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How to Hike Safely with your Dog: Dog Hiking Helpful Manuals, Guides Instructions & Techniques Best 21 Dog Breeds for Hiking & Backpacking Best & Available Dog Hiking Trails & Routes 20 Best Dog Backpacks Reviewed What to Look for in Hiking Dog? Everything You Need to Know about: Hiking, Backpacking & Camping With Dogs! Where I Can Hike With My Dog? First Aid For Your Traveling & Hiking Dog! The Ultimative Guide: Traveling with Dogs Top 10 Dog Hiking Trails Dog Training Tips & Hiking Techniques Dangers On The Way: Snakes, Incests, Bears Dog Hiking, Backpacking & Camping Etiquette Hiking with Dogs: Ultimative Extra Guide How to Care Your Dog After the Hike is Over How to Train your Dog for Backpacking Doggie PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices) Traveling Backpacks & Carriers for Dogs Best Dog Extreme Outdoor Hiking Boots How to Prevent Snake Bite Hiking Dogs Training Tips Hiking Dogs Manuals and Tips Hiking with Dogs Safety Tips Mountains Hiking Dogs Top Dog Breeds for Hiking Safe Camping with Dogs Taking your Dog to a Trail Best Dog Glasses - Doggles Hiking Dogs Equipment Hiking Dogs Backpacks Carriers for Hiking with Dogs Dog Backpack Safe Weight Videos of Hiking Dogs Parkour Dogs
Hiking with your dog can add a wonderful dimension to your time on the trail, but you need to plan before you go!
Note: In most states, if your dog is injured, search and rescue will not assist you. Be prepared to rescue your pet or find assistance on your own.
What to Look for in Hiking Dog? Most dogs of average size, weight and build can hike, but some are clearly better suited for the task than others are. Among other traits, good hiking dogs usually possess the following:
1. Appropriate Age Neither very young nor very old dogs are well-suited for hiking. Most dogs should probably be at least 1 year old and have all of their shots before heading out into the wilderness. However, old dogs should also have their trail time limited. The actual age at which this occurs will vary from one breed to the next. Generally speaking, smaller dogs live longer than larger dogs and suffer from fewer skeletal issues, so they can probably keep hiking for longer than their larger counterparts can.
2. Climate-Appropriate Fur Length It is important to consider the typical climate in which you normally hike, and obtain a dog with a coat-length appropriate for the conditions. You don't, for example, want to drag a husky through 95-degree temperatures any more than you want to take a Dalmatian out during a snowstorm!
3. High Energy Level Hiking is an energy-intensive activity and only dogs that like to get out and move-it-move-it, will enjoy the activity. In other words, leave your English bulldog at home when you hit the trails - bring your border collie instead. It's also worth noting that intense exercise can be downright dangerous for some dogs - pugs, bulldogs, and other short-nosed, flat-faced breeds have breathing problems and, when over exerted, may be unable to get enough oxygen. These dogs should stick to relatively short and easy walks. However, for high-energy canines, hiking is a great way to burn off steam. If you need inspiration, check out Boot Bomb's list of 50 long distance hiking trails in the US!
4. Calm, Confident Demeanor Your dog is likely to encounter a million heretofore unseen things on your journeys, so it is best to bring along a pup that will interact appropriately to these new creatures, smells and people. You don't want a dog that cowers from new stimuli, nor do you want one that sees every mysterious thing as a threat. Super sensitive breeds can be challenging in this regard.
5. Sound Bone and Joint Structure Think carefully before making a hiking companion out of a breed that frequently suffers from joint or bone problems, such as Rottweilers, Saint Bernards and others. This doesn't mean you can't ever take these dogs hiking - they still need exercise, just be sure to exercise restraint and sound judgement.
6. The Ability and Willingness to Be Obedient It's no fun to take a dog hiking if she is always getting into mischief - it can even be dangerous. Accordingly, easily trained, intelligent breeds, such as most retrievers, are often among the best choices for hiking companions.
There is not one breed that makes the best rock climbing companion. However, the following characteristics, in any dog, make them easier to have around at the climbing site.
Relaxed temperament: Your dog burdens no one as he relaxes off to the side.
Minimal barking: Barking is one of the biggest complaints from climbers. A barking dog takes away from their experience, especially when the owner isn't around to soothe the animal.
Well behaved: Train your dog to stay away from snakes, spiders and other creatures that are potentially dangerous.
1. Labrador Retriever America's most popular dog is also a great hiking partner due to its friendly temperament and strong desire to explore. Try to mix in some trails with the occasional game of fetch.
2. Vizsla Originally bred as a hunting dog in central Europe, the Vizsla requires plenty of physical exercise and attention. What better way to accomplish both requirements than to take a Vizsla out hiking in warm to temperate climates? The Vizsla is a Hungarian hunting dog and is still used as such today. Due to his innate power and drive as a hunting dog, Vizslas have maintained his need for exercise and a love of the outdoors. Vizslas are energetic and athletic dogs, very friendly and affectionate, and always ready to go. They make an ideal choice for someone looking for an active companion.
3. Bernese Mountain Dog The large, hardy Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the best breeds for short hikes through rough and rocky terrain, especially in the fall and winter. Many Bernese Mountain Dogs will enjoy carrying a small pack, too. The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, powerful working breed with a gentle personality and a desire to make friends everywhere. Originally used for drafting and as a drover for cattle in the cold Swiss Alps, this breed enjoys strenuous activity and makes an excellent hiking companion.
4. Siberian Husky A favorite among dog sled teams due to its combination of endurance, power, and speed, the Siberian Husky is also beloved by hikers, especially on snow trails. The Husky's dense 2 layered coat helps keeps it warm even during the coldest winter months. The Siberian Husky was originally bred to pull sleds and carts long distances in the harsh Russian climate. They are powerfully built dogs with lively spirits, always ready for adventure at any time. A true endurance breed, Siberians make an excellent choice for those looking for a dog that will keep them entertained on long hikes. They are gentle and alert, but very social dogs that enjoy spending time outside.
5. Portuguese Water Dog Does your hiking trail travel near water or a beach? Bring a Portuguese Water Dog along. This dog breed is adventurous and thrives on daily mental and physical exercise. The Portuguese Water Dog has worked many jobs, including herding fish into fishermen's nets, retrieving tackle and nets, and as couriers from ship to shore or ship to ship. This breed loves to work and makes a wonderful family companion for those looking for an active companion. They are affectionate and adventurous, and they are happiest when they get lots of exercise.
6. Alaskan Malamute If you are looking for a big dog to accompany you through harsh terrain in cold climates, then look no further than this dog breed. Considered larger and stronger than the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute has a thick, double coat and huge paws that act like snowshoes. The Alaskan Malamute is a large working dog bred for pulling carts and sleds over long distances. They are playful and affectionate dogs that enjoy spending time outdoors, especially in cold weather. This breed is a great choice for a hiking partner and was bred for endurance rather than speed, making it suitable for long hikes.
7. Australian Shepherd Originally bred as an all-purpose herder and farm dog, the Australian Shepherd is nearly unmatched when it comes to obedience, high energy and agility, all of which are essential on the hiking trail. The Australian Shepherd is especially adept at traversing tough terrain with steep inclines and jutting rock formations.
8. Border Collie Known for its high energy, incredible agility and superb intelligence, the Border Collie is adept at many outdoor activities, including hiking. The dog breed also follows directions well, which is extremely important on a trail.
9. Rhodesian Ridgeback Originally bred by European Boers for lion-hunting, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is now one of the best hiking companions. The dog's short and shiny wheaten coat helps the Rhodesian Ridgeback adapt better to hot climates than most other breeds. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a hound developed in Africa. There they were used to hunt large game for many hours over long distances. They are very active and dignified dogs, reserved toward strangers, but affectionate with their families. They make excellent companions for very active families, and though laid back, love engaging in exercise with their owner.
10. Mixed Breed Mixed-breed dogs are great at so many things, why not hiking too? In fact, many mixed-breed dogs share the same qualities and characteristics of the other aforementioned dogs on this list.
11. Lagotto Romagnolo Hailing from the Romagna subregion of Italy, the Lagotto Romagnolo was named as a lake dog and traditionally used as a gun dog. With a natural instinct for retrieving, these dogs make for the ideal hunting companions. Their most interesting occupation, though, is truffle hunting.
12. Tibetan Terrier Don't let their size fool you. Tibetan Terriers, originally bred and raised in monasteries 2,000 years ago, make for excellent outdoor companions. Kept as good-luck charms and watchdogs, and originally used for herding sheep as well as retrieving items that fell below mountainsides, Tibetan Terriers are agile, excel in the snow, and love to climb.
13. Pembroke Welsh Corgi Welsh for "dwarf dog", the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is small but no lap dog. Bred for herding, these creatures love to stay active and do well in the outdoors. Despite their short legs, corgis are surprisingly quick and athletic.
14. Portuguese Water Dog Bred to herd fish, retrieve broken nets, and swim as couriers, Portuguese water dogs excel in the surf. Given their working history, they also stay close to their owners, inside and outside. With a strong retrieving instinct and love for the water, these dogs make for the ultimate water companions.
15. German Shorthaired Pointer What sets the German Shorthaired Pointer apart is its intelligence and versatility. According to the American Kennel Club, this breed excels at trailing, retrieving and pointing. It's also comfortable hunting animals like pheasant, quail, grouse, waterfowl, raccoons, possum, and deer. No matter what your hunting style is, this dog can do it all. The German Shorthaired Pointer makes an excellent hiking companion. The breed was developed as a hunting dog and still performs this task today across the world. They enjoy long hours of strenuous activity in various climates, making them suitable for long hikes and adventures. They are social and willing to please, eager to work with their owners and make new friends.
16. Shetland Sheepdog One of the most intelligent breeds, Shetland Sheepdogs are intelligent, playful, and trainable. And with a strong herding instinct, they enjoy chasing and herding animals. They also love to run in wide-open spaces, but keep them clear of roads, their herding instinct can lead them astray.
17. Dalmation Dalmatians can keep pace with horses - they can keep pace with you. These large and lean dogs were classically employed to run ahead of firefighting carriages and clear the way, but they are just as happy running through the park. Great if you are looking for a more protective breed to accompany your long-distance jogs.
18. Australian Cattle Dog The Australian cattle dog is a true herding dog: whip-smart, energetic, strong, and protective, not to mention it has some dingo in its blood. With that kind of heritage, you can expect this breed to keep going all day. It loves wide-open spaces but will also form a tight bond with its owners, making it a great choice for active families. The Australian Cattle Dog is an athletic, intelligent breed that has a lot of energy to burn. They are still used as herding dogs today, as well as in various dog sports such as obedience and agility. The breed is very active and does best in a home that can provide adequate physical exercise. Therefore, they make excellent hiking partners.
19. Jack Russell Terrier Small but mighty, Jack Russell Terriers have boundless energy and can run for surprisingly extended periods of time. If you are looking for a more compact long-distance running mate, this adventurous breed should be just right.
20. Rat Terrier An American dog breed with a hunting and farm-dog history, Rat Terriers are cherished as family pets and for their pest control skills. Often mistaken for Jack Russell terriers, these dogs are equally at home on the sofa as on the hiking trail. Highly nimble and obedient, they excel in agility and obedience training.
21. Weimaraner The Weimaraner is an ideal jogging companion, able to expertly navigate tricky terrain. It's also a good pointing dog for hunters. Plus, its "ghostly" grey coat takes well to hot climates and needs minimal brushing. This breed is known to be rambunctious and extremely active, so you had be well advised to provide an open running area in addition to exercise. The Weimaraner is a hunting dog that was bred to work long hours outdoors, an activity it still enjoys today. Weimaraners are loyal, affectionate, and fun-loving dogs that make excellent hiking partners. Built for speed and stamina, they do well on short and long excursions.
Taking your dog hiking and backpacking is such a great way to let your dog just be a dog. And so long as you are prepared and use the trail with respect, then everyone else will love your darling doggie being there as much as he will.
While most hikers head first for America's National Parks, as a general rule, dogs in national parks are welcome only "anywhere a car can go." This means your dog can hike only along roadways and walk around parking lots. In most national parks dogs can also go in picnic areas and stay in campgrounds. If you are hiking in Canadian national parks, bring your dog along - there are few prohibitions against dogs there.
