Top Tips For Hiking Or Long Walks With Your Dog This Winter
Summer is coming to an end and the cold winter chills are swiftly approaching. The winter can be a tough time for us as well as our pooches and as we know dogs take a bit longer for their body temperature if they have a thick dog coat on.
Hiking is a great activity for us all and its something dogs love! Always make sure you take into consideration the area where you are hiking and if it is a safe environment for you and your dog. A secure and safe harness is the prefect addition for the winter breaks, weekend hiking days or everyday dog walks.
Plan your hike
Depending on where you go, hiking can be dangerous and the risk of falling or getting stuck can be very real. For particularly rocky or mountainous areas, dogs are often at risk of cutting paws on sharp stones or getting grit in their eye, so make sure you’re prepared for the type of terrain you’re walking on. New routes can be particularly exciting for dogs and they can very easily get lost if not watched properly, making sure your dog is microchipped and your information is up to date is always advised.
Have a look at our Ruffwear Webmaster Dog Harness that is perfect for the hiking occasion as it comes with a strap on the top so you are able to lift your dog up if the jump up or down is too much for them. Or if you are a regular hiker with your pooch and want that little bit of extra protection then why not look at our Ruffwear WebMaster Pro Dog Harness, They retain their function in snow, ice and dirty environments which is great for the seasoned traveller!
It sounds obvious, but adequate shade on a hike is always something to be mindful of. A lack of shade that your dog can rest in can put them at risk of overheating. Dogs perspire by panting and through their paws because their fur prevents them from sweating efficiently, and so a long period without shade or water in high temperatures could put them at risk of heatstroke. If there aren’t any shady areas on your hike but you still want to take your pooch, consider taking an umbrella or blanket that you can drape over something as a make-shift sun block.
Take plenty of water
Just as with humans, water is key for providing your dog with the fuel they need to keep going in the summer heat. It’s a good idea to always keep a spare dog bowl and bottle of water in the car at all time, but especially during the summer. The same is advised during a hike and there are plenty of handy foldable dog bowls available for lightening the load. Dehydration is a serious condition and your dog’s health can deteriorate quickly if they don’t get enough fluids, always keep an eye on them and take regular water breaks to make sure they’re drinking enough.
A good doggy water bottle holder is a must have for any dog walking occasion, we have a H2O4K9 Neosling Water Bottle Holder that is stylish and convenient way of carrying fresh water for your dog as it comes with a arm strap so no carrying is required.
First aid may not be the first thing on your mind when it comes to your dog, but it is an important skill which you should consider if you travel a lot with your dog, especially by yourself. It’s always advised to carry a first aid pack with you that contains medicine and provisions suitable for both yourself and your dog. Some vets offer animal first aid courses for owners who want to learn how to take care of their pets first hand. This is worth considering if you travel with your dog frequently and often go on tricky or mountainous routes.
There’s no place like home
We all want our dogs to feel part of the family and leaving them at home can feel mean or like you’re leaving them out. However, this may be necessary if your day out proves too much for your dog in the high summer heat. A short hike in the middle of a summer day might not seem like much to a human but add a fur coat and things change. Always judge the weather that day and keep in mind the points above, if it looks like it’s going to be scorcher and your route has little shade, it might be best to leave your pooch in cool confines of home.