It’s always a lot of fun to get outside and enjoy nature. It’s even more fun when we get to take our smellydogz along with us! We love to see the joy on their faces and the energy in their tail wag when you pull out the collar and lead to head out for a great W-A-L-K (don’t let them hear you say it!).
However, when you are planning for an outdoor dog adventure, like trail walking or nature exploring, it is important to make sure you are well equipped. And this doesn’t just go for you, it goes for your dog as well. So get your checklist together while we go over our top 10 tips for going hiking with your active dog.
1) Pet First Aid Kit
One of the most important things you need to have ready is your first aid kit for your pet. There are many things to consider when putting your kit together, so make sure you remember things like any medications your dog may need or old socks that can be used as emergency booties. The Red Cross has a great first aid kit checklist that you can find here.
2) Understand your Area and Gear Appropriately
This is a big one. It is important to know where you are going and prepare accordingly. This can include adding special things to your first aid kit such as antivenom or getting any recommended vaccinations from your vet. It is also very important to understand the proper lead and collar laws for any area you may be traveling to!
3) Strong Collar and Leash
We all know how excited our active dogs can get when we take them outdoors, and our biggest fears are our smellydogz getting off-leash in unfamiliar areas! That is why it is important to make sure you have a strong set of dog gear including a collar and lead combo for your smellydogz. We carry a great assortment of strong, smell-resistant dog collars, and dog leads that are great for dogs that enjoy outdoor actives! Our waterproof materials keep your collar and lead strong, clean, and comfortable in all hiking conditions.
4) Water and Food
It’s obvious and we probably sound like a broken record, but it is very important to take a fresh supply of food, water, and the bowls you need for your trip. This way when you stop to fuel up and hydrate, your smellydogz can too!
5) Up to Date ID Tags
No one wants to lose their best friend. So make sure you have up to date information for your dog’s microchip and ID tags. This way if you are separated and someone finds your dog, they can help get them back home where they belong! It is also a good idea to have a recent photo of your dog on hand so you can show other hikers what they look like if you are separated!
6) Waste Bags
As active hikers, we should all be familiar with the idea of “Leave No Trace”. This concept helps keep our parks and outdoor hiking areas clean and healthy. The same idea applies to your smellydogz smelly business as well. So make sure you have a healthy supply of waste bags ready and handy for your hike!
Whether it’s a stream, lake, or babbling brook, no water will stop your active dog from having a good time. So make sure to bring a quick-drying towel for your hikes. It can help keep your smellydogz dry and the quick-drying material will help reduce that wet-dog smell for the rest of your hike.
8) Sun Protection
Nothing spoils a good hike like a nasty sunburn, and that counts for smellydogz as well! Just like their humans, some dogs need to use sun protection such as sunscreen or cloths. Just remember that you don’t have to rub sunscreen all over you smellydogz, but there are certain areas to watch out for, specifically their ears, nose, and abdomens.
9) Dog Pack
A dog pack is a piece of dog gear that is a great tool for experienced dog hikers. Like a set of saddlebags, these handy packs can help your dog share in some of the load for long trips. Having a well sized and equipped dog pack is a true way to separate a hike from a regular walk. Cesar Millan has a great list of Do’s and Don’t for anyone looking to start using a dog backpack.
10) Train for The Hike
Like humans, dogs need to be prepared and properly trained before taking them on a long hike. Making sure your dog understands key commands can make the difference between a successful walk, and an unforgettable accident. These commands are used as cues for your dog so they know what is and isn’t safe for them to interact with. A good list of commands are;
- Leave It
- Drop It
Now you and your smellydogz are ready to head out into the wild to discover your own amazing adventure… together!