You will find National Monuments are a mixed bag for active dog owners. Some, like Dinosaur National Monument or White Sands National Monument, allow dogs on most trails while others, Devil's Tower or Cedar Breaks for instance, ban canine hikers from all trails. National Forests, under the stewardship of the Department of Agriculture and not the Department of the Interior like national parks, offer the meatiest hiking opportunities for dog owners. Dogs are permitted on most national forest trails, although access can sometimes be remote.
Many times national forest lands surround national parks so you can get your dog on a trail after being cooped up there. National Grasslands are cousins of national forests and you can expect to have your dog accompany you on your hike. Hiking opportunities are limited, however, as there typically aren't many trails in a national grassland. National Recreation Areas, as the name implies, are managed to maximize public use - for humans and dogs. Many trails in national recreation areas are open to off-road vehicles, mountains bikes, and horses. These types of trails will invariably be open to dogs as well.
You can expect to find good canine hikes in almost any national recreation area. Dogs are seldom allowed on trails at National Seashores but happily most, the southeastern national seashores are an exception, allow dogs on the beach year-round. National Lakeshores are good bets for canine hikers as dogs are allowed on many trails in these parks along the Great Lakes. National Historical Parks are hidden gems for canine hikers. There are few bans on dogs in national historical parks.
The first, is safety! Out on the trail there are many things for your dogs to get into trouble with. This could be a bear, porcupine, badger or any other wild animal that would happily defend itself from an inquisitive dog. If you have ever had to pull porcupine quills from a dog you know that is not something you want to attempt in the bush. The second, is they have no idea how far you are going. Dogs are along for the ride, they don't know that you may be hiking 20 or more kilometers today.
If you are a hiker and a dog owner, then you and your furry sidekick are likely destined to be great trail buddies. But, especially at first, this is a hiking companion who is going to need a lot of care and feeding. Remind yourself that this is what you signed up for, then consider the advice below as you begin to create a more perfect trail dog. Pre-hike readiness: Consult with your vet, brush up on obedience training and trail etiquette, pick appropriate trails, and build up your dog's stamina.
The dog pack - the kind your pooch wears: Fit it right, watch the weight and load it evenly.
Other gear considerations: Your trail partner might also benefit from one or two other essentials, from a roomier tent to a special first-aid kit.
Food Planning This is especially important on backpacking trips, when your dog needs more fuel and is likely to be the one carrying it. If you have spent several hours on the trail, you know the feeling of eating a calorie packed meal at the end of the day. Your dog will have the same sentiment. Budget an additional 20% for dog's meals. There are dog hiking backpacks on the market that allow them to can carry their own food but I prefer to carry the weight for my dogs. I know I can carry the extra weight with ease as evolution has given me powerful knees and legs that can endure an entire day of carrying a pack. It is up to you to decide if you want your dogs to carry weight or not but that is why I choose not to. It is recommended to not let your dog carry more than 20% of it's entire body weight. Beware trail hazards: Think about water safety, as well as concerns about heat, creatures, plants and pathogens.
Water Tank is Required! Water is what keeps everyone moving to camp. If you are feeling dehydrated so is your dog. On many hikes you don't have the luxury of letting your dog drink from a water source often and thus you need to carry it. A human adult needs at least 3 litres of water on a good hiking day. Your dog depending on its size will need at least 1 to 2 litres. That means you need to plan your water carefully and may be forced to carry more of it. I let my dogs drink from water sources that are "cleaner" like lakes and running rivers but usually avoid letting them drinking from sloughs or stagnant water. I don't need to be dealing with a dog with diarrhea while out on the trail. There is always a risk of your dog picking up a virus regardless of how clean you think the water is, so make sure they are up to date on their vaccines. Bring a Tupperware container or a collapsible bowl for your dog to eat and drink out of. Dogs don't usually drink too well out of a Camelback.
Planning The Route of Your Trip
Trail Regulations and Etiquette Know Your Trail Regulations: Always check on the regulations for the areas where you will be hiking or backpacking. Most U.S. national parks, for example, do not allow even a leashed dog to share the trail. Many national forests, as well as state and local parks, do allow dogs on their trail systems, though rules vary. Leashes are mandatory almost everywhere.
Always check on the dog regulations for the areas where you will be backpacking. Most U.S. national parks, for example, do not allow dogs to share the trail. Maintain control of your dog at all times. Dogs are required to be on-leash at most maintained public trails. Most require a leash to be 6 feet or less in length, so I advise ditching your extendable leash.
It may be great for everyday romps around the neighborhood to give your dog more freedom, but it's rarely sturdy enough to live up to trail conditions. Having your dog on a leash is not enough! You should also be sure to keep him or her calm as other people and pooches pass by. Be aware of what situations will upset or aggravate your furry friend. If he or she is still getting used to other dogs, you might want to hold off on hiking for now.
Is Your Dog Physically Ready? Ease your dog into the routine of hiking. If you want your pet to carry some of the load, start off by having him or her wear a pack around the house, then on short walks, then longer walks. You should also start with lighter loads. It's safe to work to up to one-third of your dog's weight if your dog is in healthy physical condition. For dogs who are older or in poor physical condition, consider leaving them at home with friends, They will be much happier and safer, too.
First-Aid Preparedness Be prepared. Sites such as peteducation.com have a lot of great info about dogs, including many articles about first aid. Petco and the Red Cross offer first-aid classes, which I recommend highly, to offer you hands-on help. Once Kiwi got quite a gash from a coyote she ran into. I was lucky enough to have a friend who was a vet on the trip, but quickly learned how important it is to make sure one is ready to take care of their dog no matter what circumstances arise. I carry pet first aid kit, which also comes with a great book to help you with what to do on the trail.
Packing Your Dog
You have done your research, and your pooch is ready to go. Let's start packing!
Food and Water Hydration is crucial for an active dog. Some dog packs feature a nifty built-in hydration system for watering dogs. You can also consider collapsible food and water dishes. Depending on size, your dog should usually be able to carry his or her own food and water. Do your research to make sure there is going to be plenty of water to filter where you will be backpacking. Be sure to pack enough for both of you if there is nowhere to get more. Dogs are susceptible to giardia protozoa much like humans, so be sure to filter and or treat their water just as you would if you were going to consume it. Check with your vet to ensure your dog will be getting the right amount of calories for the estimated energy that will be expended. Your vet is also a great resource to advise on the exercise level that is right for your dog.
Sleeping Gear This depends on what the weather is going to be like or how extreme it might get for the days you will be on the trail. If it rains and your dog gets wet you are going to want to dry them off before you go to bed. Using your shirt isn't the only option you want to have. If you have ever spent the night next to a wet dog you will know that all that moisture locked in their fur is quickly absorbed by your sleeping bag. This also gives them something to sleep on instead of the ground which will suck the heat from them. A warm dog is a dog that doesn't try and get in your sleeping bag with you. I have opted for a kid's bag, but some of my friends carry ultralight two-person bags so that they can snuggle with their pooch when the temperature drops very low. It all depends on your pup, the breed and learning what they need to be comfortable. It's better to overpack the first time and learn than bring too little to keep your pal cozy.
In addition to sleeping gear, give some thought to your dog's attire. Indoor dogs and breeds with thin coats can benefit from an outer layer to preserve body temperature in cold, wet conditions.
Dog Vest and Coats You might choose a type of jacket to ensure your dog's belly stays nice and warm, especially when you are in deep snow. If you are going to be hiking in a very hot environment, you might consider a dog vest. You can soak it with water to dissipate heat as the water evaporates. On the other temperature extreme, consider a fleece bodysuit that covers your dog's entire body and legs. This suit is overkill when your dog is working hard during the day, but I am sure any dog would appreciate PJs when it's chilly at night. In fact, some dogs do just fine with an extra layer and no sleeping bag at night.
Dog Boots & Backpack It may take a few tries for you to find the right pair that don't fall off your dog when tromping through snow. I recommend testing out your boots on short walks and hikes before any big trips. Dogs looks a little ridiculous and confused the first time we adorned them in a footwear, but usually they are very thankful for a nessesary paws protection!
This is just the beginning of the gear you can invest in to make the outdoors a safe and fun place for your dog. A few other examples:
Dog harnesses for more technical trails or climbing
GPS beacons and leashes that fasten to you via carabiners
Dog-specific bike trailer
Dog tent - Not all dogs like these for overnights, but they can double as sun shelters.
Cooling collars for hot days
Creams that help breeds that don't need boots stay comfortable in the snow.
Things to check after the trip...
At trip's end, be sure to check your dog's body for ticks, burrs and other objects. If you do find a tick, I recommend contacting your vet. There are different dangers for pets regionally, so a vet can help you decide if you should remove the tick yourself or come into the office. Also, I wash my dog with some medicated shampoo, as the plants that brush up against her can sometimes irritate her belly since she doesn't have a lot of fur on it. However, most dogs will be fine with a quick bath.
It is also vital that you pack enough food and water for both you and the dog as well as a basic first aid kit with disinfectant, gauze, bandaging material, tweezers, scissors, insect repellant, cortisone, and whatever else seems reasonable considering your hiking environment.
And Finally.. Begin Small! If you have never taken your dog on any kind of hikes start small. Do a few day hikes to get everyone accustomed to being on the trail together. My dogs act differently on the trail than they do on a walk in the city so it is nice to know how your dog is going to react to new environments. If you have never slept in a tent with your dog try spending a couple nights somewhere you can make adjustments if needed, like your backyard or a front country campground. My girlfriend, myself and dogs all fit in our two person Carbine Marmot tent quite "comfortably", but there were a couple nights of sorting sleeping positions before everyone was happy.
Is your dog suitable for backpacking? Before you go setting off on a 10 day trek with your darling Dachshund, it's important to be realistic about your dog.
What type of dog do you have? Some dogs are simply not suited to hiking. Consider British Bulldogs, Pugs and Chihuahuas - they might manage a hour or so around the park at their own pace, but from a physiological point of view they just won't be able to deal with anything more than that. Some of the best breeds of dogs for hiking and backpacking include Border Collies, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds, but there are also many other dog breeds that absolutely love hiking and backpacking. If you want to get out backpacking with your dog, your puppy pal should ideally be:
How old is your dog? Dogs that are less than a year old will still be growing. They will need to just stick with short hikes that don't put any unnecessary stress on their developing bones and joints. Some dogs need to wait even longer than a year before they can start doing serious hiking, so make sure you check with your vet before you start lengthening your walks. Equally, if your dog is getting on a bit, don't push the miles. Look out for signs of tiredness and monitor it on each hike. If your old pup is getting tired more quickly than usual then it may just be that it's ready for something shorter and more chilled out!
Will your dog run off if it catches the scent of a wild animal? If so, then you need to be sure that he will return on your whistle or command. Otherwise you will need to keep him on a leash the whole time. For more thoughts on leashing your dog while backpacking and hiking continue to the section on dog leashing.
Is your dog OK on a leash? Although it would be nice for your dog to roam free for the duration of your time in the wild, there will be times when being leashed is absolutely essential. If your dog isn't so great with a leash then you will need to put some training hours in to get him accustomed to it before you head out into the wilderness.
Does your dog need a leash for backpacking?
Are dog leashes required on the trail you are hiking? The use of leashes when backpacking with dogs is always a tricky subject. Some people keep their dogs leashed the whole time, whilst others wouldn't dream of it and let their hound run wild and free. Before you go dismissing one method or the other it's worth considering the following and using your best judgement as to how much you use a leash.
Are dog leashes required on the trail you are hiking? Some trails enforce the use of leashes for various reasons. It may be that the trail is popular with families with children, who may feel threatened by an unleashed dog. Or the rule might be in place to protect unleashed dogs from running into dangerous wildlife or high risk terrain.
Does your dog bound up to people and children to say hi? No matter how playful and friendly the intentions of your dog may be, it can be really terrifying for small children to have a dog in their face, uninvited. Some people are totally fine with this but some are not, and you just never know.
How does your dog behave around other dogs?
Even if your pup is the perfect angel, you never know how other dogs will react to him, especially if one dog is leashed and the other isn't. Will your dog just back away if things get aggressive, or will he fight back?
Does your dog stay at your side the whole time?
Some dogs have zero interest in other dogs or other people and are totally happy trotting as close to you as possible. If this is the case, then they will probably be just fine without a leash. But having one at the ready, just in case, is always advisable.
