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Taking a hiking trip with your dog can be a fantastic experience if you take some time to make proper plans. While the great outdoors are always open, they still require some preparation, especially if you plan to bring a furry companion along. The right preparation is the key to a successfully fun outing.
Learn About the Region
First and foremost, you have to become familiar with the region. This includes getting a very good outline of the region including a planned trail for you and your pet to follow. Unknown territory can pose some serious obstacles that you need to consider. Part of the consideration involves the region’s laws.
Some areas are very strict about dog leash laws. There are some regions that allow landowners to shoot dogs if they enter a pasture that has livestock. A dog can legally be shot for chasing livestock in any state. Running after wildlife can also be a deadly offense for your pets in some states. Knowing the specific laws is a crucial aspect of ensuring that you and your dog have an enjoyable, trouble-free outing.
Another consideration to make is the population. It helps to know whether or not there will be a lot of people in the area when you arrive for your hiking trip. If your hiking trail is a popular retreat for many people then you want to ensure that you have control of your pet at all times, especially when hiking in areas that attract a lot of children.
Prepare Your Pet
Make sure that your pet is well enough to go on a hiking trip. Pets that are too old or too young may have great difficulty during the outing. The last thing that you want to face is getting stuck halfway trough a trail with an exhausted animal. Choosing a trail that is the right challenge level for your pet is a great way to ensure that both of you will have a wonderful time.
This may require some practice. There is nothing wrong with making a few practice runs before heading out on a real hike. Make short trips on similar terrain and evaluate your dog’s reactions. Practice hikes with your dog will help him learn what to expect when he goes on the trip.
Pack for your pet. Gather important items including healthy snacks and emergency food resource for your dog. Water is of the utmost importance. It is never a good idea to rely on streams and natural waterways for drinking water for your dog. Always make sure that you pack enough water for the both of you.
During the Hike
There are some important things to remember while hiking with your dog. The terrain is not going to be exactly like the terrain on your practice runs. It helps to establish a comfortable pace for you and your pet. Going up mountainous regions too quickly can lead to exhaustion faster than many think.
The altitude is going to have an effect as well. There is less oxygen the higher that you go so it is very important to take time to pay attention to the effects of high altitudes on your body. Your pet may show some signs of nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Climbing too fast can contribute to the discomfort.
Taking a little time to practice and prepare will ensure a happier, healthier hike with your pet.