Hiking with your dog can be a lot of fun, there is nothing like the feeling of the freedom of the trail for you and your canine. If you enjoy the walk, imagine just how great it must be for your dog, with all those smells to be sniffed; pure heaven.
However, in order to make it a safe and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog, it is vital that you have some key equipment with you.
1. Water & Food
Always make sure you have sufficient water with you. There are some very cool water bottles available now that have a built in bowl section, and these can be handy even on fairly short walks. You can also get bowls that fold down and can be squeezed into very small spaces such as a backpack or a pocket.
For longer walks or hikes it is even worth considering taking some emergency backup water, which could be carried with you, or left at your base vehicle.
Just as important as water is enough food for your dog. Depending on the distance you are intending to cover, he is going to need to keep his energy up, just as you are. Again a travel bowl is great for serving your pup’s supper.
2. Dog Leash
Even for the most obedient dog always have a leash with you so that you can have full control over him amongst people, traffic and other livestock. There will be some places where you will be required to keep your dog on a leash and this is to protect both you, your dog and others.
3. First Aid
Hopefully nothing will go wrong whilst you are out on your travels, but the unexpected can always happen and that’s why it is important to have some canine First Aid to hand. A small kit carried with you will put your mind at rest and can be priceless in certain circumstances. The treatment given immediately after an injury or accident can have a huge impact on your dog’s long term recovery or even survival. Not a nice topic to think about I know, but a reason why a first aid kit is so important.
4. High Visibility Dog Coat
It is important to make sure that your dog is highly visible, both to you and to other pedestrians and vehicle drivers. A dog wearing a high visibility jacket is not only safer at night but also warm against any night chills. He also looks super cute and what could be a better reason than that.
5. Canine Backpacks
A smart owner by this time will be saying, well that’s all very well, but geez do I really have to carry all this stuff? Well no you don’t, Fido can carry much of his own equipment in one of the very cool canine backpacks that are now available. Not only will your dog enjoy the attention that this brings to him, but you will enjoy the fact that your bag is just a little bit lighter.
That sums up the key equipment components of a safe long walk or hike for you and your dog. Of course much as it’s important to make sure that your dog is safe, don’t forget that you need to be safe as well. Water, food, visibility, the ability to contact someone in an emergency and first aid are all vital components for you too… the leash, not so much 😉 Enjoy the trail.