TIPS & TRICKS FOR SAFE HIKING, TRAVELING & CAMPING WITH YOUR DOG
The Strength of The Trail How strenuous is the hike? Your dog's age, stature, and fitness level are all factors that will determine if he or she can go on a trail with you, or what type of trail you select. Older dogs get achy joints and tire out faster than dogs in their prime. Meanwhile a tough hike may hinder proper development in puppies if there is too much jumping or scrambling before their joints and bones are fully formed. Shorter dogs may have a more difficult time on trails, since they have to expend more energy and may not be able to scramble over rocks as easily. And even if your dog seems like the right age and build, consider his or her fitness level. Make the length of the trail roughly equal to the length of your daily walks. If you only walk around the block a few times a day, then a 5-mile hike is probably too much for your pooch, and you may be carrying him for the last half of the trip. If your pooch has more daily exercise and endurance, then you can safely choose a longer trail. Finally, consider the weather. If you're hiking in winter conditions, can your short-haired pointer handle the chill? Or if you are hiking in summer, can your thick-coated Labrador deal with the heat?
Socialization & Reaction Is your dog socialized and non-reactive? You'll likely be meeting other people, dogs, and cyclists on trails, and possibly even horses. Often the trails will be narrow when passing others, making it even more difficult if your dog is nervous, fearful, leash reactive, or aggressive toward other humans or animals. If this is the case, then hiking on busy public trails is not an ideal activity for your dog. Seek out quieter, less popular trails and have a few training strategies in place to help your dog pass strangers and other triggers.
Flea, Tickes and Heartworms Protection Is your dog up to date on vaccines, flea and tick prevention, and heartworm prevention? You never know what you will run into on the trail, so make sure that your dog has current rabies vaccinations and any other appropriate vaccinations. Also flea, tick and heartworm medication is a must for heading out on trails.
Microchiping Is your dog licensed and microchipped? Having a current license is necessary in case there are any incidences on the trail. And having your dog microchipped is a great way to ensure that should anything go wrong and Fido gets lost, there's a way to get him home to you even if he loses his collar and ID tags. It's also important to ensure that your dog has a collar and tag that clearly displays her name and up-to-date contact information in case you become separated.
Saddlebags allow your dog to pitch in and carry their own gear. Not only does this make things easier on you, it can serve as a way to handicap your dog, if she is willing to walk for a significantly longer distance than you are.
Dog sweaters, shirts and coats - like the Outback Jack Dog Coat can help keep your dog particularly your short-haired, small, or lanky dog, warm in inclement weather. For colder weather gear, check out our list of the best winter dog jackets!
Control & Be the Master! Keep control of your dog at all times. This means your dog should stay on a 6-foot leash. Even on off-leash trails, unless your dog has perfect recall in any situation and let's admit it, the vast majority of household dogs don't, especially around so much stimulation, then you want to keep your dog on a leash. This will prevent a plethora of potential problems, from chasing wildlife to having a run in with another dog to charging up to approaching hikers. A simple nylon or leather leash is best - no flex-leads as these can cause as many problems as they prevent. Still not convinced you want to keep your dog on a leash? Just consider the possibility of your dog encountering a snake before you can notice or get there to pull your dog away. Or perhaps your dog goes bounding off trail for a moment and, unbeknownst to you, has bounded right through poison ivy, oak or sumac. All that itch-inducing oil on his coat will now be all over you and your car when you travel home.
Waste Disposal Last, but not least: Cleaning up after your dog means either burying the waste or packing it in a disposable bag and carrying it out of the park. More parks are taking strides to improve waste conditions and the effects on the ecosystem by instilling waste policies. Make sure you know what the regulations are for the particular area in which you are hiking. You could face a fine if you don't comply.
WARNING!!! REMEMBER: The added weight of a dog backpack helps your dog burn more energy in less time. It can also help your dog feel more secure, and as if they have a purpose when they come with you on walks. Remember, your dog backpack is increasing the intensity of your dog's workout, which means your dog may also get thirstier and tired faster.
1. Your dog will get more exercise while wearing his dog backpack.
2. Your dog can carry his own stuff in his dog backpack.
3. Your dog can carry your stuff in his dog backpack, too.
4. A dog backpack makes a good water/beer carrier.
5. Your dog can carry his own doggy bags in his dog backpack.
6. Carrying a dog backpack gives your dog a job to do.
7. The dog will not be as focused on pulling.
8. Your dog can go on more trips.
9. It's easier to see your dog while he wears his dog backpack.
10. The dog backpack will last a long time.
How to Fit a Pack Measuring dog harnessMeasure the circumference of your dog's chest around the widest part of the rib cage. Most packs come in a range of sizes that will correspond to this measurement. Adjust all straps to snug the pack's fit. Don't pull too tight, though: Your dog needs to breathe. But you also don't want a too-loose pack that can slip off or chafe. For pack training, start by having your dog wear it empty around the house, then on walks. As soon as wearing the pack becomes routine, load in a few pounds - evenly on each side. Gradually increase pack weight on each walk after that until you reach your target weight. A maximum of 25 % of body weight is a rough guideline, but factors like age, size and strength will alter that up or down. Check with your vet.
DOG BACKPACK SAFE WEIGHT This article is proudly presented by WWW.REI.COM
How much weight is safe for a dog to carry? In general, young and healthy dogs can carry up to 25% of their weight.
Some breeds can carry 10% to 15% more, while other breeds aren't cut out to carry much at all.
The amount you should pack also changes with age - this is a good topic to discuss with your vet.
Just as we humans wouldn't just go on a hike for days on end without preparing for it, so it is with our canine compadres. Aside from the physical training and dog backpacking gear they will need, there are also a bunch of other important things you must do to make sure your pup is fully prepared for hiking and backpacking.
1. Camp in your backyard If your dog isn't accustomed to sharing a tent with you then either get out on some car camping trips at local campgrounds or do a practice run and camp overnight in your backyard. As well as getting Fido comfortable with the nighttime noises and the enclosed space of your tent, it will also help you gauge what your dog will needs in terms of warmth and comfort.
2. Get your dog chipped If you have not got your dog chipped already then you might want to consider it if you are heading out into wilderness areas. If nothing else it will put your mind at ease somewhat if he were to go astray.
3. Tag your dog Be sure that you securely attach an ID tag to your dogs harness or collar. It should have clear and up to date information on. You may also want to consider attaching a capsule to the tag too. You can insert information about your route and contact details etc.
4. Get your dog vaccinated This largely depends on where you are hiking and what vaccinations your dog has already had. Once you have decided on the area check with your vet to make sure your dog is covered and up to date on its vaccines, just to be on the safe side.
5. Clip claws If your hound is the sort to come snuggle with you at night then a sharp set of claws clambering onto your sleeping pad will not go down well, although the pad probably will! Getting claws clipped will also protect the floor of your tent, and will be much more comfortable for your dog if your are hiking on rocky terrain.
6. Brush their coat What before you head out into the wild? Yep! It is really important that the coat of your dog is free from bugs and fleas that are npt indigenous to the area you are entering. This also goes for seeds and grasses that might be caught up in your dogs coat.
Just like us humans, our doggie friends need to build up to long distance hiking trips too, especially if they are not used to them. Before you start a doggie backpacking bootcamp, be sure that your dog is fully grown and ready to start upping the exercise levels. If you are at all unsure of this then ask your vet. Once you have got the go ahead, training your dog for backpacking should include the following:
Endurance training Start off hiking with your hound on short day hikes. Over the course of a few weeks, increase the difficulty of the hike, and then the distance. Be sure to monitor their progress and once you are happy that they can deal with the real thing head out on an overnight trip. This will also be good to get your pooch into the habit of keeping you warm at night! It's not just their general fitness that you will need to work on. Their paw pads will also need to toughen up to deal with the rough terrain that you will tackle along the way. If your dog is just used to stomping on soft grass in the park then as with fitness training, you will need to introduce varied and rough terrain slowly.
Agility exercises If you are planning on hiking in tough and steep terrain it's a good idea to get your dog used to rock hopping and clambering in a more controlled environment. Set up some obstacles in your back yard that challenge balance and strength as well as agility. This will also help with reinforcing verbal commands that you will ideally already be good at as a team.
Water acclimatisation You may encounter river crossings when backpacking, so your pup will need to be comfortable in cold water and not scared or put off by running water. Start by getting them to paddle in slow running streams and shallow creeks. If they take to it then encourage them into deeper water where they will get to experience the cold. Most dogs absolutely love being in the water, but it's key that you make sure they are comfortable in it before you encounter colder, faster water that you have no choice but to get into.
Dog pack carrying For long distance trips your dog will need to carry his own food and water - at least, so it's super important that you slowly acclimatise him to wearing a dog pack and carrying weight in it. Start by just putting it on around the house with no weight in. Once your dog is comfortable in it you can start slowing adding weight to it on walks. Most dogs should be able to carry up to 25% of their own body weight. But this very much depends on the dog, so it is worth consulting your vet if you are unsure. It also depends on how long you and your dog are hiking for. Some dogs will have no problems carrying that much for a couple of hours but may start to struggle on longer hikes. If you build up the carry weight and walking distance slowly you will be able to gauge how your pup is coping and where their carrying limit is.
How to choose a dog friendly backpacking trail Before you head out hiking with your hound on any old trail, it's super important that you make sure dogs are permitted. As mentioned, there may be seasonal restrictions or dogs may not be allowed in certain areas at all, so look for dog friendly backpacking trails. Once you are sure Fido is fine to get trekking with you, the next thing you need to consider is what sort of things might you encounter on your chosen trail. Is the trail dog friendly? Take the time to do some research about your hike so that you know what to expect and prepare for before you embark upon your adventure. Consider the following when searching for dog friendly backpacking trails:
Is there shade? If you are hiking at hot times of the year choosing a hike that has sections of shade will make your pups time in the wild much more enjoyable, and safe.
Are there water sources on your hike? This is especially important on multi-day trips to keep you hydrated as well as your dog. Otherwise you will have to carry whatever extra water your dog can't carry!
Is the water safe to drink? Just as we wouldn't drink unpurified or unfiltered water out in the wild, nor should your dog. Where possible you should filter water from streams and lakes before your dog gets gulping. This is no problem if you have your dog leashed constantly. But if you don't have them leashed it's very difficult to monitor where they are drinking from. So find out what parasites and bugs are likely to be in the water where you are hiking. It may be that it's too risky and another route or area should be considered.
Are there bears, snakes and other predators roaming the area? If you want your dog to roam free then be sure to opt for areas where an encounter with a wild animal is highly unlikely. And if you are hoping for real wilderness experience then encounters with wild animals should be expected - so keep your hound leashed. A little bit of research will help you create a clear picture of which species are likely to be hanging around, and which are not.
When will you be hiking? If you are planning on hiking during peak times and national holidays, some trails will be much busier than usual. Hiking with a dog on busy trails has the potential to slow you down hugely, especially if you have a cute pup that will get a lot of attention! And you will have to keep your dog on a leash the whole time.
Is there likely to be livestock in the area? This is a really important one to research, as many farmers and landowners won't think twice about taking action against a dog that is pestering or appearing to threaten their livestock. Many areas will be clearly signed but there may be sections of the hike where you stumble upon grazing herds unexpectedly. In this instance having an excellent call-back is key. But better still, go into the hike expecting them and you can keep your dog leashed.
Are you a road warrior or a road worrier? Twenty years ago when I started traveling with dogs, I admit I fell into the latter category. How could I possibly visit friends across the country and make sure my dog was not left behind? Back then folks used to do a double take when I mentioned traveling with my dog. Today, we know better and we travel more frequently with Fido in tow. When you are planning a trip, you have dozens of details to worry about...
If you add a pet to the mix, those details may begin to feel overwhelming. Whether you are traveling for pleasure or moving to a new place, that does not mean you have to leave your dog behind. Here are some tips to show you how to keep yourself and your pet calm and comfortable, no matter what distance or mode you travel. This information will help you and your dog navigate every phase of the journey, from planning and packing to boarding and feeding.
