Hiking can be a great activity for you and your dog to enjoy together. You’ll both experience the beauty of nature and the benefits of exercise. If you’re thinking of taking your dog along for a hike, there are some preparations that can help make your trip a success. Julie A. Atwood DVM - Mobile Veterinary Service, a veterinarian who provides mobile services to clients in Kitsap County and the Bainbridge Island area in Washington, has five pieces of advice for active dog owners.
Local Veterinarian’s Tips for Hiking With Your Dog
1. Buy a Doggy Backpack
Your pup can carry their own supplies with a doggy backpack. However, don’t overload your pet with too much weight. Most healthy dogs can carry up to 25% of their bodyweight, but be sure to practice with the backpack to see how much your dog can tolerate. If your pooch has never carried a backpack before, it’s not a good idea to put one on before for a long hike.
2. Bring Enough Food & Water
It’s important to remember that you and your pet will need to drink, and possibly eat, during the hike. Dogs don’t sweat like humans, so you might not be able to tell if they are getting overheated. Be sure to give your pup water frequently. You can bring a collapsible dish to pour it in. It’s also a good idea to pack treats to keep your dog fueled up and energized.
3. Don’t Forget Doggy Waste Bags
Chances are, you will need to pick up after your pet on a hike. Many hiking trails have dog stool bag stations, but not all do, so it’s a good idea to bring your own bags.
4. Bring a First Aid Kit
You never know if your pet will get hurt on a hike. You can purchase a pet first aid kit that has materials to specifically remedy common pup problems.
5. Make Sure Your Dog Is Up-to-Date on Vaccines
Check with your veterinarian to make sure your dog has received their latest vaccines. It’s also important to give your pet flea and tick preventive medicines prior to going on a hike.
If you’re in need of a veterinarian to give your dog the “go-ahead” for a hike, contact Julia A. Atwood DVM – Mobile Veterinary Service. She has 25 years of experience providing pets with quality care. Dr. Atwood offers a wide range of mobile veterinary services to help your furry friend live a long and healthy life. Call her today at (360) 697-7827 to schedule an appointment.