Summer approaches (well maybe not here in the UK). This is the time of the year that we all go more often hiking with our dogs. Here are some rules and information you should remember before planning your hiking.
Make sure you look at nice trails that are suitable for your doggies such as soft and not with many cliffs around, so dogs can be off lead all the time. Depending on how fit you and your dogs are, check how steep and how many drops there are on the route. If it is nice sunny day check if there are any water stops for dogs to cool down.
You and your dog
Make sure if you choose the trails that are suitable for both of you! Check if your dog is fit to actually go for a long adventure. Your vet will be able to advise you. Also, don’t feed a massive meal before hiking too.
Check rules and regulations
Check your local rules and regulations, as for example in Scotland dogs must be always on a lead during lambing.
- During the breeding season (usually April-July) keep your dog on a short lead or close at heel in areas such as moorland, forests, grasslands, loch shores and the sea shore to avoid disturbing birds that nest on or near the ground.
After hiking check your dog
- Eyes – check for grass seeds.
- Ears – check for mites and other foreign objects.
- Paws – check for cuts on the pads, also grass seeds and ticks.
- Tail – foreign objects caught in fur.
- “Armpits” – check here for burrs and twigs getting caught as your dog will love to charge through the undergrowth. If these are left to bed in they will be incredibly uncomfortable and more difficult to spot later and could result in a costly trip to the vets to have them removed.
- Mouth – check for abrasions around the mouth, and cuts on gums etc. Try not the play “fetch” with pieces of fallen branches as they can cause untold damage to the throat and/or mouth.
- Body- check overall for ticks.
Items to take along with you
So it is important you pack everything for your hiking adventure, I put a list together what I always have with me:
- treats- high quality treats to reward and encourage good behavior.
- favorite toy- we always find time to play and have some fun.
- doggies first aid kit- cuts and strains could happen so be prepared.
- spare collars and leads
- poo bags- always clean waste
- whistle- to call them back
- animal-friendly wipes
- water bottle and collapsible drinking bowl
Enjoy your adventures with dogs and stay safe.