12 tips for mountain travel with the dog

7 July 2022


Hiking in the mountains is adventurous, especially when done with a four-legged buddy. Dogs love the wilderness like most animals, most of which are happy in nature. Living in a house may not allow the full experience of being outside in nature, so it is a great idea to travel up a mountain with the dog in tow. Here are a few tips to follow to ensure it is safe for both owners and dogs.

  1. Training beforehand

Taking a dog on a long hike suddenly is a terrible idea, as the dog also needs to build its stamina. A dog that lives in an apartment especially is not very active, and a burst of activity can be dangerous for them. Hence, it’s best to start by taking the dog on small trails to get it accustomed to trail walking before going on a longer hike. Owners must also work on their fitness, as it’s necessary to be prepared to carry the dog if anything goes wrong.

  1. Breed considerations

Hikes can get tough, and smaller breeds of dog may not be fit for the hike. Toy and mini breeds especially should not be put through that much physical activity. Dog lovers who still wish to take their small dogs on the hike can get a dog-carrying pack to carry them, as it will not be able to walk the entire trail. It’s worth learning about various dog breeds and doodles from WeLoveDoodles.com before planning the hike.

  1. Suitable trails

Not all trails are safe for dogs, and it is not a good idea to hike without having the relevant information. Luckily, the Internet has all the information anyone needs, so it should be easy to find a suitable and safe hike trail for the dog to go along.

  1. Walk safety

There might be a few areas where it’s preferable to keep the dog on a lead for its safety, so it’s important to ensure that they are trained to walk well and not pull on the lead, or else it may cause the owner to lose balance as the terrain might be uneven. So it’s only safe to take a dog up the hill if it is well trained for walking on the lead and understands the command “heel”.

  1. Off-lead walking

The best part of taking a dog out in nature is that it’s possible to give them enough off-leash time. Owners must train their dogs to stay near when they go off-lead, or else they may get lost in the wild. While off-lead walking if fun, it is dangerous if the dog wanders off. Hence, it’s imperative to make sure to practise in a controlled environment before trying it out in the wild. Those who are not confident to let the do go off-lead can carry a long lead instead, giving the dog some independence and enough control when in need.

  1. Good recall

When a dog is allowed to go off-leash, it needs to be taught a few commands, such as a good recall, to ensure that it comes back immediately if the owner senses any danger. If the dog is not good at taking recall commands, then it is really risky to let it go off-lead, especially if it’s an escape artist. Dogs are fast, and it may not be feasible to catch up with them quickly enough, so it’s better to make the proper judgment to ensure furry friends are safe.

  1. Hygiene

Just because walkers are in nature does not mean it’s ok to let a dog make a mess and leave it behind. No one likes to see dog poop on a hiking trail; it’s necessary to pick up if any dog mess, wherever it is. Owners should take along multiple bags and dispose of them correctly.

  1. Appropriate insulation

When climbing a mountain when the temperature is low, it’s not only the owner who needs to stay warm. Based on a dog’s breed, it’s necessary to decide if it needs to wear a jacket. Those who own breeds like huskies and St Bernards have nothing to worry about as they are meant to live in cold places, but breeds like retrievers, poodles or greyhounds need extra clothing layers and possibly boots to keep them warm.

  1. Regular breaks

Just like humans, dogs also needs breaks along the way. It’s necessary to take regular rest time so both walkers can rest and regain some lost energy. Of course, drinking plenty of water is paramount. If the dog seems exhausted already and can’t be carried, it’s probably time to consider the climb down for the dog’s wellbeing.

  1. Enough water

Water is essential, as the dog will feel thirsty, just like its owner, so hikers will have to carry a lot of it along. A collapsible dog bowl is an excellent investment that can be converted into a drinking container to give the dog enough water. A backpack for the dog can be a good idea too, so it can also carry some things so there are fewer items for the owner to tote.

  1. Food and treats

Hikers must also pack their dogs’ favourite treats to feed it when taking breaks. Just like people carry protein bars, these treats will give the dog a burst of energy, making it easier to climb the hill. Also, if the dog wanders off a little too far, these treats can be used to recall the dog and reward it so that it stays closer.

  1. Weather

Learning a bit about the weather forecast is essential for everyone’s safety, so it’s worth being informed of what to expect. If the weather is too harsh, it’s probably best to avoid the entire hiking plan altogether.

Just a few additional precautions and preparations can make the entire hike enjoyable for people and furry friends alike.

The editorial unit


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