You’re ready for an adventure this summer that you want to involve your dog in, right?
Well, fantastic, hiking is a great opportunity to do with your dog! You can have all sorts of fun with your pooch and also make sure that you both get some exercise.
Plus a hike is a great way to have fun and grow your bond together with your loving and loyal animal.
If you’ve never gone hiking with a pet before, here’s a great place to look at all of the things to consider so that you both have a great time.
Pick the right location
There are many hiking and camping locations that do not allow dogs due to bad experiences in the past where a loose dog has scared enough campers and hikers into the change. Make sure you do your research and find a spot that would be enjoyable for the two of you and that also allows pets throughout all of their trails. This is the first thing to do in order to ensure that everyone has a great time.
If possible, choose a location that is not too far from your home in case of a bad time, bad weather, or just an over excited dog. You can venture further as your dog gets to have a good time and understand what hiking is all about. If you introduce him to the right location, he’ll love it as much as you hoped he would.
Train your dog
You both will have a terrible time if you don’t properly train your dog. You know how you have to do a bit of fitness training before doing a hike? Well, a dog does, too. Make sure you get him used to long walks and over a variety of terrain so that his paw pads harden and he gets the muscle development and cardio that he is going to need to be able to handle a hike in the woods.
Also train yourself with him in terms of walking. Learn his pace, learn how he acts on a leash, what position is comfortable for you as far as where you attach the leash vs holding it in your hand. All of this is important to staying happy while on the hike.
On that same note, make sure that you train your dog with a canine pack which will allow him to carry some of the supplies during your hike. These are easy to find and your dog may even like the idea that he gets to carry things. Practice putting it on him, taking it off, and filling it with an accurate weight to what he can carry.
Be practical in how much you put in the packs, though. Start with 10 – 12% of their body weigh and when he gets used you can raise it up to 25%.
Practice good etiquette
When you find the right place and opportunity, make sure you are trained, yourself, in how to take care of the trail you are using as well as cleaning up after your dog. This means that you have to make sure you clean up after your dog in terms of waste, but also make sure you are respectful of your responsibilities as a dog owner.
Remember to keep your dog on a leash at all times, and keep him close to you when a family passes by, or people who don’t seem overly happy to see your animal. You need to respect that some people don’t like dogs, just like they have to accept that they have to share the trail with dogs.
The other reason for keeping your Jack Russell leashed are wild animals often found on trekking trails. Remember you are dealing wit the top expert hunter and with few seconds of inattention, he might just run away.
Pack everything you might need…everything!
It’s really important to make sure you have everything you need when you go out hiking. Remember that you are taking care of both of you, now, so that means you need to think for two: bring extra dog kibble, and snacks for you, bring a pet first aid kit for both you and your pet.
Bring dog clothing and consider foot covers for your dog either when you bunk down for the night, or when he starts licking his paws. Remember that your dog won’t remind you to be prepared for everything.
Make sure you bring a lot of water. You need to keep your dog hydrated and fed, as your dog will use a lot of energy on the hike and need to replenish himself just like you will. Even if it seems like overkill, remember that your dog needs to be well equipped.
Remember, too, that he will take on some of the supplies so that you won’t have to carry it all. He can be put to work, and this will make him part of the team, which he will love to no end.
Move at your dog’s pace, not your own
This is critical for a dog who has never been on a hike before. You need to take his physical condition into consideration and stop when he wants to stop. You also have to make sure that you remember he is going to be easily distracted and overwhelmed by the smells and sights that will come to him. Give him time to explore and sniff everything.
It may mean you have to move slower, but you have to remember that this hike is about your dog as much as it is about you. Give him the option of looking around and doing his thing, just like you do yours.
Working together to accomplish something is amazing when you have a faithful pet at your side. It’ll bring you closer to each other and you’ll love all of the adventures you have together. Your dog will want to see you happy just as much as you want to see him happy, so do your best to accomplish it all together.
You can do it with the right preparation and can enjoy a lovely hike and camping trip with little to no fuss. Get out in the wilderness as soon as the opportunity presents itself to you and you’ll see for yourself.
Hiking is one of our favorite activities and we like to hit the trains as often possible. It is the best way for us to recuperate after busy weeks and keeps us both in great condition.
Do you hike with your Jack Russell? Write us your thoughts in the comments below.