In the first part of this series, we looked at breeds that may not be ideal for a hike in the great outdoors couple of tips to follow before you embark on your trail training, and why it’s important to schedule a visit to your local animal care clinic to ensure the health and safety of your dog.
VetSet is a premiere veterinary clinic that provides convenience to all in our state-of-the-art mobile vet clinic! Our vet mobile comes to you so we can discuss and perform vet services to keep your pooch healthy and happy! Follow along in this second part post that covers doggy gear and the essentials you will need for your next adventure.
Why trail etiquette and obedience matters on the trail – When you’re on the trail you are in control of your dog, and although they seem well behaved at home or at the dog park, it can be a different story when they’re out in the great wide open. Make sure your dog listens to you and is able to follow your command when other dogs, horses, and people are on the trail. One of the biggest laws of the land is to leave no trace, and this includes your dog too! Always pack poop bags and pack filled ones out with you. It’s in poor taste to leave them out for someone else to pick up, and they also begin to smell the longer they bake in the sun.
The trail awaits, but always check in with your vet to ensure your pooch is ready and healthy enough to crush the trails.
When you’re at the vet clinic ask the following questions:
Is my dog physically able and ready for the trek? Some vets recommend that you wait a certain amount of time before setting out on a long hike because their bones may not be fully developed. Usually dogs reach this at a year, but it all depends on other factors such as their size and breed.
Will my dog need any preventative medications or vaccinations? City life is good to a dog because they don’t have to worry about much, but once you get beyond civilization and they take a drink of contaminated water, they can easily contract giardia or leptospirosis. Be sure to ask you vet about any prevention tips!
Is my dog’s immune system hardy enough? Depending on your dog’s age, they may still be developing their immune system so it’s important to not only give them time to develop immunities but keep to their vaccination schedule before exposing them to the trails.
Get the gear
Just as you likely wear a backpack or hydration pack, your dog needs supplies too! Find a pack that fits well, distributes the weight evenly, and isn’t too heavy for your dog. If your dog has never worn a pack, before your hike put it on and let them wear it around to help get them acquainted. One of the best features to look for on a pack is a top handle, if you have any close encounters with them falling off a ledge or into the water, you can quickly reach down and grab ahold.
Do you know how to fit a pack for you dog?
Fitting your dog’s pack is a pretty easy endeavor, simply measure the around the widest part of your dog’s rib cage and find a pack that fits the measurements. Then adjust all the straps so they fit snug around your dog, but with enough room so your dog can still breathe. Too loose of pack will fall or cause paining chafing.
Pack a doggy first-aid kit!
The outdoors can be dangerous and you can’t carry your vet in your dog’s pack, so prepare a doggy first-aid kit. Consult with your vet on the best things to pack, but it’s common to pack an old sock as a paw bandage. Some owners will also pack an electrolyte supplement in case their dog gets diarrhea on the trail. Again, talk with you vet about the best first aid options for your dog.
Plan the essentials wisely
Food and water are crucial to a successful trip. It’s important to pack enough water and food so your dog can rehydrate and refuel as needed. Common items include:
There are many doggy essentials to pack for beyond a water bowl and dog booties! Stay tuned for the third and final part about adventuring with you furry friend!
At VetSet, we want your hiking experience to been one full of awesome memories made with your pooch!