Useful tips before taking your dog on a hike
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Assess your dog’s health
Before taking your dog on a hike, do an assessment to determine if your pet is safe to participate in the activity. Hiking can be very tiring, so make sure your canine companion can handle the physically demanding exercise. Very young, very old or overweight dogs may have a harder time hiking. Check with your veterinarian if you are unsure if your pet can hike with you. If you have decided your pet can participate, choose a trail that would be safe for your pet based on their activity level.
Choose a trail
There are many sources online to help you find a trail. Decide if you are looking for an easy, moderate or difficult trail. If this is your dog’s first hike, choose an easy trail to start with. Some trails have specific rules to follow, such as requiring dogs to be on a leash. Observe and obey all trail rules and remember to pick up after your dog if he poops.
Make sure you know the difficulty of the trail before taking your dog on a hike. Some areas can be dangerous for inexperienced four-legged hikers. Sharp rocks and steep ledges can pose a threat to your dog. While hiking, be sure to keep an eye out on the trail for any sharp objects that could hurt you or your dog. Also watch out for poisonous reptiles such as Gila monsters and rattlesnakes. Dogs can be very curious, which can prevent them from being careful around dangerous animals.
Supplies to bring
Most people opt for light luggage when going on a hike. A leash, enough water for you and your dog, a bowl of water, disposable garbage bags and food or treats are the bare necessities to bring with you. Dehydration can set in quickly, so ALWAYS make sure you bring enough water. Other items to consider bringing are a first aid kit, insect repellent, and your dog’s favorite fetch toy.
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