Now that the weather is warming up we are itching to get outside and have an outdoor adventure. We, of course, want to bring our dogs along with us, from hunting to traveling, and everything in between. We do our best to keep them healthy (the all natural way, of course, you can see our tips on that HERE). Here are all our tips for camping or hiking with your dog, so it can be as stress-free as possible.
Tips for Camping or Hiking with your Dog:
Always Be Prepared
It’s the scout’s motto for a reason, and when it comes to dealing with the unpredictability that comes with pets it is even more necessary.
Some dog specific emergency items you should definitely bring along are:
- Flat-bladed tweezers and a small container of mineral oil for tick removal.
- Booties for protecting injured paws, or for protecting their paws from hot pavement (toddler socks work great!).
- The name, phone number, and directions of a nearby veterinarian or pet emergency clinic.
- An emergency fold-up blanket (space blanket) for treating shock or cold.
Of course, you’ll need more than just emergency items.
Camping packing list for dogs:
- Dedicated doggy water bottle and collapsible/lightweight food and water bowls.
- Reflective leash/collar and clip-on flashing light.
- Sleeping pad to keep your pooch cozy at night (a kid-sized sleeping bag from your local thrift store is a great option).
- Towel for cleaning up your dog.
- Waste bags for picking up after them. (Nobody likes to step in waste on the trail).
- Plenty of food and treats.
Some Additional Things To Consider
Much like you, your dog also needs sunscreen. Their cute, little noses and paws, especially. Be sure to check out G’s all natural recipe for sunblock HERE.
Things to consider while out on the trail:
- Keep your dog on a leash while hiking.
- Steer clear of poison ivy, oak, and sumac (look for leaves of three).
- Stay away from critters such as snakes, porcupines, bears, mountain lions, and coyotes.
- Allow time for frequent rest and water breaks, preferably in the shade.
- After the hike, check for fleas and ticks.
Don’t forget to check with your veterinarian to make sure your dog is up-to-date on their vaccines, as well as flea and tick preventives, and properly microchipped before you head out on a trip.
It is important to remember to evaluate your dog’s fitness level before heading out on the tail. Older dogs and puppies can’t last quite as long.
Train your dog beforehand by going on shorter hikes and walks before embarking on a long one.
It is important to stop frequently and offer your dog water throughout your hike. It is best not to feed your dog a large meal before a hike. Instead, feed a portion of their meal and supplement treats throughout the hike.
Avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day and keep walks to a reasonable pace and distance.
Watch for signs of overexertion. These include:
- Excessive panting
- Bright red gums
- Also look out for hypothermia, frost-nip, injury to paw pads, lameness and exhaustion.