Hiking with Man’s Best Friend (Guest Blog)
Does this look like fun?
The guy and dogs in this historic photo are obviously hiking pros. I’m not, although I wish my current existence allowed more time for hitting the wilderness with a dog or three in tow. Today’s guest post is about hiking with your dog and what supplies you may want to take with you.
Hiking with Man’s Best Friend
Going on a camping trip to do some hiking? Bring man’s best friend along. Not only is hiking good exercise for you, it’s good for your dog too!
To make sure these adventures are fun for both owner and dog, there are certain items that a pet will need to ensure its comfort and well-being while out on a trek.
A portable water bowl is a must, even on short trips. Many experienced travelers prefer compact, soft-sided nylon versions that fold down when not in use and can be stored in their vehicles. These nylon bowls also typically feature a drawstring at the top, so that water or food can be carried with little or no spillage.
There are several nice portable water bowl versions available from brands such as REI. Although REI has great prices, wise shoppers should always check for an REI coupon code that can help them save even more money.
While some backpackers may think that it is perfectly natural for their dogs to drink water from a lake or creek while out hiking, it can actually have deadly consequences. There are certain bacteria and parasites that live in what looks like pristine water that can kill a dog if it ingests them. It is always advisable when out camping to carry fresh water or sterilize any water a pet drinks.
Owners who plan on doing a lot of camping with their pooches should consider investing in a doggie backpack. With these nifty little devices, Fido can pack in and out his own needs.
If a hike is going to be long or is going to cover rough terrain, some owners will outfit their canines in dog boots. If an owner is unsure of the terrain or of the dog’s ability to handle long treks, he may want to carry a set of doggie boots in his backpack just in case a need arises for them.
Pet owners who will plan on camping overnight in chilly conditions may want to consider packing in a dog tent, especially if they own a particularly large or restless animal. Another thing your dog may need is an inflatable dog bed, especially if the ground is rocky. Depending on how cold the conditions are, some dogs may require a small sleeping bag, although some campers prefer to pack in a two-person bag and let their dogs sleep with them.
No matter how well mannered a dog is, it should always stay on a leash while on a hike or during a camping trip. While this may seem to go against the natural feeling of a camping trip, a loose dog can end up chasing a wild animal or get hurt, or end up killing or injuring the other creature. In addition, a dog may not be able to find its way back to its owner.
If a trail is particularly technical, it may even be best to have the dog in a harness. It is often easier to hoist a dog up and over obstacles or through difficult situations by picking it up by the harness.
Camping and hiking are great ways to bond with your dog. Being prepared with the right equipment to take on all that nature has to throw at you and your furry friend will ensure that your hike is not only a fun one, but a safe one, as well.
Guest blogger Lisa enjoys the outdoors with her pooch, Ralph. When she gets spare time she also likes to volunteer with the local no-kill animal shelter.
Readers: Do you hike or camp with your dog? What are your must-have supplies when heading into the back country?
The KC Pittie Pack tends to do more walking than hiking, but at least twice a month we do take a group of dogs for an on-leash adventure in nature (or at least nature in the city). If you live in Kansas City and want to join us, head to our Meetup page.
Posted on August 11, 2012, in Dogs, Dogtography, Random Life and tagged collapsible dog water bowl, doggie backpacks, environment, hiking with dogs, nature, outdoors, what to take on a hiking trip with dogs. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.