Some of life’s greatest adventure companions are our furry hikers. Here at I’d Hike That, we know how important animals are to so many. They are a part of the family, and many pets love being on the trails just as much as their owners do.
Let your dog carry their own food, water, and other necessary gear with a pack. Finding the right pack, making sure it fits right on your dog and getting them accustomed to wearing it are all important factors before you hit the trails. Consider a pack with a top handle so you can ensure your dog stays close to you while crossing creeks and encountering other hikers. Make sure it fits snugly, and be careful to not over-pack. One pound in the pack for every 20 pounds of dog is a good rule to follow.
Although you may come across streams of water on your adventure, which is a great source of refreshment for yourself and your furry hiker, remember that dogs, as well as humans, are susceptible to water-borne diseases, such as giardiasis. So be sure to pack plenty of water for the both of you to decrease your dog’s chances of getting heatstroke. A good rule of thumb is to carry at least one quart of water for every 3 miles you plan to hike. Consider packing a collapsible nylon bowl for your dog’s water.
Since your furry hiker will be burning more calories than usual on the hike, it is a good idea to pack more food than they would typically consume. Pack their regular amount of food consumed, then add one cup for every 20 pounds of their weight. Trail treats are a great way to give them an energy boost quickly. You also want to be prepared with extra food and water in case you are on the trail longer than expected.
According to the US Humane Society, the following list includes pet-specific supplies that
should be in your kit in addition to basic first-aid supplies (not listed):
● Pet first-aid book
● Phone numbers: your veterinarian, the nearest emergency-veterinary clinic
(along with directions!) and a poison-control center or hotline (such as the
ASPCA poison-control center, which can be reached at 1-800-426-4435)
● Paperwork for your pet (in a waterproof container or bag): proof of
rabies-vaccination status, copies of other important medical records and a
current photo of your pet (in case he gets lost)
● Nylon Leash
● Self-cling bandage (bandage that stretches and sticks to itself but not to
fur—available at pet stores and from pet-supply catalogs)
● Muzzle or strips of cloth to prevent biting (don't use this if your pet is vomiting,
choking, coughing or otherwise having difficulty breathing)
Most state parks require dogs to be on leashes that are 10 feet or shorter. Use a leash that can easily be shortened to healing length. It is a good idea to use a snug collar with your dog’s name, your telephone number, rabies tag, and dog license. Depending on the temperature, a cooling collar is a great option to help your furry hiker stay cool for hours, reduce heat stress, and fight fatigue.
Also, consider packing a spare rope in case you need to tie your furry hiker to a tree for a moment.
You will want to protect your furry hiker from pesky insects, rough terrain, and heat. Apply insect repellent in places where they cannot lick (shoulders, back of the neck, and around the ears). Some animals and people are sensitive to DEET-based repellents, so apply a small amount to a patch of your dog’s fur at home to make sure there is no negative reaction.
You also may want to consider some paw rescue balm to protect your dog’s paws, as they can be damaged from hot surfaces. The healing balm will protect and moisturize their cracked and dry pads.
Protect your dog’s paws from thorns, sharp rocks, and other debris with dog booties. Have them practice wearing booties at home first. You can even make your own dog booties with just some fabric and Velcro!
We all appreciate clean trails, don’t we? It is a good idea to pack a roll of plastic bags so that you are easily able to remove dog waste. Consider a poop bag dispenser that easily attaches to your dog’s leash with Velcro and has room for your keys, or other small items, as well.
We are excited to share with you, that we have a new line of products dedicated to the furry hikers in your life.
So before you hit the trails, don’t forget to style your furry hiker in your favorite I’d Hike That gear. Check out the cool options we have for your four-legged friend. Now that you know the 7 essentials needed for your pet, be sure to check out The Ultimate List of top 10 Hiking Essentials for yourself.
What else do you consider a necessity for your four-legged companion’s hiking adventure? I would love to hear.
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