Prepare for Your Journey Pre-travel preparation is one of the most important parts of successfully traveling with or without a pet. By making the right plans, you can save yourself and your pet much discomfort or even trouble. Here are some key things you should do before you set out:
HEALTH CERTIFICATES Some certificates and diseases below might be abbreviated:
CVI: Certificate of Veterinary Inspection
OHC: Official Health Certificate
HC: Health Certificate
EIA: Equine Infectious Anemia
VS: Vesicular Stomatitis
CEM: Contagious Equine Metritis
EVA: Equine Viral Arteritis
Rehearse With Your Pet: If your pet has never been on a long journey before, get them ready by taking them on short drives and then increase the time gradually. Be sure to put them in their crate every time, so they get used to it faster. Take a walk around the airline terminal or station to get them familiar with the smells and sounds. Reward your dog for good behavior and talk reassuringly to them.
Take a Relaxing Walk Before Boarding: It helps to let your pet walk or run around before boarding the plane, bus, boat, or train. See if there are any areas outside of the airport or station for a quick round of exercise. This will help both you and your pet expend excess energy and be more tired during the flight, which will make for a peaceful journey.
Buy the Right Crate or Carrier: If you are buying a shipping crate for your dog, be sure it is IATA approved. Any crate or carrier should be large enough for your pet to sit, stand, and turn around in with ease. It should be secure enough not to slip around when the vehicle or plane moves or stops.
Prepare the Crate for Comfort: Line it with absorbent bedding, like shredded bits of paper or cloth. Before you leave, freeze a small bowl of water, which will melt when your pet gets thirsty and won't spill during loading time. Close the crate securely but never lock it, so it can be opened for feeding or emergencies. Attach a bag of dry food or seed to the outside of the carrier or crate, so your pet can be fed during a long trip or layover. Last but not least, be sure to attach your dog's identification to the crate to avoid misplacing them.
No Crate, No Problem: If you don't plan to use a crate in the car, be sure your pet rides safely with its head inside the window at all times. Keep pets in the back seat in a harness you can attach directly to the seat belt buckle.
Research the Dog Rules of Your Destination If you are traveling internationally or even between states, check the requirements of your destination country, city, town, or state. The rules and laws may be different from your state or country of origin. Many countries and states have specific health, vaccination, and quarantine regulations. You can verify these rules by visiting the official embassy website of the country. More countries are starting to require pets to have a microchip implant, which is an effective way to find your pet if it gets lost or runs away. Ask your pet care specialist about getting one for your dog - they are inexpensive and could save you a lot of heartaches!
Contact A Specialist Pet Relocation Company Just as a pet owner should go to a vet for specialist veterinary advice, or to a relocation company to move their furniture, pet owners should contact a specialist Pet Relocation Company for all the peculiar requirements for the destination, route, crating, air carriers, transit stops etc. that will be required. Every country and every carrier is different and the rules are inclined to change at any time. This Association IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transportation Association ) has specialist members throughout the world.
Learn About Your Airline's Pet Policy Just like different countries have different rules, traveling with pets can vary by airline as well. Make sure you are informed about all requirements and restrictions before flying with a pet in the plane and the terminal, too. Try to book a direct flight so you won't have to deal with stopovers. Moving your pet from one plane to another could be stressful and increase the chances of losing them.
You will also need to make different arrangements for in-cabin pet travel versus cargo pet travel. Sometimes, smaller "pocket pets" are allowed in the cabin, like birds, hamsters, and reptiles. Larger animals like dogs and cats are usually housed in a back area. Ask about the environment they will be in while on the plane to see if you need to provide extra blankets, water, or even a comfort item like their favorite stuffed animal. Most airlines have specific web pages that describe their policies on pets, as well as how to make in-cabin or cargo arrangements. Here some links to specific pages with airline information about traveling with pets.
Prepare for Other Modes of Travel With Your Pet Even if you don't plan to fly, you will likely still need to transport your pet via at least 1 mode of transportation. If you have a travel crate or kennel for your pet, that is ideal; especially because they will be in unfamiliar surroundings and may feel threatened or uneasy.
Cabs, Rideshares, and Taxis: Because there are so many cab companies, you will want to ask about their pet policies when you call for a ride or before you get into the car.
Rental Vehicles: When leasing a vehicle, talk directly to the rental company to find out about their dog policy before the trip. You may need to sign an agreement or pay a small deposit upfront.
Buses and Trains: Many buses and trains, including Amtrak, allow small cats and dogs on certain routes, so be sure to ask ahead of time before you board.
Boats: Boats: The same goes for boats as for other types of transportation, even the smaller commuter versions. Take time to call them or check the website so you know their pet policy.
Never leave your pet alone inside a vehicle to avoid dangers like theft, heatstroke, and freezing. As a responsible dog owner, you need to gauge the mode of travel depending on your dog's temperament. You want to protect your pet, but you also want to protect others from scratches, bites, messes, and undue noise.
Find Dog-Friendly Accommodations Although many hotels allow pets, others may prohibit them. If you don't want to get stuck with a hotel that is not pet-friendly, make sure to do your research before you book. Even if you know that your hotel welcomes pets, you should make sure you have a room where pets are specifically allowed. Some hotels may have particular rooms for pet owners. In addition, most hotels will specify the animal's type, size, weight, and other things, so be sure to review all their rules and ask any questions before you arrive. You can also search for pet-friendly hotels, as most establishments readily publish their information online on their official website.
Schedule a Pre-Trip Checkup With Your Veterinarian Pet owners are advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to let their vets know as soon as travel becomes a possibility. It may take several appointments before all the paperwork and vaccinations are complete, so plan your vet visits well in advance of your trip.
Immunizations, Certificates, and Tests: Certain countries may require blood tests, rabies certificates, and specific vaccines as much as 6 months in advance of travel. Failure to abide by these rules could lead to separation from your pet in your destination country, because officials may need to quarantine your pet upon arrival.
Medications and Flea Prevention: If your pet is on any medications, special food, or requires flea and tick prevention, make sure to get a sufficient supply from your vet to last through the trip and a few weeks beyond.
Stress Reduction for You Both: In addition to any essential blood tests, vaccinations, medication, and paperwork, your vet can also inform you about treatments that could make the journey with your pet less stressful. For example, getting a microchip implant for your pet could calm concerns about losing your pet while away from home. Also, asking your vet about sedation options for the trip could be a good idea if your pet is susceptible to anxiety.
Prepare Your Pet and Pack the Essentials Create a list and stock up on all the things that will increase your dog's comfort during the flight. You should ensure that you have a spacious carrier that is appropriate for travel. If you plan to fly, your airline will specify the requirements. Some items you should acquire and prepare include the following:
Get Your Pet Comfortable With the Carrier: Give your pet plenty of time to get used to the carrier at home by leaving it out with the door open. Put their favorite bed or blanket inside, leave a toy or treat, and praise them for going in on their own. Don't push it, just give your pet time to adjust.
Invest in Calming Products: You might also want to consider anxiety-reducing products like a pheromone collar or lavender oil, which you can sprinkle inside the carrier for a calming effect. Another accessory to consider is a pet calming vest, which applies gentle pressure to specific areas to reduce anxiety. If your pet has a beloved blanket, stuffed animal toy, or even a shirt that smells like you, place that inside the carrier for comfort.
Important! - Make sure no tranquilizer is used on your pet that will reduce their blood pressure. This is especially dangerous at altitude for brachycephalics.
Pack Items for Restraining: Make sure you have collars, leashes, muzzles, safety vests, and other items that will help you keep your pet under control at all times.
Think Comfort: Check the weather and environmental conditions where you will be going. Be sure to pack collapsible water bowls, treats, toys, rain jackets, swimming safety vests or any other items your pet could use.
Prepare a Pet Travel Kit: Depending on the mode of transportation, pack the essential items for your dog, including:
A small amount of dry food A small collapsible bowl Medications and first aid items Travel documents, like a rabies certificate A favorite soft toy, blanket, or pillow Treats and dental chews Your veterinarian's contact information
Watch Your Dog's Diet If you can keep to your dog's accustomed diet for a while after arrival, it will help to avoid stomach upsets. Your dog will be out of sorts in unfamiliar territory, so changing up its diet could spell disaster. Your pet will most likely be hungry after the long trip, so do your best to ensure they have the food they need to keep them energetic and healthy. Here are some ways to keep your pet on course:
Dry Food: Depending on the mode of travel and destination, if you use a dried food, you can probably carry enough with you for a couple of weeks. You can also research the location to see if you can purchase some food upon your arrival, or even have it shipped there. Some hotels will have your dog's favorite food on hand if you set things up ahead of time. In this case, planning is crucial.
Canned or Fresh Food: If you normally use canned or fresh food, it may be worth getting your pet used to a completely dry food diet before you travel. If they must have canned or fresh food, you will need to make sure you can either buy it or ship it to your final destination.
Seeds: If you plan to transport a bird or small animal that eats seeds, be sure to check the country you plan to go. Some places will not allow certain types of seeds into their country.
Plan for Emergencies and the Unexpected The U.S. Department of State recommends pet owners have an emergency plan in case they need to send their pets back home or leave them behind in the destination country. The plan should include:
Who to Call: Your contact information, as well as your veterinarian's.
How to Care: Instructions about your dog's care and feeding, including medications and preventative treatments.
Where to Stay: Contact details of at least 1 trusted person or facility with whom your pet could stay, both in the destination country and back at home.
How to Pay: Instructions on financial and medical resources your dog might need in an emergency situation and accessibility details, like phone numbers and hours of operation.
Keep Your Dog Calm and Comfortable During the Journey You may be feeling stressed on the big travel day, but it is important your pet sees you as calm and collected. Here are some tips from the ASPCA to help make your journey go as smoothly as possible:
Talk to All the Airline Staff: Tell every airline employee or personnel that you have a pet traveling with you. If your pet is traveling in the cargo area of the plane instead of the cabin, you may want to confirm they have loaded your pet onboard. This is especially important if you and your pet take multiple connecting flights. Sometimes airline staff will voluntarily approach pet owners on the plane once their pets have been loaded safely onboard, but this is not always the case. If you haven't already been notified of your dog's whereabouts before takeoff, don't be afraid to politely request confirmation from the airline staff.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated and Fed, But Not Full: Just like their human counterparts, pets should not have heavy meals before flying. Feed your pet between 3-4 hours prior to leaving. Be sure to give your dog a bathroom opportunity close to departure time. Just like humans, pets get dehydrated while traveling and during flights due to the plane's air filtration system. If possible, give your pet some bottled water to drink during the flight, but not an excessive amount as that will increase the chance of a messy accident. If you are unable to monitor your dog's in-flight hydration, you should ensure they get rehydrated immediately after the flight. Be aware that drinking water that comes from a place your pet is not used to can cause digestive problems. On other modes of transportation, like buses and trains, water may not be easily accessible, so find out if you can carry bottled water for your dog. If not, make sure they have water on board for your dog. You will need to do your research to make sure your pet has all the necessities and is well-cared for, no matter what mode of transportation you choose.
Enlist in the Latest Pet Resources Keeping your dog comfortable and healthy while traveling requires a certain amount of planning and preparation, but it is well worth the time. You will both enjoy the trip more and arrive ready to go! There are a number of gadgets and apps to help make your trip safer and easier, such as:
Pet Trackers: There are a variety of GPS pet tracking devices, like the Nuzzle Collar, that will alert the owner when the pet exits a pre-designated area.
Pet Insurance: You can go online to easily find a dog insurance plan that suits your budget and your pet's needs.
Pet Travel Apps: Install a pet travel app to help you find pet-friendly places and share your travels with friends and family, such as FIGO's Pet Cloud and Bring Fido.
Sickness: how to deal with it A drawback for the dog could be the "sickness", caused by the movement on the labyrinth of the inner ear. But do not worry! It is a matter of habit and just goes step by step: first with short trips and straights, and gradually making more long paths with curves. Other four-legged friends instead associate the drive to an unpleasant experience, such as going to the vet in this case it is necessary to vary the destinations of your wanderings: take him to the park to run around, give him an award and let them know new environments. By applying this set of rules and good habits, you will guarantee your family a trip in safety and comfort: your 4-legged friend will be deeply grateful!
TOP LOCATIONS FOR TRAVELING WITH FIDO Carmel / Monterey CA Bar Harbor/Acadia ME Black Hills SD St Augustine FL Cape Cod MA Key West FL Charlottesville VA Mendocino CA Asheville / Blue Ridge NC Amarillo TX
Hiking trails are a gateway to good physical and mental health for both you and your dog.
