Bring your dog hiking!

This is kind of just a blog update on how Rich and I are doing, but we still wanted to share with you all. Our families each own dogs, but it has never really come to our attention to bring them outdoors until recently (around a year or two ago). We used to always just leave a sitter with the dogs for a few days while we’re out doing whatever it is we’re doing, from mountain biking to hiking a rigorous trail to camping. But since that first day we brought the two dogs along, the kids have enjoyed it, we’ve enjoyed it, and the dogs had a lot more fun than staying at home. My goodness, it is quite the experience. We have brought the dogs to trips on mountain hikes and even when we go biking along some bike trails. Especially while camping, it gives a new element to the experience since in addition to having that feeling of surviving in the outdoors, you also have to take care of your pet. So below are some pointers we’d like you to know before you seek out that new adventure, as well as some pictures of our beautiful pets in the wild.

Prepare a variety of food

For this we just carried a duffel bag specifically for storing all the food our dogs would need. This included wet canned foods and dry pebble food. Also, their favorite dog bowls to eat in should be carried so they feel comfortable eating the food even when the environment is foreign to them. By the way, you need to plan rations to last at least 1.5 to 2 times your expected trip duration. This is because there could be delays in traffic or just a change of plan. You want to prepare for those, especially since they come up pretty frequently and having a hungry pet is always a hassle. Besides, the extra food really shouldn’t be too cumbersome to carry, especially if you have a car.

Here is just a small checklist of potential items to bring:

  • Wet, canned foods
  • Dry food to mix it up during your trip
  • Manual can opener
  • A bone treat or toy

Bring a leash, regardless of if your dog is trained

Yes, even if your dog is trained to be without a leash, I recommend bringing a leash anyway. Why? Because I have heard some disastrous tales of people’s dogs unfortunately straying away from them and being lost out in the wild. It terrifies me just to think of it. Obviously if your dog is trained, you don’t need to put the leash on through the duration of the trip, but keep it with you in case you encounter some hard-to-navigate areas throughout your trek.

Beautiful Terry, our dog, on a hike with us

Terry is trained, but I leashed him up on this specific hike.

Concern yourself with weather, wind, etc.

Wherever you are going, you want to be sure you and your pet will be comfortable in that weather. The first time we went hiking, there was some snowy terrain and we forgot pet warmers for the dogs. Thankfully there skins were thick as they are pretty large dogs, but I still recommend bringing some sort of clothing for your dog. They look great in them anyway and make for perfectly cute photos!

Have an emergency call out plan in case the unfortunate happens

It’s tough to think about, but if the rare occasion happens that you cannot find your pet, you should have an emergency plan. Terry, my dog pictured above, is trained to respond to my coo wherever he is. He barks if he can hear me coo twice. The emergency plan does not have to be a call out either. Dogs have a keen sense of smell, so leaving a familiar scent nearby to the last location you saw him or her can lure them back to you. This scented item could be a jacket you wear and your dog is familiar with or even a small treat. If you don’t have these, a bowl of water can attract your dog while you look for him or her.

Hiking dogs!

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