Staying Healthy By Hiking with Your Dog

Are you looking to escape urban stress? Drive a while and go on a hike! 

Hiking is an amazing outdoor activity that will give you and your pooch the necessary exercise while allowing you to enjoy nature. Dogs make the perfect hiking companion and the gorgeous surroundings are always better shared. 

Why should you hike with your dog?

Unlike some cats, most dogs do not like being lazy. Rather they prefer good exercise and will get restless without proper exercise. In addition, it offers physical and mental benefits for pet parents, including:

ExerciseObesity is a major cause of health issues in humans and in dogs. Taking a hike in the mountains offers ample exercise for you and your dog, which facilitates healthy weight management. 

Moreover, it will lower the risk of secondary diseases and will keep you and your pet healthy. Hiking will also expose you to cleaner air and sunshine which will elevate your mood and improve your immune system. Climbing up the mountain once a month or on a weekly basis can put you in great shape. 

Bonding – One of the best rewards of hiking with your dog is the bond and connection you will develop by spending one-on-one time. Dogs love to be in the open field – after all, it’s their natural habitat! Spending time in the natural environment will help you truly connect with them. 

Improved Mental Health –  Humans or dogs, no one likes to get bored. Walks and hikes are excellent ways to stimulate the mind. Whether you want a break from your busy schedule or want to squeeze regular exercise into your routine, hikes with your four-legged friend are the perfect way to unwind. 

Not only will it excite your dog but will allow you to explore the woods. In addition, your dog will not indulge in destructive activities because hiking will use up their surplus energy. Hiking with your furry friend is also beneficial for you since animals tend to have a calming effect. Research suggests that pet parents feel content, relaxed, and well-connected with their companions after a walk. 

Preparing For Your Hike

Would you go for a hike in a suit with dress shoes on? Similarly, you will require proper gear, clothes, and, equipment to keep your pup at ease in nature. Before hitting the trails, it is important to learn dog training skills, hiking etiquette, and proper attire, especially with inclement weather. All these considerations are essential to ensure a fantastic hiking experience for you and your companion. 

  • Vaccinations and Health Consultations 

Hiking trails are filled with scenic beauty that can be enjoyed by you and your dog. However, there are numerous parasite-borne diseases looming in the forest. Dogs are at a higher risk of catching Lyme disease, which is why the first step to planning a hike is to vaccinate your dog and apply preventative medication. 

Consult a vet and update all the shots required to keep your dog healthy and safe from illnesses. 

Another important aspect to be mindful of is the health of your dog. If your dog is going on a hike for the first time, then pick an easy trail. It will be easy to work your way up slowly instead of forcing your dog to complete big ones. You don’t want to carry your dog for the most part of the trip! 

  • Obedience Training 

Your dog should have some basic training so that he’ll listen to your commands. It will ensure that your dog stays safe and enjoys the hike. You will also need to understand the leash laws on the trail to avoid breaking the rule unintentionally. It is also essential to pick a dog-friendly trail for the hike to avoid disturbing other hikers. 

  • Proper Gear

The kind of gear you need will be dictated by the trail you choose. An important thing to remember is the safety and health of your dog. You also need to carry proper clothing and an extra jacket for your dog during cold weather. 

  • Pack water and doggy treats

Staying hydrated during a hike is a must. For this reason, experienced hikers carry plenty of water and pack energy-boosting doggy treats. Invest in a dog water bottle that can be a lifesaver and offer a hassle-free method to keep your dog hydrated. Collapsible bowls are an excellent alternative. 

  • Protect Your Dog’s Paws

Just like you wear hiking boots, it is crucial to buy dog boots. It will protect them from snow, sharp rocks, heat, and prickly plants. Protecting your pup’s paws is essential for rough, rocky, or cold trails. 

If you did not pack dog boots, then make sure you check their paws regularly. Any signs of pain might mean that your dog needs attention. Bandages are a good quick fix in such situations. 

Final Thoughts 

Anyone who has hiked with their dog will confirm what a wonderful experience it is to hit the trails. Hiking with your dog will not only give you and your pooch the necessary exercise but will also keep your mental health in check! Nothing beats the great outdoors! 

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