April 09, 2021
In honor of Pet Health and Safety Month this April, we’ve developed the best guide to keeping your pet safe and healthy on your next hike!
Hiking can be a dangerous activity for both you and your dog. Taking your dog to a new environment can be a threat to their health and safety. Even the most experienced dog can still be endangered when hiking. As a result, you need to take the time to explore and learn about some of the ways you can better protect yourself and your pet on your next adventure!
Before heading to the trails, make sure you look at the route first. Check again if it is suitable for dogs and explore the wildlife and terrain in the area. If there is a tendency to have poisonous or dangerous animals on the trail, you may want to consider bringing your dog. If your dog has any joint problems or mobility problems, reconsider taking them out on a trail with terrain that is difficult to maneuver.
Be prepared to readjust your hike if the weather is not perfect for you and your dog to have a safe and fun time. Rain can increase the likelihood of slipping or injury, and too hot temperatures can lead to dehydration and damage to your dog’s paws. If it will be cold, make sure you have the right blankets, boots or jackets needed to keep your dog comfortable, and consider staying home if necessary.
Make sure you gather enough food and water not only for yourself but also for your dog! Think about how much you may need and bring a little more. Your dog will burn more calories in hiking than a normal day, so be sure to keep them well fed. Consider using a dog pack, such as those from our sister brand Alpha Pak, to allow your dog to carry his own supplies during your hike. Also, be sure to bring a bowl of food and water for your dog, for example this one which collapses and fits easily on a backpack or even a belt loop!
A lot can happen when you are hiking with your dog. They may be frightened by something in the desert and run away. Make sure your dog has the correct identification of his collar. Also consider microchipping your pet to make the process easier if they separate from you.
First aid children are not just for people! Consider bringing a first aid kit for your dog that has all the necessary things in case your dog gets hurt, such as absorbent gauze pads, tweezers, an ice pack, and information about your veterinarian. These items can easily fit in one of Alpha Pak’s dog packs so your dog can carry their own supplies!
Check out our blog on what to pack in your dog’s first aid kit.
Hiking is a really exciting time for your dog, so you may not be aware of your needs. Take regular breaks to check with your dog to see if they are feeling tired, thirsty or hungry. Slow them down and offer them some water and snacks while you rest and recover.
Most trails have a leash requirement and will fine all owners who allow their dogs to give up, but you should still consider keeping your dog on a leash, even if the trail does not have a rule in place. This allows you to prevent injuries and keep your dog safe. If they encounter a wild animal, you can easily pull them and keep them close to you. Also, other people on the trail may be afraid of dogs or bring a jet dog, so keeping the dog on a leash can ensure everyone’s safety. If you don’t want to worry about having to hold a leash all the time, check out the Alpha Pak handsfree.
It is very easy for your dog to catch fleas and ticks on the trails without proper precautions. At least twelve hours before you go hiking, be sure to give your dog flea and tick prevention. During the warmer months, provide protection against heartworm disease. When you get home from the trails, check your dog for ticks while bathing, remembering to clean their fur and wipe their paws.
Are you planning to go hiking with your dog soon? Tell us about it in the comments below and follow @campingwithdogs and @myalphapak on Instagram to keep you up to date on other safety tips for you and your dog!