We all have a best friend, but nothing compares to our beloved pups. Dogs have been loyal pals of humankind for more than 12,000 years.
On a side note, did you know that dogs have the enzyme maltase, an enzyme required in the digestion of starch? Wolves do not possess this enzyme leading researchers to believe that all that people food transformed the dog digestive system.
Because dogs are such close companions to millions of people around the world, it is only natural to want to occasionally treat them to a hike. Before treating your dog to a hike, it is important to follow these 5 dog hiking tips, so that your hike goes off without a hitch.
5 of The Best Dog Hiking Tips
1. Know Your Dog’s Limitations
Not every dog is built the same. While taking your Golden Retriever for a hike may be a no-brainer, taking your Pekingese should be avoided. Smaller dog breeds may tire easily and could look like a tasty treat to a hungry, nearby predator. Speaking of Pekingese, dogs that belong to the Brachycephalic (flat-faced) family can find it difficult to breath when faced with strenuous activity. So it may be best to avoid taking your Pug, Pekingese, Bulldog, or any other of the brachycephalic breeds on a hike.
2. Visit The Vet
Regardless of your dog’s protests, a trip to the vet is never a bad idea. Before taking your furry friend on a hike, it is best to have him/her checked for any underlying conditions like a heart murmur, arthritis, etc. A vet can write a clean bill of health for your pooch or advise against a hike. Your vet may also advise certain vaccinations that protect against local pathogens, fungi, or parasites. While it may seem like an overly protective measure, a trip to the vet could make an enormous difference in the enjoyment of your dog on their hike.
3. Get Your Dog Acclimated To Hiking
If your dog is a seasoned hiker, you can skip this next step. For those who are taking their dog for the first time, it is essential to make sure your dog is acclimated to rigors of an extended hike. While your dog may be used to going for long walks in an urban or suburban setting, hiking often implies walking up and down elevated and uneven trails. This level of physical demand could be something your dog has never experienced before. In the same vein of how you want at least a few weeks to prepare for a marathon, your dog requires and deserves the same level of preparation. Start by taking your dog on a short and easy trail to build stamina and work your way up to the real hike.
4. Study The Trail and Regulations Before Embarking (Get it, bark!)
The old saying “fail to plan, plan to fail,” still holds true. Plan your day out with Fido first, including a quick check of the weather report, what trail is best for the both of you, where to have lunch, and if there have been any recent bear, wolf, or mountain lion sightings. Furthermore, make sure to read all park regulations before setting of with your dog. Some trails may require your dog to be on a leash at all times. Additionally, while you should always pick up after your dog, some trails may actually require you to. This means a park ranger is well within their rights to fine you for not following the rules. The last thing you want is to have your day ruined because you failed to follow the rules.
5. Don’t Forget To Pack A Dog First-Aid Kit
Accidents are lurking around every corner. So, while you may pack a first aid kit for yourself, don’t forget to pack one for your dog as well. Make sure to pack any prescriptions your dog takes, non-adhesive bandages, your vet’s phone number, and some antibiotic ointment. Be mindful of your furry friend’s energy level throughout the hike and always check for ticks. While emergencies are rare, it’s important to prepare for the worst in order to have the best time possible.
Check Out These 10 Dog Friendly Hikes!
Fortunately, Rover.com has assembled 10 beautiful locations to take your dog. Remember to take pictures!
- Acadia National Park, Maine
- Inspiration Trail, North Carolina
- Gatlinburg Trail, Tennessee
- Red Rock Canyon, Nevada
- The Appalachian Trail, Eastern U.S.
- Fairmount Park, Pennsylvania
- Runyon Canyon Park, California
- Monrovia Canyon Park, California
- Little Spar Lake Trail, Montana
- Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Treat Your Dog Well With Hempzilla CBD Joint and Muscle Dog Treats!
No day-pack would be complete without some Hempzilla CBD Joint and Muscle Treats. Our blend of organically grown hemp, broad-spectrum CBD and Anivestin™ combine for the perfect treat to heal your dog’s muscle wear and tear. So before, during, or after your hike, make sure to give your dog a tasty treat that also puts their muscles and joints at ease. With dog treats in tow and following our sure-fire tips, you can rest easy knowing you and your dog will have a truly memorable and enjoyable experience.