Hiking with pets can be a truly rewarding experience. Being out in nature, feeling the cool breeze or the warm sun on your skin, getting exercise for yourself and your pet, and experiencing all that the great outdoors has to offer is guaranteed to put most anybody in a great mood. Hiking trails are popular for pet owners, with many hiking trails across the United States designating their trails as pet-friendly.
When hiking with your pet, there are a few things that you should consider before heading out to the trail. Read on for more information:
- Keep your dog on a leash or under verbal control at all times. Your pet should always be within your line of vision, or at the very least within ear-shot, while hiking. One of the beautiful things about nature is the unpredictability. There are chances to see wild animals, other people, and other pets on any given adventure. To keep you, your pet, and others safe, it is essential that you are able to control where your pet goes and what they are able to get into.
- Properly socialize your pet. Going off of number 1, you are likely to see other pets and animals while in nature. Making sure your pet has been properly socialized is a great step in preventing aggressive or anxious encounters with other pets. Make sure your pet is comfortable with other animals and people, and make sure they are comfortable walking in new environments before you set out.
- Work up to longer hikes. Pets are like people, meaning that they can’t go from walking 1 mile a day around the neighborhood to going on 10+ mile hikes through the forest. Make sure you are working up to longer distances through progressively longer walks for a few weeks to months before embarking on a lengthy hike with your pet.
- Keep your pet hydrated. There isn’t always a guarantee that there will be water available along a trail. Some trails alongside parks or residential areas may have water fountains, but it is not always guaranteed that they are in working condition. When setting out into a more natural environment, like a nature trail or a mountainous terrain, there is even less guarantee that there will be clean drinking water available. It is important that you plan ahead and bring more water than you think you will need for you and your pet.
- Train your pet to wear a pack. Some pet owners have enough to carry and would prefer their pet carry their own snacks and water. Pack training is a possibility for pets, and can be a helpful tool across your pet’s lifetime.
- To start pack training, begin by having your pet get used to wearing an empty pack around the house. Once they seem comfortable with this, progress to wearing the empty pack on your daily walks. Eventually you can start to add in a few pounds to accustom your pet to carrying their own weight during hiking expeditions.
- Just like any other training experience, positive rewards can go a long way. Use treats to reward your pet for wearing the pack, walking with the pack, and eventually walking with a weighted pack. Momentum Carnivore Nutrition treats are an excellent option that can easily fit into a pet pack.
- Bring snacks on longer hikes. Just as humans get hungry and tired on long walks or hikes, pets do too. Bring convenient, healthy snacks along for the hike to keep your pet energized. Momentum Carnivore Nutrition meal bars are a wholesome option. Conveniently packaged and full of raw, nutrient-dense meats, they are sure to help your pet power through a long hike.
Hiking with your pet doesn’t have to feel like a whole ordeal. Follow the tips above to start enjoying the great outdoors with your pet. Both an excellent mental and physical exercise, hiking is a great option for any pet owner. Happy hiking!