Wildlife Traps Although most states have laws on who can trap and where and when they can do it, not everyone follows the rules, and many traps are finding their way close to popular trails. Sometimes, even legal traps can pose a risk. There are a variety of traps, including leg holds and snares, which could strangle your dog. Avoid It: Get to know trapping regulations for the area where you are hiking, but also be wary of illegally-placed traps. Wildlife traps are purposely hidden and baited, so it's best to keep Fido on the trail or on leash if he wanders. You are most likely to encounter traps closer to trailheads and areas with easy access to roads.
Giardia Most backpackers know they shouldn't drink water straight from a stream. But many of us let our dogs do this without a second thought. Although canines have tough guts, they are still susceptible to the parasite giardia. According to University of Missouri Extension, surface water supplies like springs, lakes and ponds are frequently contaminated with the parasite. Symptoms may take weeks to appear, but can include diarrhea or green shiny poo, abdominal cramps and gas.
Although many infected dogs show no symptoms, they can still pass on giardia to humans. Bring your own water supply for pup and filter any new water just as you would for yourself. It's inevitable that your dog will drink some stream water here and there, but get them into the habit of drinking their own when possible. The Gulpy water dispenser is a reliable, easy way to store your dog's water.
Damaged Paw Pads Culprits for cut paws can include sharp or hot rocks and cacti. You have plenty of choices. If your dog will allow it, you can fit her with a pair of hiking boots. To shield your dog's paws from extreme heat or cold, another simple yet effective method is using paw pad cream like Musher's Secret Wax. Be aware of the terrain before you go, some surfaces like jagged rocks are just no good for hiking with dogs. If you are unsure, leave your best friend at home.
Wild Animals When you think about animals that may pose a threat to your dog, bears or cougars probably come to mind. Imagine my surprise when my dog got into trouble with that porcupine on the trail. Other threats include venomous snakes and, occasionally, coyotes, the latter have been known to lure domestic dogs as a pack. The biggest danger: other domestic dogs, especially poorly-trained ones wandering around off-leash. Keep an eye on your dog and discourage him or her from wandering too far off the trail.
I always hike with a bear bell attached to each of my dogs' collars, the ringing not only alerts bears, but other wildlife as well. If you see or hear any signs of potentially dangerous wildlife: fresh scat, tracks or perhaps the tell-tale rattle of a rattlesnake, leash your dog immediately. Rattlesnakes are most likely to be found hiding under fallen logs, rocks or boulders, so don't let your dog dig around these areas if you are in rattlesnake country. Avoid Mooses, Bears, Snakes, Incests and Rodents. Also keep an eye open for a hunt big war birds!
Plague The last plague epidemic occurred in the 1920s. But if you live in the Western United States, this disease can still threaten your pooch. According to the Center for Disease Control, most plague cases since the 1970s have occurred in the rural West, with the highest concentration around the Four Corners region of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah. As of February, New Mexico in particular has already reported three cases of canine plague Rats, squirrels, and mice are typical plague carriers. According to Pet MD, the disease can spread to a dog if they are bitten by an infected flea or when they ingest an infected animal. If you are hiking in the rural West, especially in the Four Corners, keep sight of your dog and deter them from checking out rodents - dead or alive. Consider equipping your pet with a flea-control product to deter the spread of the disease.
Keep them on leash whenever possible !!! If you choose to let Fido run free, make sure he or she reliably responds to recall.
Dog and Wildlife conflicts Not all dogs act the same when they see a bear, a squirrel or a bird. Some will chase on instinct. Some will bark. Some will not. Remember that dogs are domesticated predators. A chasing or barking dog harasses wildlife and adds to the challenges that wild animals face. Wild animals react to dogs in different ways. Some will flee, perhaps abandoning their young or critical habitats. Some, coyotes especially, might be attracted to your dog and perhaps attack it, or pick up diseases from it. Beware too of the real risks associated with porcupines, skunks and traps set by hunters.
BEARS ON THE WAY! So.. what to Do if You Encounter a Bear With Your Dog? If your off-leash dog charged a bear who decides to retaliate, your only recourse is bear spray. But assuming you're still in control of the dog and the situation has not escalated:
1) If the bear has not seen you: Quietly and quickly leave the area, but never run - you will look like prey. A bear can run faster than 30 mph - it will easily out-run, out-climb, and out-swim you.
2) If the bear has seen you: Keep your dog close and calm if the bear stays 15 feet or more away, avoiding sudden movements. Respect the bear's critical space, do not approach it, and try to turn and leave how you came. If you must continue, take a detour and give the bear plenty of space.
3) If the bear's behaviour changes: You are too close, so back away - give him all the room he wants. Speak: use a normal tone of voice and move your arms.
4) If you have an encounter at close range: Stand upright and make yourself as large as possible. Don't make direct eye contact - speak in a calm, assertive, and assuring tone as you attempt to slowly back up and get your dog and yourself out of danger.
5) If the bear moves toward you: Wave your arms and make a lot of noise, most bears will back off quickly. Throw an object on the ground - your camera, for example, as the bear may investigate it long enough for you to escape. But never toss food towards a bear or attempt to feed it.
6) Give the bear a way out: leave an escape route open for him.
7) If the bear charges: If you know the bear has an escape route AND you are sure it's a black bear, stand tall and look it directly in the eye: yell at the bear and tell it to leave, make sure your bear spray is at the ready. Never use this strategy with a grizzly bear - you will need to use your bear spray instead.
The best way to avoid issues with snakes is to avoid them. Though this is not completely in your control, there are ways to decrease the chance of running into one. Here are four avoidance tips to remember:
Keep your dog on a leash while hiking or camping so that you have control.
Stay on the trails where you can see what is ahead. But remember that snakes will be under rocks, logs or bushes where your dog likes to sniff.
Don't leave your dog unattended on the trail or at the campsite.
Find and take a rattlesnake aversion class before hiking with you dog. The trainer puts a mild shock collar on your pup and introduces them to different snakes by sight, smell and sound. The trainer gives your dog a mild shock if it's "curious." The hope is that your dog will associate the snake with the shock and stay away from them.
Unfortunately, sometimes the best prevention efforts aren't enough, and your dog is bit. Being able to recognize that it happened is the first step toward seeking treatment.
Signs Your Dog Has Been Bit Be aware that fang marks are hard to see
Watch for bleeding from the puncture wound
Notice any swelling or redness around the wound
Be aware of any sudden bruising
Watch for signs of pain: whimpering, fatigue, just not him or her self
Take notice if your dog twitches or drools a lot.
What to do After the Bite While immediate recognition of the bite is critical, it's what you do after the bite occurs that will make the difference. Take these four steps if the worst does occur.
Try to identify the snake and take note if there is a rattle
Keep the dog as still as possible so that the venom does not spread
Do not cut the area or try to suck the venom out
Get to the closest vet ASAP!
Note: Some vets don't carry the anti-venom you need. Therefore, if you are going camping, hiking or live in a rural area, call beforehand to see what vet in the area carries it. Hiking with your dog is always encouraged, but snakes are often around the trails. Just remember to stay aware at all times, take all the necessary precautions, and keep a close eye on your pup. No matter what, don't let the fear of a snake bite keep you from enjoying a relaxing hike with Fido.
Keep in mind that snakes fill an important function in the ecosystem; without them we would drown in mice and other rodents, so there is no reason to harm them. If you anticipate hiking extensively in remote areas there are professional snake avoidance trainers who can "snake-break" your dog - train her to stay away from rattlesnakes.
Before you plunge down any trail, make sure you tailor your plans to your dog's capabilities. Are you mapping out a 12-mile day hike that will tag the peaks of three mountains? Not all dogs are bred for that kind of long-term exertion. It is especially important not to overtax your dog on a hike because she will soldier on in an effort to please you and never let on to any pain.
Hiking can be a wonderful preventative for any number of physical and behavioral canine disorders and running up trails and leaping through streams is great exercise for that one in every three dogs that is overweight. But just like us, a dog used to being a couch potato can't be expected to easily complete a 5 mile loop trail. Have your dog checked by a veterinarian before significantly increasing his activity level.
Do you enjoy the sun on your back, the wind in your hair and the joy of seeing new places, new cultures or the thrill of the open road? If so, you might just be a travelholic. And it's okay because chances are, your dog is too! So, what if you could bring your furry friend on all your adventures? Taking a memorable trip with your dog could easily be one of the most rewarding experiences of both of your lives. In fact, there are countless stories of people who have taken their pups on some pretty incredible adventures, and there are even some animals who made epic journeys all by themselves. So, if you are ready to hit the open road or head to the airport, here are 10 tips and tricks to help ensure your pooch is the perfect travel buddy:
Safety First !!! No matter how you plan to travel, it's extremely important to take all necessary safety precautions. If you are driving, ensure that your dog uses a seat belt, crate or some other form of containment or restraining device, because in the event of an accident, no one wants to go flying through the windshield, including your dog. If you will be flying, understand that unless your four-legged friend is a service dog or an emotional support animal, you will have to pay additional airfare for your animal. Most airlines require that your dog either fit completely underneath the seat in front of you, otherwise he or she must travel in the plane's cargo hold.
Note: this doesn't apply to assistance animals! The important thing to remember is that each airline has different standards when it comes to flying with a pet, so be sure to read-up beforehand.
Stock a first aid kit. Whether your and your pet are going hiking or just driving to visit grandma, it's important to have a first aid kit on hand. Buy a pre-packaged kit with essentials such as gauze, gloves, medical tape, bandages, cleaning wipes, and disinfectant. We suggest also bringing Benadryl for possible allergic reactions, hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in the event that your pet has gotten ahold of something he shouldn't have, and in case your pet has damaged a nail, cornstarch will stop the bleeding. Download the Pet First Aid app from the Red Cross for tips on how to handle various injuries.
Choose Your Destination Wisely If you are bringing your dog, it's important to choose locations that both of you will enjoy. Visiting national parks and monuments, roadside attractions, lush scenery and even other countries can not only create fond memories, but can also help two of you bond even more. It's also important to plan your trip well by ensuring the places you intend to visit are dog-friendly. Do some research and check all the guidelines before you hit the road with your furry companion.
Plan Ahead Regardless of the time of year you decide to travel with your dog, special considerations must be made due to the weather. If you plan on traveling during the warmer summer months, you may need to make adjustments to your destination if you have a flat-faced dog or one with a very thick coat. Likewise, some short-haired dogs may not fare so well in the snow. Either way, you can overcome any of these issues, so long as you choose your destination wisely and take all necessary precautions, such as packing extra water or winter clothes for your dog. Remember: proper planning prevents disaster.
Pack for Pooch After you have packed all your bags, be sure to pack one for your dog too. Before you set out on your great adventures, make sure that your dog has everything that he or she will need en route and at your final destination. Start with the essential items, such as food, bowls, toys and treats, a towell, some waste bags and plenty of water. Next, pack any medications or other necessities. Throw in some ginger or pumpkin, it does wonders for a dog's upset stomach, and another great idea is children's benadryl. Here's a full list of medicine that's safe for dogs:
Additionally, you may want to pack other things, such as extra towels, an extra leash, shot records and the contact information for local animal hospitals or veterinarians at your destination.
Learn to pace yourself. Don't let your eager dog set the pace in the early going. There is a truism in hiking that you get tired going up the mountain but you get hurt going down. In other words, don't go so fast going up that you will be exhausted and don't go so fast coming down that you will fall. The descent is also hard on your knees and a walking stick can relieve the pressure on your legs on the mountain slopes.
Pay attention to the effects of altitude Regardless of your physical condition, it is common to begin feeling the effects of low air pressure at altitude at about 10,000 feet, even lower for some canine hikers. As you take in less and less oxygen you can begin to feel nausea, dizziness, headaches or heart palpitations. Never go higher should you encounter any of these symptoms. Take a rest and if the symptoms disappear, continue on. If they persist for more than a few minutes, turn back. You are most at risk for altitude sickness if you climb too quickly.
Rest often! A mountain climb is not a race and not a place for pride. Rest often - for both you and your dog. And resting is not just an option on the way up.
Drink plenty of water - before and during your climb. Always have plenty of drinking water on hand for you and your dog. Climbing burns alot of calories and you will work up quite a sweat, even as the temperature drops. Proper hydration also lessens your chances of suffering altitude sickness.
Be careful of mountain streams. The water in rushing mountain streams is often ice cold and after a quick swim your dog is likely to emerge into cold air. Pack a towel for your dog on mountain hikes to keep him dry.
