When you live in a city like New York, life is a bit monotonous. You wake up, Get ready go to work and come back late in the evening, have dinner and you are in bed. But for a person with a dog, a dog parent so to speak, life is a different. You usually dont just wake up, but you wake up to bad breath of your dog licking all over your face. You are dragged down the road for a walk in the morning and by the time you are back, you are already tired and want to go back to bed. But then you have to go to work and before that there is a long line of things you need to get done. To begin with, you need to feed the dog and ensure that you dont leave anything that the dog can chew on while you are at work. While most dogs are OK with you gone for an hour or two, they dont really enjoy you out at work for 8 hours. Even with the Dog walker coming in twice for an hour to take the dog out, It is not sufficient for the dog.
Dogs love outdoors and thats the reason, and a big one that they are excited everytime you go out hiking. The smell of the soil, Away from the city, no pollution and Nature by itself excites the dog. They are happier in this habitat. So when you are off hiking next time, be sure to take your dog with you. He will thank you with all its heart and trust me when i say this… its BIG.
Trekking with your dog is not to be taken casually. You are not going to a dog park. There are lots of things which can happen when you are out on a hiking. Your dog may run off behind an animal and get lost. Your dog will need food and water apart from some form of pretction from nature if its going to rain. You may also look forward to some assistance from the dog itself in the form of him/her carrying his own stuffs like the water bottle and the food. He may need a bed to sleep on if you intend to sleep over outdoors.
Hiking with your dog is a responsible decision , to be considered carefully. Its more or less like traveling with a 5 year old. You never know when the child is going to be hungry or thirst and there could be a million things you would want to consider apart from the food itself. Its almost all the same for dogs too.
Here are some of the things i carry every time i need to go on a hike, specially if i am going to be on a 2-3 day hiking trip.
Most dog parents have had the fear that their pet would jump out of the window if he or she came across another animal or something which excites him. We try to keep the window half closed or only slightly open in the hopes that the dog does not jump out of the window from a running car.
We also worry that in case of an accident what kind of protection would a dog have. With you wearing a seatbelt, chances are that you would do ok. What about a seat belt for your dog? Also, some dogs are always excited and want to run even inside the car, sometimes making driving a mere impossible task. You would have loved it if your dog could just sit in the back area of the car without intruding into the front portion.
A seat belt buckle could go a long way in keeping your dog in the back seat without him running around in the car. It is both safe for you and your dog. It attaches to your existing leash and acts as a seat belt when traveling. It can be removed when you are off the hike and you can use the leash normally.
An alternative to the Buckle is a dog harness which can double to hold your dog in place. Dog harnesses are designed for impact and work better than buckles. It’s safe for the dog and does not exert too much pressure on one area, the neck or collar area like in a seat belt buckle with a leash. The Harness ensures that the impact is distributed throughout the front body. The harness is tested and thoroughly so. The Harness took 8 years to implement and has been tested with simulated dogs. There are dog vests which act like harnesses. You Could call them harnesses in general but the vests are much lighter and cover lesser surface.
You will always need a leash. Walking your dog in a park or taking him hiking will require that the dog be leashed to prevent him from running into unknown territories and even harm people. While the law does not require dogs to be on a leash at all times, its important as a dog parent to be responsible for the wellbeing of your pets and others too. So get a leash for you dog while you go hiking. You may decide not to use it after all if you are comfortable with the dog and the dog itself is not too excited to run around.
When on a hike, Everyone carries their own belongings and this rule goes for your dog too. He carries his water, food and the accessories he should carry with him. No exceptions. That’s when the Hiking bags come handy. Though it may feel inhumane, Dogs love to work and if they are doing something to help you, they will be pleased and afterall, they are just carrying what belongs to them. It’s their food and water and a bit more. Its not like you are loading it with a ton of things which they can’t carry. Investing in a hiking bag is a good idea.
When traveling, you don’t want to carry things which are bulky. A dog bowl at home, made from stainless steel or china may not really work outdoors. Carrying it is always a trouble and you want to travel light. You should look for dog bowls which can fit in a backpack or preferably your dogs hiking bag.There are plenty of collapsible and foldable dog bowls which the dog can carry in his hiking bag. These are light and take up very little space. ITs perfect for traveling though this may not be a great option for regular use.
What most people overlook while hiking with their dogs is the weather. While we may be prepared for the rain, cold weather or the heat, we dont really think about how our dogs would cope with the weather. We tend to accept it as a given that the dog will handle the weather just fine. This is not always the case. In cold weather, even if its not snowing, your dog will find it very uncomfortable. It goes the same with rains and hot weather too. We wear a hat when its too hot. Why shouldnt the dog have the same privilege at least while hiking. Hiking could be fun for you and the dog but it is more fun with all the protective gears. The Jackets designed for dogs were usually for cold and rainy weather. But these days you do get jackets for summer which can reflect heat and light while keeping the dog cooler. Whatever weather you are going out to, if its going to be nasty, you could be a little more prepared for it and prepare your dog for the same too. Check out some of the best jackets for both summer and winter below.
Now this is not actually worn by the dog but by you. And most backpack carriers are designed for small sized dogs. If you are on a hike with a smaller dog, there are times when they get tired. They are small and the energy levels are high in the beginning but soon slow down. There are times when they would appreciate it if you would carry them for a while. The dog backpack carrier is designed to carry small to medium sized dogs on your back while hiking. It doesn’t matter if your dog is tired or injured during the hike, you will always have an easy way go get him to or back from the trip. Backpacks come in plenty of designs. You will need to make sure that the backpack is cool for the dog and is not too heavy on you. Try the backpack before you purchase it if its allowed. This will give you an idea about how comfortable the backpack is for you and your dog. Some dogs, especially during the first time may be hesitant to get into the backpack. They may need some encouragement and if you can try it out, you will know if the backpack is right for you. The best brands will come with proper ventilation and cooling. Also check if the bag will be approved by the airline company if in case you ever plan to fly with your dog in the future.
