Hiking with Your Furry Friend
It’s officially hiking season, which means I’m bringing my new puppy out on the trails! Here are a few basic guidelines I have been following to keep my pup happy and safe on our adventures:
1. Be mindful of physical fitness. Choose a trail that is appropriate for your pup’s age, breed, and fitness level.
2. Be respectful. First, be sure that any trails you’re using allow dogs. Second, unless your dog has EXCELLENT recall, keep them on a leash to avoid disturbing other hikers or wildlife.
3. Plenty of food and water. Food or treats with high protein can help fuel dogs during a hike, and much like humans – dogs need to stay hydrated too! Offer water to your pup every 15-30 mins and assume that if you’re thirsty, they probably are too.
4. Leave no trace. Scoop any poop along the way, disposing of it in appropriate trash receptacles. If you’re on a multi-day hike with no trash bins, walk 70 paces away from any paths, campsites, and water sources, bury the poop in a hole at least 6 inches deep, and disguise the spot when you’re finished.
5. Stay cool. Dogs can suffer from heat stroke, so on particularly hot days, be sure to take frequent rests in the shade, offer plenty of water, and use water or a damp cloth to cool the back of your dog’s neck and ears.
6. Stay safe. Don’t let your dog drink stagnant water or chew on plants, as they can contain bacteria and natural poison that can harm them.
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Have a happy hippie week!