Protect yourself from the sun. Above the treeline the rays of the sun intensify on a mountaintop. Take along the sunscreen even if the temperatures are bone-chilling. Sunglasses will not only help with the bright sunshine but also with snow blindness.
And a quick word about hiking in canyons... For canine hikers, remember that canyons are simply mountain climbs in reverse. The big difference obviously is that you finish with the climb, when you may already be tired from the hike to the canyon floor.
Stay Up to Date Proper identification is extremely important for your dog when traveling. Before you leave home, make sure that your dogs identification tags are up to date with your current contact information. Also, be sure to bring fido's shot record and proof of rabies vaccination, just in case.
Don't Rush! It's important to take your time when traveling with your dog. When planning your trip, be sure to select a route that has frequent rest stops, roadside attractions, national parks or other places of interest because you and your dog will both want to stop, stretch your legs, explore and relieve yourselves. Remember, it isn't the destination, so much as the journey, that you will both remember fondly for years to come. So take your time and enjoy it!
Practice Off-Leash Skills If you want to give your dog an extra dose of freedom on your adventure, plan ahead and look for places that allow dogs to be off their leashes. Although most National Parks require dogs to be on a leash at all times, there are many places where your dog can run free, such as dog parks, dog beaches and hiking trails. It's one thing for your dog to come in from the backyard when you call, but what about when your dog is surrounded by new sights, smells or other dogs? Your dog's attention span may be easily overwhelmed by all the new stimuli. That's why it's helpful during training, to reward them with plenty of treats when they do come.
Ruffing It Whether you will be staying in a tent or a hotel, be sure to plan ahead and bring something your dog can sleep in. A familiar kennel, dog bed or favorite blanket can help ease your pup to sleep by providing a refreshing dose of familiarity or routine. Also be sure to squeeze in plenty of play and training time with your dog, especially in a new environment. Try and stick to any existing routines you may have. Doing these things will show your dog that although the scenery may change, your relationship remains constant.
Let Your Dog Carry His Own Weight Giving your dog a job to perform is a great way to help your dog feel happy and like a member of the team. If your dog is comfortable with wearing a backpack, the possibilities for him to be your little helper are endless! He can help carry food, water or supplies while hiking, camping, or even while just walking around town. If your dog has never worn a backpack, you can quickly train them to by starting at home. The first step is to give the dog lots of treats as you put the backpack on and adjust the straps. Next, spend a few minutes playing with your dog as they wear the strange, new contraption and finally, go on a short walk together so that your dog can get the hang of wearing his new swag. Treats help.
Get an ESA Letter for Travel Lastly, if you are one of the 61.5 million Americans, who will suffer from a mental or emotional disability this year, you may qualify for your dog to be an emotional support animal. To clear up a common misconception about ESAs: the dog doesn't require any kind of specialized training or certification but rather, the owner just needs a letter from a licensed mental health professional. If you qualify for an Emotional Support Animal Letter, then you will be able to bring your pup with you in the cabin of any commercial aircraft on any domestic flight, free of charge. In fact, millions of Americans already benefit from having an ESA. If you suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, or another qualifying condition, and you feel that your dog helps alleviate your symptoms, then you should click below to see if you qualify.
Don't forget the paperwork. Before you hit the road, make sure all of your pet's tags, including his identification and rabies, are up to date. Be prepared for emergencies by bringing copies of medical records and vaccinations. Air travel requires a health certificate and possibly other documents depending on the airline and destination. If you are traveling internationally, check with that country for requirements specific to their region. That's critical. It's also a good idea to have your pet microchipped and make sure the record is current in case you get separated.
Print out a picture. Practically every pet owner's phone is filled with pictures of their furball and that can come in handy. But you can't print that out and give it to someone. You can't make a poster or flier when you are in a panic and on the road. Carrying a printed photo is an additional level of security. It's also helpful when you are trying to find your pet at the airport at cargo pickup.
Prepare for takeoff. While we get snacks and movies on demand, flying isn't nearly as fun for animals. In fact, Theisen says that unless airline travel is necessary, you are better off leaving them at home or finding another mode of transportation. Typically, only dogs and cats under 10 pounds are allowed in the cabin, and larger ones must go in the cargo hold. Be sure to check with the airline before you book, as rules vary widely - as do fees and number of pets allowed. Most airlines don't allow you to put anything in the transport crate besides food, water, and a blanket due to ingestion risk, but a blanket that smells like home can help relax them. Figure out which water bowl you are going to use, freeze treats and kibble in that dish, and then when it's loaded into the plane, the water doesn't spill, and it's encouraging for them to work on the ice block to get to treats and keep them occupied.
Do a trial trip. To keep your pet calm and comfortable during the big journey, do a few practice runs beforehand. Start by simply having her get in the carrier and rewarding her. Do this often, and increase the amount of time she is in the carrier each time. Then have her practice being in the carrier while you drive around the block or go to the dog park. It's important to place toys in the carrier and reward her often for behaving well during this practice. Generally, dogs will come to think of their carrier or crate as a safe place. If they are going to be on a plane, you can adjust this technique. Load your dog in a carrier and put it on a rocking chair, or put it in a car squished up on floorboard.
Keep The Doggy Entertained. Bringing your dog's favorite toy along is a given, but a trip is a special occasion, so why not wow him with something new? An interactive toy will keep him occupied during long trips. The PetSafe Busy Buddy Barnacle is durable and has multiple holes for dispensing different-sized treats during play. Outward Hound has several great options as well. To ensure safety, take your pet's mode of transport into account. If your dog will be unattended, like in a carrier in the backseat of your car alone while you are behind the wheel, stay away from anything he might choke on, like bones or hooves.
Take plenty of breaks on the road. As a rule of thumb, humans usually need a break every two and a half hours on a road trip, and the same applies to your pet. It's also a good time to make sure he's still safe and content in his carrier and hasn't had any accidents. Try to visit a dog park to let Lassie stretch her legs. Many towns hold "yappy hours" at parks or restaurants where dog owners can socialize with each other and their pets.
Don't sedate your pet. It might seem like a good idea to give Max something to make him drowsy, but it can be harmful. We do not support tranquilizing or sedating your pet, especially for air travel, because cargo holds have different air pressurization and temperature than the cabin. Your pet needs all his faculties to handle that stress. When pets are over-sedated, there is no one to see your pet if something goes wrong. Never give your pet painkillers from his last surgery. Instead, ask your veterinarian for a prescription if your animal is very anxious or has other needs.
Know before you go. It may seem obvious, but we will say it anyway: abide by the rules. Find out if your canine hiking companion is welcome in the first place. Research the best places to take your dog hiking, and go online or call the ranger station associated with your hiking destination to find out if dogs are allowed on the trails there. Dogs are not allowed in most national parks except in designated areas, but are welcome in national forests. Check ahead to avoid disappointment. And never attempt to bring a dog on a trail that is clearly marked off-limits to dogs.
BLIGHT OF EVERY HIKER: THE RETRACTABLE DOG LEASH You have seen him coming - the dog at the end of an almost-invisible tether, nose to the ground, weaving back and forth across the trail at his own discretion ahead of his human. A dog on an expandable leash is out of control, a nuisance to oncoming hikers and dogs, and even the leash itself is a potential hazard. Add to this an inattentive human at the other end who realizes too late there is a situation brewing with another dog or hiker ahead, and there is potential for big trouble. This is why the non-retractable lead is imperative for hiking, and why so many trails and parks insist on it. Be considerate and play it safe: choose a conventional, non-retractable dog leash when you hike with your dog.
1. CHOOSE A DOG-FRIENDLY HIKING TRAIL Know the leash law for the trail you plan to hike, and honor it. Your dog must demonstrate excellent leash skills and exceptional recall. And choose the right kind of dog leash - some trails require a non-retractable lead, six or fewer feet in length. Your trail-worthy dog must be the model of exceptional dog obedience on his leash: A trail-worthy dog should be able to hike easily with a loose lead.
A trail-worthy dog should be able to hike at a true heel, at or slightly behind your knee.
A leash-yanking dog is not a trail-worthy dog: train him at home before you hike.
2. ABIDE BY THE LEASH LAW
3. YIELD TRAIL RIGHT-OF-WAY TO ALL OTHERS WHEN YOU HIKE WITH YOUR DOG Simply put, this means get your dog out of the way beyond the "sniffing" range of other hikers, horses, and cyclists. If your dog is off-leash, immediately leash him when you see them coming, step aside, and place him in a sit-stay on the other side of you until the other hikers or riders have passed. Choose a wide section of trail if possible, and if your dog is small enough, pick him up instead of allowing him to trample the underbrush.
Be advised many dogs enjoy giving chase to cyclists, even obedient dogs. Let yours know without fail he won't be chasing them reel him in and leash him when you see them coming. Oncoming bikers are required to yield to hikers, but often don't see them until it's too late. It's best to be proactive and get out of the way to avoid an accident. Exercise due diligence in dog encounters with horses - the average horse weighs around 1,200 pounds an irritating dog stands no chance with an animal this size. And horses can be spooked easily by unfamiliar dogs. You and your dog are obliged to get well out of the way; your dog must stay calm, quiet, and firmly under control. Move to the downhill side of the trail if possible, but if you must move uphill, try to crouch down low so you are not towering over the horses. Stay visible and speak in a normal tone of voice to the riders as they pass by to help keep the horses calm. Keep your dog close by your side until the horses have gone well past you.
4. TREAD GENTLY ON THE TRAIL WITH YOUR DOG Leave plants and wildlife undisturbed. Stick to the trail with your hiking dog to minimize his environmental impact: resist the urge to cut across trail switchbacks, otherwise take shortcuts, or blaze "new" trails, however tempting. If your final destination lies off-trail, make the most direct path to it in a line that is perpendicular to the trail. When you are hiking above the tree line, walk on rock as much as possible. Do not disturb wildlife, even if you want photos but can't get close enough. Allowing your dog to bark at wildlife on the trail can provoke an attack. And allowing your dog to chase wildlife can be deadly for your dog, and potentially yourself and other hikers. The best rule of thumb: leave all plant and animal life exactly as you found it for others behind you to enjoy.
5. PACK OUT THE DOGGY DOO It's a malodorous subject we can't sidestep: you are responsible for cleaning up your dog's waste nobody coming along after you wants to land in it. And while your individual dog's poop may not seem like a big deal to you, a busy trail can see stinky droppings from hundreds of dogs over the course of a single day. Leave No Trace principles apply to you and your dog - his waste contains pathogens that end up in rivers and lakes and can contaminate drinking water. The best practice is to bag his poop and carry it out - the only option in high, mountainous terrain, or bury it in a hole six to eight inches deep and 200 feet from water sources, depending on the trail rules where you are hiking.
LEAVE ONLY PAW PRINTS ON THE TRAIL, TAKE ONLY PICTURES. It's a beautiful sentiment, an excellent rule of thumb when you hike with your dog. Many a dog loves hiking with his human companion because of the closeness, to say nothing of the exotic smells he takes in over the course of the hike - by all means indulge in this enriching outdoor activity with your dog. But honor the posted dog rules and regulations when you hike with him, they are meant to protect the trails so they can be enjoyed forever, and to keep everybody safe. Let common sense and common courtesy define your dog's etiquette on the trail: set an example with your polite and seasoned canine hiking companion.
Having some basic knowledge of doggie first aid is a must if you plan on heading out into the backcountry. Their natural curiosity and endless stoke for fresh things to smell and new places to explore can lead them into some pickles that their doggie brains aren't able to anticipate. Make sure you pack a dog specific first aid kit, but the best course of action is to try and prevent things from going awry in the first place.
Keeping control of your dog Manage to control your pooch, this will help prevent potential mishaps like running into dangerous wildlife or having confrontations with other dogs.
Check for ticks at the end of every day. To minimise the chances of the tick transmitting diseases to your dog, they need to be removed within 24 hours of them latching onto your pup. Tick keys make extracting them really quick and easy.
Water = Life! Make sure your dog drinks plenty of water. It's really easy to miss the signs of dehydration as they will most likely be panting the whole time anyway. So get into the habit of giving your dog water whenever you have water. If you are hiking a long way then it's essential that the hike you choose has plenty of running water that you can filter, as carrying enough for both of your will be far too heavy.