Water is one of the few things we all carry for a hike. Even a small hike would feel a lot better with a bottle of water in hand. Your dogs will feel more thirsty than you due to their small sizes and exertion. Carrying a bottle of water though is not always easy. From how much water we need to carry to how to feed the water to the dog are all challenges we need to address as dog parents. Thankfully, there are water bottles which are designed just for dogs. Easy to carry (if on a long hike, they can carry it with the right provision) to feeding them (comes with a cup attached to drink from), these bottles were designed with dog owners in mind. They don’t usually carry a lot which makes them less heavy for you or the dog. You can also use it for the occasional dog park visit or the visit to your vet. As a matter of fact, you could always carry it with you when you are with your dog.
You should look for bottles made of steel or plastic. I prefer steel as plastic is not eco friendly but steel could be a bit heavier than the plastic variations. Check out a range of Dog water bottles here.
Some dog leashes come with a collar and are often called belts. Collars are the most basic apparel a dog should wear. May be the law does not require your dog to wear one but a Dog belt has various advantages. To begin with, collars are the easiest ways to attach some of the gadgets to the dog. A tracking device usually comes with easy means to attach to a collar. While trekking a dog collar could be used to attach beacons to track them when dark. Collars are easy to attach to a chain or leash. Simply put, A collar is the simplest product a dog should always wear. And while hiking, the dog collar becomes even more important. Dog belts and collars are available from various stores, but be sure that they are compatible with the other devices you purchase. You should be able to fit your tracking device or a beacon to the collar easily.
Most dogs love to walk barefoot. Many dogs don’t even like the concept of wearing footwear. It’s uncomfortable to them. It does take a bit of time to get them used to a pair of boots or shoes. Its recommended that you practice them with the shoes on at home. Half an hour every day should do fine. Once they get used to the concept of wearing shoes, its going to be much easier for you to get them to wear one when you are trekking. Hiking brings in a lot of possibilities. Some parts are hot and others rough. A good shoe for your dog should prevent your dog from getting blisters in his foot or injuring it. Some parts, like rocky mountains, are not just harsh surfaces but hot during summer. Your dog has more chances of blisters in bad weather and the shade is not always easy to find.
Shoes need not be very fancy. They need to provide comfort. A breathable should would be better in some cases, but surely you would want one which could hold your dog’s weight and still be easy on him and comfortable too.
Dog bowls can be used for feeding water or the food he carries in his bag. You dont need a bowl which you use at home, which may be bigger and heavier. You should look for something which is lighter and easy to pack. Hiking does come with some hard terrain and you can expect the dog to bump into a few things while at it. Your dog should be comfortable carrying it and also eating it. There are plenty of foldable dog bowls available which also doubles as a bag to carry treats, if it’s a small trip. Check out the wide range of dog bowls you can buy now for your hiking trips.
When you plan to stay overnight, You need to prepare your dog a bit more than the normal morning to evening hikes. The dog requires more food, water and a bed. While there are plenty of good beds online, there are only a few which are easy to carry on a trip. Most beds for dogs are designed for homes. They do not take traveling into consideration. A bed for traveling and hiking needs to be a bit more rugged, tough, easy to carry and preferably light. No matter what kind of bed you get for your dog, it needs to be comfortable. A bed too think is not a good idea and a bed too fluffy may just be too hard to carry. Also remember that trekking and hiking is not a one time affair. We tend to hike in all seasons and just about any time we feel like it. Purchase your dog beds to accommodate all weather. A waterproof bed would be a great idea for dogs, especially if you trek during winters or rains.
While not 100% essential, the dog would love to be cozy during a trip specially during winters. A Blanket is a safe investment if you live in a colder area and hike regularly. Winters could be harsh and you would never know how cold you could get. An additional blanket may be too hard to carry and you may always feel a bit of doubt when it comes to a blanket and if you really need one. ITs better to be safe in some cases, and especially when it comes to the weather.
Its just a small box with bandaids, ointments and disinfectants but this could be a life saver when you are hiking with your dog. The things which we overlook as small and not so important are sometimes the most important ones, specially when there is a crisis situation. Injuries and accidents could happen to anyone at any time and while hiking , the chances are more with possibility of medical attention lesser than ever. If you were at home and if there was an accident, you have access to a car, the vet may be ready on call, medication is only a few minutes away. While on a hike, it may take hours to reach back to your car and medical resources may be even further. A small kit can extend the life of yur dog by hours and if needed by days. Having the right First aid kit is crucial for every dog owner and its a must carry for people who are on a hike with their dogs.
Hiking Emergencies sometimes require that your dog be carried. While carrying a smaller dog is much easier, larger dogs and even medium sized dogs are pretty hard to carry long distances. For smaller dogs, a backpack or a daypack for the owner could do a good job but for larger dogs, a back pack is not an option and carrying the dog would be difficult. Even when there are circumstances where a dog cannot walk through, like a rope bridge, you may need to carry a dog across. The emergency slings are perfect for people who require that their dog be carried. It doesn’t matter if its for a few minutes or an hour, the Sling is nearly comfortable for the dogs (of course its not the most comfortable thing to be carried on someone’s back) and also easy on the dog owner who carries it. Some slings do come with an option to carry the dog in the front. The Dog hiking Front Carriers may be easier for medium sized dogs, but may put a lot of weight on the dog owners’ back if they try to carry a heavy dog on their front.« Best spill proof dog bowls for sloppy drinkers First Aid Kits For Dogs on a Hike and everything in Them »