5 Items You Need to Pack on Your First Hike With Your Dog
We are so excited to announce that we have the below guest article from Pet Life Today. They are a wonderful source of information for all things dog related, so be sure to check out their website.
So, you’re thinking of going on a hiking trip with your dog? In between planning a route, putting together your day pack, and preparing hiking equipment, you may not have gotten around to packing some essential items for your dog as well.
Your fluffy companion also requires certain items to ensure their hiking experience is just as fun, safe, and rewarding as yours.
If you don’t know what items they need, don’t worry, we have you covered! Here are 5 items which should make sure to pack for your dog on your next hiking adventure.
1. A Strong Leash
A leash may seem like an obvious recommendation, however, notice that we specified a strong one. Chances are, that while the leash you use now is perfectly suitable for day-to-day walking of your dog, it isn’t suitable for the particular conditions and considerations which come with hiking.
So, before you set off on your hike, make sure to buy a leash that is both strong and durable. As you’ll notice when you shop around, there are no shortage of models to choose from. However, we can’t help but recommend Embark Pet’s newest offering, the Sierra Leash. The Sierra is the ideal leash for hiking and other adventurous activities, as it is “made from real mountain climbing rope and built to stand against the test of nature, jerks, scrapes, dirt, and whatever else you can throw at it.”
2. Dutiful Dog Booties
Dog Booties, contrary to what many people believe, aren’t just for winter hikes. They are no doubt a must-pack item during the winter time, as they protect your dog’s paws from the harsh weather and ice buildup, as well as prevent slippings. But they also handy to put on your dog (or at least pack in your dog backpack) whatever time of year you’re hiking!
If your dog has sensitive paws, dog booties will help shield them from cuts and abrasions. In addition, as Modern Dog points out, dog booties will protect from hiking hazards like “heat, snow, allergens, irritants like ice and salt, and sharp rocks.” If you don’t want to buy a pair, you can even try making your own dog booties, or use special wax to make sure your dog’s paws are fully protected.
3. Tasty Treats
When you’re busy preparing snacks to sustain you through your hike, don’t forget to pack some for your dog as well! Just like you would struggle a bit without a bit of extra sustenance, dogs also need treats to keep them physically and mentally alert.
Giving your dog delicious and healthy treats is important for a number of reasons. Treats will encourage them to be on their best behavior, which is obviously particularly crucial when hiking. They also help give your dog a nice pick me up when they’re feeling a bit sluggish by helping maintain their blood sugar levels. Just also remember to bring some water to keep your dog hydrated – and of course their regular meal if you won’t be back by lunch!
4. A First Aid Kit & Pet Insurance
Pet insurance is one of those things that you don’t ever imagine you’ll need... until you do. No dog owner wants to think about their dog one day falling ill or suffering from an injury. However, when it does happen, you’ll no doubt be thankful that you took the time to invest in pet insurance.
As you can’t predict when your dog will need veterinary care, it’s always best to take a “better safe than sorry” approach when it comes to purchasing pet insurance. That being said, taking your dog hiking does expose them to particular risks. For minor injuries, you can probably treat your dog with a first aid kit specially designed for dogs, with items like eye wash, stretchy bandages, and Benadryl. Having both of these precautionary measures in place will help ensure the continued health and safety of your beloved pooch.
5. A Reliable Dog Backpack
Dog backpacks will prove to be an invaluable item when hiking with your dog. Not only will they make for a more comfortable and relaxing day for your dog (and you!), they can also perform a number of additional useful duties if you buy a multifunctional one. Many dog backpacks are so ingeniously designed that they can transform into a shoulder carrier, stroller, car seat, and more!
Dog backpacks come in all shapes and sizes – so make sure you choose one that best supports your particular needs. You’ll need to pack it with items we’ve mentioned in this article like food, water, treats, and your doggy first aid kit, as well as food bowls and even some of your own gear. As Pet Life Today recommends in their roundup of the best dog backpacks, it is of utmost importance that you “properly measure your pup: weight, chest circumference, full length (not including the tail), and shoulder height, among other possible measurements,” and carefully check these against the requirements of each carrier.