STUDY TO STOP THE CANINE! BEFORE IT OVERHEATS... It's important to know when to stop. Over time you will learn to read the signs that your dog is giving you to tell you that he needs a break. But if you are not sure then keep an eye out for the following:
Slowed pace Lying down Tail down or tucked under Licking of paws
Some dogs just don't know when to stop and will keep going forever, regardless of how shattered they are. This might be OK for a day hike as they can chill out the day after. But on multi-day trips you need to help your dog pace himself.
Just as figuring out your own nutritional needs when hiking can take a bit of trial and error, so it is with your dog's diet. There is no right on wrong answer when it comes to correct nutrition for your dog out on the trail. Noone knows your dog's dietary needs like you do. But if you and your pup are new to long distance hiking then you will need a little direction on how much food to pack for your pup, and what sort of food is best. Dog food for hiking should ideally be:
Lightweight Packable in a container High calorie Easily digestible Not messy Delicious!
Here are a few things to consider when packing dog food and treats for day hikes and multi-day backpacking trips:
Dog Food Type Being out on the trail is not the time to try out new recipes and food combinations for your dog. That said, the type of food you usually feed your pup may not be totally suitable for carrying on the trail, or it may not provide adequate nutrition from a calorific point of view. If you are planning a long distance trek with your dog and need to change up his diet, be sure to transition over to the new menu a good few weeks before you head off. Opting for dried food that is high in meat proteins, fats and vegetables will provide higher calorie content per ounce than food that has a high cereal and grain content. And it will also provide better overall nutrition from a health point of view.
The Honest Kitchen dehydrated dog food This is superbly nutritions option for lightweight trail meals for your dog. Grain-free and packed full of meat, vegetables, vitamins and minerals. All you need to do is add water. Bingo!
Another really easy and healthy option for getting good quality calories on board. Each 4.4oz pack contains 500 calories of human-grade, grain-free goodness.
Dog Food Volume Every dog has different needs when it comes to how much food they will need when hiking, and it can be tricky to get right straight away. How many calories your dog will need will vary depending on:
Hike's Longevity The terrain The temperature The size of your dog Whether your dog is leashed or not How much your dog runs
And this is made even harder to judge if your dog is always on the lookout for food even when he is not hungry! Try out a few tough day hikes where you increase the volume of food by around 25-30% and see how your hound responds. Then try a two day hike on this amount with backup food and re-evaluate. Two days in a row of tough hiking will have a cumulative effect on your dog's energy levels and depending on how he gets on, you may need to increase the volume by 50 or even 100%.
Dog Treats Be sure to have some really yummy, nutritious and energy-filled dog treats at the ready to keep a spring in the step of your bounding hound!
Zuke's Lil' Links Dog Treats Filled with all natural ingredients, a 6oz pack of these meaty treats will give your pooch around 550 calories - 19.3 calories per treat. They are grain-free and available in lots of delicious flavours!
Hill's Science Diet Jerky Filled with all natural ingredients, a 6oz pack of these meaty treats will give your pooch around 550 calories - 19.3 calories per treat. They are grain-free and available in lots of delicious flavours!
Doggles Dog Glasses Presently, there's only one dog goggle manufacturer, and that's Doggles. Their goggles are equipped with shatterproof, anti-fog lenses that offer 100 percent UV protection for a dog's eyes, and the product has received veterinary approval. The company currently offers two styles of eyewear. This is the main line of the brand, and these goggles are similar to swimmer's goggles for people, although they are not waterproof. The lenses are set in plastic frames that fit snugly to a dog's face. Doggles.com also offers replacement lenses in clear and seven other colors.
Doggles K9 Optix Doggle's K9 Optix line is more fashionable than sporty. They look like sunglasses, and they don't fit the dog's eye snuggly like the goggles do. Even so, they still provide 100 percent UV protection, and some measure of protection against flying debris.All styles have shatterproof lenses, including
Copper paws lens - This pair is embellished with three tiny paw prints in the upper corner of the lens, well out of the dog's line of vision.
Pink frame and lens - This pair is embellished with a little rhinestone heart in the lower corner of one lens.
Silver frame and smoke lens - This pair bears the K9 Optix logo in the upper right corner of the lens, and the strap attachment is shaped like a dog bone.
It may seem like a wacky idea, but sunglasses and other types of eyewear for dogs have many uses besides the obvious style benefits.
Putting a pair of goggles on your pet may seem like just a fashion statement, and they do look cool. However, a good pair of goggles can also protect your pet's eyes from damaging UV rays and debris. They can even be beneficial for dogs that suffer from eye injuries or certain eye conditions.
Are sunglasses for dogs just what the doctor ordered?
But seriously: Is your dog walking into things all the time by accident or having a hard time finding his toy collection? Does your dog grimace or paw at his face when faced with the sun's bright yellow rays? Maybe you just have a style-conscious dog who likes to stay on top of what's cool in the fashion world. If you answered yes to any of those questions, then there is probably a pair of specs out there that will solve their problem!
Protective Dog Eye Wear
Eyewear for dogs can also be used to protect the eyes of dogs who like to ride in cars with their heads out the window, on motorcycles, or in truck beds. These fun-loving passengers can get pieces of dust and other foreign objects in their eyes when unshielded.
But with a cool pair of glasses or sunglasses, not only would Fido look awesome with his head out the window of your car just enjoying the breeze in his fancy new goggles, he would also be much safer as well.
Doggles are also used to protect military dogs in the Middle East from blowing sand, shield the eyes of search and rescue dogs like the ones who worked at Ground Zero after 9/11, and protect police dogs from environmental hazards. Many dogs wear Doggles while riding in cars, trucks or on motorcycles, whereas others wear them for fashion and fun. And, who can blame your dog to want to look as cool as he's? And the girls love him!
Once you have got the endurance levels of your pup up to a good level and you are both ready for a multi-day backpacking trip, all that you need to do is make sure you have the right dog backpacking gear.
LEASH The best leash for hiking with your dog. The type of leash you use for hiking and backpacking with dogs largely depends on your preference, and what works best for your dog. There are a few types to choose from:
DOG PACK Carrying food and water for your hound on top of all your own gear is less than ideal. And if at all possible, you will need to get Fido to pull his weight too. A good dog pack for backpacking should:
Fit snugly, but not tightly
Have good padding for comfort when carrying a load
Have easy access pockets and compartments
Distribute weight evenly on both sides of the pack
Have a handle on top to lift or hold your dog easily
Have a clip to attach a leash
Ideally be waterproof, especially in rainy or snowy conditions
Ideally have some reflectors for hiking in low light or when visibility is limited
DOG HIKING BOOTS If you are hiking in cold weather, or your pup's paws are susceptible to cuts and grazes, doggie booties will really help to keep him going for longer. He will probably hate them to start with, so make sure you trial them on short trips first. It may be that you just take the booties with you to use as and when they are needed - that extra bit of protection at the end of a long day will be a big relief for your pooch's paw pads.
Ruffwear booties With Vibram soles these Ruffwear Grip Trex All-Terrain Paw Wear for dogs ensures maximum protection for your pup's paws on rough terrain. The uppers are made from a breathable mesh to minimise discomfort and a restrictive feel.
MybusyDog booties My Busy Dog Water Resistant Dog Shoes! Available in 8 different sizes, this 4 pack of water resistant dog booties is ideal when hiking with your pup in cold and wet conditions. They have fully waterproof soles that are super grippy and hard-wearing.
OTHER DOG BACKPACKING GEAR Your hiking doggie will also need a few other things to help every minute in the wild be the best minute of your pups life! Keep Fido comfortable, safe and warm and you will be in for a wonderful trip.
LEAVE NO TRACE! It would be easy to think that the Leave No Trace Principles don't apply to animals. But they absolutely do. And if you are in charge of an animal in the wild then some of the principles apply even more. The main things to remember when hiking and backpacking with dogs are:
Poop disposal On day hikes dog poop should be carried out. Double bag if you have to! And on multi-day trips, poop disposal should be treated as if it were human waste — bury it in a deep hole away from water sources and trails.
Respect wildlife Keeping your dog on the trail is the easiest way to respect the wildlife you are hiking with and through. And even if you know your pup just ain't fast enough to catch that scampering rabbit, it doesn't make it OK to frighten the living bajingles out of it just for a giggle.
Be considerate of other visitors Remember than not all hikers and trail users love dogs as much as you do. And some are actually very scared of dogs. So be sure to keep control of your hairy hound and always yield to passing foot traffic.
Doggie PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices) Not all dogs are natural swimmers, which is why a PFD - "life jacket" can make sense. There are a couple of main considerations for shoppers: Type of activity: Heavy-duty models are meant for whitewater environments or rivers; others are designed for recreation on still lakes. There are even jackets that help your dog learn how to swim or provide assistance when they tire themselves out. Amount of buoyancy: This is based on the size of your dog.
PFD Features and Fit The key PFD necessities are proper fit and great visibility. Sizes are based primarily ony a dog's girth measurement, which is the widest part of the rib cage. It should be snug, so that it does not slip off, but loose enough so as not to restrict your dog's mobility. Visibility comes into play by making certain that you, as well as those driving boats and paddling, can see your dog. So, though you think Buffy looks her best in deep purple, it may not be the best from a safety perspective. A handle, just like the one on my backpack, is something that is imperative on a PFD. Once Kiwi got a little too excited while we were paddling on the lower portion of the Gully River in West Virginia, and she hopped out while we were running through a slow-moving stretch. I was easily able to grab her from up top and help her get back into the boat with ease. The Coast Guard does not currently approve canine life jackets, so it’s best to do your research and splurge on a well-known brand. Though chain pet stores have a less expensive selection of generic life jackets, it's definitely worth spending a little more to ensure your dog's safety if you are planning on frequenting the water with your friend. It should last you a long time.
Without a doubt, dogs would much rather travel with their owners then be left at home for the day. Of all pets, dogs in particular have a social nature that makes them the ideal companion to take with you wherever your day takes you. Dog and puppy backpack carries are the best way to include your pet in all of your adventures, whether going on a hike or a shopping trip to the local mall.
They keep your pet safe, and provide him or her with a sense of security. In addition the best dog backpack carriers make it much easier for you, the pet owner because they give you a hands free way of carrying your furry baby along with toys, and other accessories that you will need for a day of fun. Choosing the best dog backpack carrier is not only about ease of use. They play a key role in making certain that your dog is comfortable and safe.
It's not the only gear your hiking buddy needs, but it truly separates going on a walk from going on a hike. And while your inner backpacker can't help but fuss over features and design, getting the fit right and getting your dog accustomed to the pack are your most important tasks. One feature that's worth drooling over, though, is a top handle to keep your dog close during trail encounters and creek crossings.
2. AerWo Dog Pet Carrier Portable Outdoor Travel Backpack The AerWo Dog Cat Pet Carrier Portable Outdoor Travel Backpack is made from a high quality sandwich mesh fabric that is both environmentally friendly and protects against pungent smells. The contraction rope design can be changed from 3 cm to 15 cm depending on your dog's head size. Additional features include a buckle on strap to provide a more convenient way to carry while lightening the weight on your shoulder. Connects directly to your dog's collar preventing your four-legged friend from getting out.
3. Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack The Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack features extremely spacious saddlebag compartments to store your dog's favorite things. Includes mesh pockets for additional storage, strong zippers that will not break, and an adjustable harness for the perfect fit. The reflective accents increase your visibility when hiking in the wild. Other features include interior pockets, and an elastic water bottle holder. Made from a strong nylon material, this pack will stand the test of time while you and your pet are on the go.
4. Vere Gloria Dog Carrier The Vere Gloria Dog Carrier was designed to hold dogs weighing up to a maximum of sixteen-pounds. It is made from a soft yet sturdy canvas material that is comfortable and safe to wear. The lightweight fabric is breathable and only weighs in at eight ounces. Velcro, zipper, and elastic side openings hold your pet in safe and securely. There is an additional interior lock that attached to your dog's collar for additional safety.
5. Ruffwear Singletrak Backpack for Dogs Medium, Cloudburst Gray The Ruffwear Singletrak Backpack for Pets has low profile saddlebags that ride close to the body allowing your dog the agility he or she deserves. Two soft-sided 0.6L collapsible water bottles that are BPA free are included. Customizable fit with five points of adjustment allow for a full range of motion for making it more comfortable for you. Other features include a foam padded chest and belly straps. Fits dogs that have a girth of 22-27 inches.
