoying them.
So you’ve got runners, mountain bikers, walkers, people with other nervous dogs, too.
So it’s important to keep your dog either on a lead or just under close control.
So moving on from etiquette and just talking about a couple of things to keep in mind when hiking with your dog. Firstly, I know we discussed farm animals earlier.
But it’s important to note that if the tables do turn, and you’re chased by farm animals, especially cows can be a bit curious, drop your dog lead and run away, do not attempt to pick up your dog and run with it as that’s just going to slow you down.
Your dog has a much better chance of escaping on its own.
Another thing that I want to address is the fitness of your dog. Don’t wake up one day and assume that, ah, I could walk 30k I’m sure my dog could, it’s important to build up their level of fitness just as you would a human being.
So another thing to be vigilant about is not overdoing it.
So make sure that you take regular stops so that they can catch their breath and give them a bit of water and just control them at the beginning as well.
Dogs can get very excited very quickly.
So make sure they don’t tire themselves out within the first 5k if you’re planning to be out for a long time.
So that’s it guys, hopefully, they and I have covered everything you need to know about safely going out with your four-legged friends.
If you think we’ve missed anything, or if you have any questions, please pop them in the comment section.
We’d really love to hear from you guys.
Other than that, I will see you next time. Thanks, guys. Bye