If that perfect day calls you outside, hiking is a great way for you and your pup to exercise together and enjoy the outdoors. But before you go, be prepared with the necessary hiking gear for dogs. We talked to Dr. Kelly Grisham, DVM, to get her take on the equipment you need for a safe day hike with Fido.
Make sure your dog is accustomed to exercise before you set off on a long hike. You might be faithful about going to the gym, but if your dog is a couch potato, he won't be conditioned for a day of exercise.
Pack first-aid essentials, including lightweight bandaging material in case your pup cuts his paw on a rock and children's Benadryl for bee stings and insect bites. It's also important to make sure you are treating your dog with regular flea and tick prevention and heartworm prevention. Mosquitoes spread heartworms, and trails can be a hotbed for ticks in many parts of the country.
Keep Them Hydrated
Carry plenty of fresh (bottled or filtered) water and a collapsible water dish. Fido can get leptospirosis, a potentially fatal bacterial infection, from drinking water from streams. Keep your dog hydrated and watch for signs of heatstroke, such as excessive panting and staggering. Use the Link smart pet wearable to alert you if the outdoor temperature becomes too hot (or cold for winter hikes) for your dog.
The GPS tracking capability of the Link also guarantees you know where your pup is at all times. In addition to the above items, remember to bring an extra leash, poop bags and treats to boost your dog's energy during a strenuous hike. Putting bells on his collar can help deter snakes and bears, and if you're hiking during hunting season, purchase a bright-colored vest for your pooch.
It's worth taking these few precautions before hitting the trail. Having the proper canine hiking gear ensures you and your canine companion have a doggone good time.