6. Outward Hound DayPak The Outward Hound DayPak Dog Backpack Adjustable Saddlebag Style Dog Accessory is the perfect device for the day tripping dog lover. This pack allows you to comfortably carry your four-legged friend and all the accessories you need for a day out. Made from lightweight materials featuring a saddlebag style design, it is perfect for errands or quick trips with your dog. Four expandable pockets provide for additional storage space. Keeps your dog safe and sound on any adventure.
7. Cade Outdoor Hiking Camping Training Adjustable Dog Saddle-harness Bag Large Capacity Dog Backpack with Reflective Stripe The Cade Outdoor Hiking Camping Training Adjustable Dog Saddle-harness Bag has convenient pockets for carry food, water, and gear for you and your dog wherever the sense of adventure takes you. Stylish, lightweight, and washable, this backpack is made from materials that are strong and breathable. Extra comfort for your dog is provided by the inner sandwich air net. Added safety features include a bright stripe so you can be seen at night.
8. Lovely Baby Front & Back Pack Durable Breathable Comfortable Dog Carrier The Lovely Baby Front & Back Pack Durable Breathable Comfortable Dog Carrier is the perfect choice for carrying around your small dog. Made from an extremely breathable canvas and mesh materials, this pack is lightweight, weighing in at only eight ounces. It allows you to walk your pet hands free. Additional features include a waist self adjusting buckle, adjustable pet neck circumference, and pet safe hook and loop closures to keep your pet safe and secure. The shoulder strap is adjustable to provide you with even more comfort.
9. Tough Traveler Double-Decker Comfort Dog Backpack The Tough Traveler Double-Decker Comfort Dog Backpack is a solid bottom backpack that contains mesh windows for breath ability. This pack is exceptionally comfortable to wear with thick shoulder straps, a padded waist belt, an internal mini-frame, and lift control. A lightweight platform separates the upper and lower deck so that your pet can rest comfortably in the top section, and you can carry his or her accessories in the bottom section.
10. K&H Pet Products Comfy Go Backpack Carrier Purple/Black/Lime The K&H Pet Products Comfy Go Backpack Carrier keeps your dog comfortable while you are on the go. Mesh windows allows your pet to see what is going on around him or her when in the backpack. This amazing carrier easily breaks down for quick storage. Speaking of which, a storage bag is included.
This carrier is made of polyester material and has soft-side frame to make it durable and it will withstand scratching. It is convenience to go out and it will protect your pet. The mesh design is ideal for ventilation as well as visibility. The zippered top entry is ideal for easy access and the mesh side pocket is handy for storing snacks, water, treats and other necessities. With EPE foam padded back and sides, this backpack will help your dog enjoy a nice nap.
12. Original Dog Carrier Backpack Pet Legs Out Front Backpack/Pet Carrier/Bag If you have small dog and want cool thing with him, then this is what has been designed for you. You can on afternoon hikes, evening walks around the city, early morning bike rides and everything in-between. Some of the features of this dog carrier are side ventilation to keep your pet cool, waterproof material making it suitable when thing get little tough. The bottom padding will give you dog extra comfort and the side pocket will be handy for water bottle or snacks. The adjustable strap will accommodate your dog.
13. PoochPouch Front Carrier This front carrier will keep your up safe as well as comfortable. It will make carrying your dog safe and comfortable and easier when you are on the go. The padded straps, back and pouch bottom will create comfort you and your pet. The nylon fabric is water resistant and it is soft and durable. The safety harness attachment and drawstring top will give you added security while the mesh sides will keep your dog cool. If you have 15 pounds dogs, then this carrier if yours!
14. Becko Dog Cat Pet Carrier This is one of the coolest pet carriers with removable bottom cover to make cleaning easier. The adjustable padded straps will help reduce the burden while the extendable strap with buckle will keep your backpack stable. The mesh side pockets will enable you store leash, snacks, whistle, treats, water and more. It is made of polyester material and it can withstand scratches and enable you carry your pet safe and comfortable. This is the backpack which is durable and waterproof suitable for your pet while enjoy early morning bike rides.
15. Becko Dog Cat Pet Carrier This is a fashionable backpack which is suitable for carrying your cat or dog around in comfort and style. It has strip pattern and made of cotton canvas. It will let your dog luxuriate in a soothing stroll and keep your hands free. The adjustable shoulder strap will make your backpack accommodate your pet and the infant-style design will make this carrier perfect choice for toting around your small-sized pets. It has self-fastening hook and loop closure which will guarantee safe transport and give you peace of mind while riding with your pet.
16. Hands-free Reversible Small Dog This is a perfect combination of style as well as convenient. It will take your pet strolling with you and when it is not in use, it stays flat. The soft cotton fabric and polyester is machine washable and waterproof. The external security hasp will prevent your pet from jumping out and the double sided usable design will hold your pet up to twelve pounds during your everyday walk and weekend adventure. This is the backpack for you and you can loops over your shoulder to keep your pet secure and comfortable.
17. Pet Gear Escort Roller Backpack This backpack has telescoping handle with wheels and it can function as a rolling case and you can use it as backpack, carrier, tote, or car seat and it will meet most airline travel regulations. It comes with removable pad to make washing easy and the tether will secure your animal. It features extendable sides to provide additional space and enable you travel with your pet with peace of mind. This stuff will support the weight of your pet, just try it for yourself!
18. Reversible Pet Sling Carrier This pet sling carrier will hold your dog easily and the safety collar hook will ensure that your pet is safe and secure always. It features reversible design to make the bag convenient and looks greater inside/outside. The bag will easily tote your pet during traveling with little effort and you will love the hands-free design. It has soft cotton cloth material to keep your pet relaxed comfortable. The material is machine washable and this will make your dog's bag look new each day.
19. Dogs Carriers Backpack The thick padded will make this backpack easy to carry while the mesh window will keep your pet safe, and he will get proper ventilation and also visibility. The shoulder straps are adjustable and sturdy and the grip handle is comfortable, it has waist and chest strap to make it easier to carry. You pet will luxuriate in front and top entrance and the soft fleece mat is comfortable for your pet. With this backpack, you can take your pet everywhere like national parks as you wish with comfort and safety.
20. Travel Front Backpack If you love your pet and wish to take him to national park, then let this backpack be your number one choice. It features fashionable design and it will let you carry your pet in comfort and style. The infant style design will make this backpack excellent choice for totting smaller-sized pets. The adjustable shoulder strap will accommodate your pet and it will let your pet luxuriate in a soothing stroll and keep you hands-free. It has self-fastening hook and loop closure which will guarantee safe transport.
A dog's foot pads are composed of several layers of keratin, a harder form of skin cells. You can actually build up the toughness of your dog's pads. If you have a big trip or hike planned you can treat your dog's pads in the weeks before with a product called Pad-Tough. It is a botanical product with aloe and comfrey. It comes in a spray form and simply coat your dog's paw pads liberally before any rigorous activity. A four-ounce bottle cost s between $10 and $15. Even so, cracks in your dog's foot armor can appear. Two of the best things to carry in your pack are an antibiotic ointment and gauze. Use the ointment to protect any exposed area from a cut or scrape and use the gauze to prevent your dog from licking the area.
If you are pulling out your clunky snow shoes, it's safe to say your dog probably needs the same. Enter Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots, which are made with the toughest element-resistant material that's just tacky enough to keep the boots from sliding around slippery floors or ice. With Velcro straps that ensure a perfectly snug fit and extra cushioning, these booties are perfect for a full day of activities. Available in both red and black, this four-pack of booties comes in six sizes and will stand the test of time.
DOG EXTREME HIKING BOOTS
If you love hiking - why not take your dog along with you? Sure, it's easy to hit the trails and go, but you wouldn't want to walk through them barefoot, would you? So it may not be a bad idea to invest in a pair of the best dog boots for hiking. With a good pair of hiking boots for your dog, he gets his feet protected, and he can go for miles alongside you.
The boots will help protect your dog's feet from painful cuts and scratches, which is especially important if he is an indoor dog most of the week. Shopping for hiking boots for your dog will take time, as the right pair of boots depends on how often you'll go hiking, and the type of terrain you will be dealing with on the hike.
If you are pulling out your clunky snow shoes, it's safe to say your dog probably needs the same. Enter Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots, which are made with the toughest element-resistant material that's just tacky enough to keep the boots from sliding around slippery floors or ice. With Velcro straps that ensure a perfectly snug fit and extra cushioning, these booties are perfect for a full day of activities. Available in both red and black, this four-pack of booties comes in six sizes and will stand the test of time.
DOG OUTDOOR BOOTS
Do you have an active outdoor dog that you take hiking, running, hunting, or biking with you? An ideal approach to protect your dog's paws from outdoor dangers is to use sturdy dog boots made especially for rough outdoor conditions. There are a number of bad things that can happen to a dog's sensitive pads and the areas between them. It is possible that the pads can sustain cuts or even wear out if you take your dog hiking on slippery, rocky mountain trails or sprinting on hard pavement. Dog boots can provide extra protection against all of these hazards.
Protection and ventilation! Protect your dog's feet with breathable dog sandals. Dogs too enjoy warm weather,but as you need shoes,they need them aswell. Summer heat glazes upon sand and pavement. You don't want to put your bare foot on them,why would your pooch? Protect your dog from burning and prevent irritating grass allergies. Dog sandals are great for protection while letting the paws breathe. They are also plain cute. Add a set of adorable dog sandals to your dog's footwear collection and enjoy the summer heat!
Why my pooch needs dog sandals? If your dog is adorable and you enjoy taking pictures with her,then cute dog sandals definately spice up the whole scenery. But not only are sandals great to look at, they are also very useful and important. Dog sandals provide the following:
Protection to feet. Hot sand, cement and pavement are real paw hurters.
Traction. Antislip function of the dog sandals really help keep her from slipping.
Protection from injury. Broken glass, nails, chemicals etc. are real health risks for any dog. Avoid them.
Keeps paws clean. No more you have to clean after your dog's muddy or sandy footprints.
DOG WINTER BOOTS
In colder months, winter dog booties alsohappy dog wearing snow boots come in handy. Snow can build up in the hair between your dog's paws, and if it turns to ice it can cut the webbing between their toes or scrape those sensitive pads. To shield them from this and also keep them from slipping on the ice, utilize a strong pair of dog shoes with rubber soles.
RUBBER DOG BOOTIES Rubber dog booties are among the best kinds of boots that you can get for your beloved pet. These types of shoes offer superior protection and will keep your dog's feet the driest. These snow shoes are very flexible and will stay on your pet's feet, which ensures proper protection. Rubber dog booties prevent furniture and carpet stains and are perfect for pets with allergies. One good example of a rubber dog shoes is the reusable, waterproof Pawz WaterProof Dog Boot which offers protection from hot surfaces, ice, snow and salt.
These booties also helps with traction control and allergies. Rubber dog shoes are very affordable compared to other types of shoes and usually comes in a lot of cute designs and colors. There are also ideal if your pooch is nursing a sprain or injury.
LEATHER DOG SHOES Leather style dog winter shoes are made from natural leather and will keep your pooch warm. These booties are normally light weight and come in non-Sweating, non-chafing designs with cozy fleece lining. Leather dog shoes are designed to ensure extra comfort and proper gait, which makes them tough enough for rough or jagged terrains, sharp debris and working animals. Some of these shoes comes with adjustable, self-fastening straps to ensure that the boots stay fit and secure.
NYLON DOG SHOES Nylon is another popular type of material that is used to make winter dog booties. These snow shoes are comfortable, warm and will protect your canine friend from the cold and rough surfaces. Apart from providing protection for your dog's paws, nylon booties offer flexibility when your dog is walking or playing. The Army Camouflage Pet Winter Protective Boots Dog Shoes with Velcro straps and zippers is another wonderful kind of winter dog booties for your pup. These snow shoes are comfortable to wear and easy to put on or remove.
To protect your dog's feet from blazing hot asphalt and cement during summer months, use dog booties. Remembering what it feels like when you go without shoes on the hot sand or pool deck will make you appreciate how the heat might hurt your dog's paws. Lightweight sandals can make his summertime walks much more comfortable, and pool and water shoes help protect pool liners from tears along with providing nonslip protection on wet.
DOG-FRIENDLY HIKING TRAILS ROUTES, MAPS & DIRECTIONS TO HIKE WITH YOUR DOG This article is proudly presented by WWW.DOGICA.COM
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