Nick and I love to get out on hikes with Mauja and Atka. We’re not the “spend all day hiking through the woods” kind of people, but we like to hit up trails that will have us hiking for a few hours. Mauja and Atka absolutely love putting their double dews to work as we hike through new terrian with interesting smells.
This past weekend we took a fun family trip before Nick leaves town for training. We took the pups to a dog-friendly farmer’s market, on a hike, and to PetSmart to get some birthday toys for Atka (PS – he turns 2 tomorrow!).
Hikes can be a great way to bond with your dog and offer him some stimulation to keep his brain and body youthful. However, there’s more to hikes than just grabbing your pup and hitting the trails. Here’s a few tips to ensure a safe experience:
- Ensure your dog is wearing a well-fitted collar with tags. You can never be too careful when you’re out hiking with your dogs. In case the unthinkable happens and you get separated from your dog, you want to make it easy for him to get back home.
- If your dog isn’t 100% reliable, use a leash. An off-leash pyr is a “disapyr” so Mauja and Atka are never off-leash for our hikes. Not to mention there are just too many unpredictables. We live in Montana with all sorts of wildlife that the fluffies might be too interested in warding off. We want to “keep the peace” in the woods. Plus, I always worry about poison or ledges that they wouldn’t be paying attention to.
- Pack the essentials. Pack plenty of water, poop bags, and a basic first aid kit. If your pup is used to wearing a backpack, he can help carry the load! Kaeto loved wearing his backpack for walks – it gave him a job to do and helped him mellow out.
- Keep your dog’s fitness level in mind. Just because your dog enjoy walks through the neighborhood or zoomies in the yard doesn’t mean he’ll be ready for a hike. Start slow and gradually work up to longer hikes as you and your dog feel comfortable.
- Tell someone your plans. Let a friend or family member know where you’ll be hiking and when you expect to be back. In case something happens and you’re out of cell service, someone will know if you need assistance.