Are you planning to go backpacking with your dog in tow? Good idea! Hiking with your pup is a great way to de-stress, spend quality time with your pet and get some peaceful exercise while you’re trekking.

Research shows that in 2018, around 17 percent of the population between the ages of 18 to 29 years chose to go trekking. Here are some useful tips for climbing up the trail with your pup and keeping him entertained during the trip.

Health Check

Watching your dog wallow in the sights and smells of nature is energizing, but you should check if your pup can handle the physical toll of a hike first. Before heading off on a trail, you should see if the weather’s suitable for your dog. If you have a pug, bulldog or Boston terrier, you would know that these breeds struggle to breathe in high temperatures.

Park Rules

Some national parks don’t allow hiking with pets, so make sure you check beforehand that the hiking trails you’re planning to go to also allow dogs. You can either check online or call up the park’s authorities to confirm their regulations.

Pet Medical Kit

Take a pet first aid kit with you on your hiking trip but make sure you know how to use it. If your dog ends up injuring himself, you should be able to take care of him till you reach the veterinary clinic.

Pest Prevention

A hiking trail is incomplete without pests in rivers, soil and stagnant water, but you can protect your pup from getting sick. How? Make sure your dog’s current on his vaccinations and flea and tick medications to keep parasites and bacteria from preying on him.

A woman in a brown coat holding her pug’s leash

Lapel & Lease

Apart from hiking, you should ensure your dog wears a tagged collar. Take at least a four-foot leash with you, even if the trail allows off-leash pups because it’ll give you more control. You can also use a GPS beacon for your dog’s lapel to protect him and get some peace of mind for yourself.

Dog Bowls

Your dog may get hungry on the hike so take a folding bowl with you. It’s light and can help your pup recuperate with healthy snacks like carrots, apples, strawberries or cucumber. But if you’ve planned a hike that’ll last more than a day, increase the helpings of your dog’s meal.

Blanket & Sunscreen

Taking a blanket on your hiking trip can help you and your dog stay warm. If your dog hurts himself, you can also wrap or carry him in it. You should also keep a vet-approved sunscreen because your pup’s nose, underbelly, and tips of his ears are especially vulnerable to the sun’s rays.

Waste Removal

You may think leaving behind your dog’s remains amid nature is acceptable, but you’re obligated to dispose of it if you’re hiking in a park. Confirm what the litter policies are to avoid getting fined.

Examine your dog’s ears, tail and the area between his paws for ticks and burrs. Bathing your pup in warm water after a hike can clean and refresh your furry friend.

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