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Did you know I have a little project with my friend Christina? Prana Paws is our yoga doing, dog loving, adventure seeking blog and today I wanted to share one of our recent posts!
It’s no surprise that we love dogs. I mean, Paws is in our name! Part of being a pet parent is keeping your fur baby safe, especially when heading out for an adventure. Below are our top tips for hiking with dogs. Keep your next adventure safe and fun!
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Tips for Hiking with Dogs
Before you go
- Research your trail. Not every hike is dog-friendly (unfortunately) so make sure you know where your pooch can go. Please don’t be the person that breaks the rules. They’re in place for a reason.
- Be reasonable about your dog’s abilities. You might be dying to conquer that 15-mile loop but your small or elderly dog might not be up to it.
- Prepare for success. Depending on where you hike your dog may need shoes, sunscreen and insect repellent (made for dogs of course,) or a jacket.
- Tell someone your plan. Let them know where you’re going and when you should be back. Safety first!
What to bring
- Plenty of water and a way to drink it. You both need to stay hydrated! Some dogs *cough cough Buddy* don’t drink much on their own. I add a bit of powdered goat milk to his bottle to entice drinking on a hike. Don’t forget something to drink out of. Collapsible bowls are great, as well as bottles with detachable bowls.
- Collar with ID tags, leash, and poop bags. In case your pooch gets loose, having ID is a must. If the trails require that your dog is leashed, listen. It’s a rule for a reason. And please, clean up after your dog. Not only is it icky, but it can interfere with the local wildlife.
- Harness. But wait, we just told you to have a collar? Yes, the collar is great for ID, but a harness is almost always better for hiking. It’s safer, you have more control, and it’s less likely to break. So either have your dog wear both or transfer his tags to the harness for your adventure.
- Treats/snacks. Just like you, your pup gets hungry. They’ll be burning a lot of calories so a snack is good to have on hand. We also always bring training treats as well. The trail is always a great training opportunity!
- First aid kit. This is for both of you! A basic one is fine. I’d add a little Benadryl (safe for dogs that get stings,) and a styptic pencil for minor cuts and scrapes.
- A picture of your pooch. One on your phone is fine. In case your dog gets lost this can help people identify him. I have also unfortunately heard horror stories about a dog getting loose, a stranger finding them, and then claiming the dog is theirs. Seeing as possession is 9/10 of the law, having pictures to show the police will pretty much guarantee you and your BFF are reunited.
So you’re prepared, now what?
Well now that you have all of your goodies ready and you’ve found the perfect trail, get out there! Enjoy your bonding time with your pooch and make some memories. Be sure to be mindful on your journey. Keep an eye out for
- signs of heat exhaustion
- cuts, scraps, or other small injuries
Once you finish your hike it’s good to give your dog a nice once over. Check for fleas, ticks, and other pests. Be sure to look between the paw pads and in the ears. Also check for any cuts, scrapes, burrs, or thorns.
Do you have any other tips for hiking with dogs?
Share them in the comments below! And be sure to tag #pranapaws on Instagram so we can follow your dog-friendly adventures!