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How to Safely Hike, Camp, and Backpack with a Fluffy Friend

Posted on April 27 2020

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Spending time in nature can be very beneficial for us. It is a chance to recharge our batteries and to get away from the busyness of city life. Do you know the one thing that can make that trip even more amazing? You can take your dog with you. It will be very happy to get the opportunity to spend some time in the real wilderness and it will love you for giving it the chance to be on this journey with you. Of course, bringing your pet to such a trip will require some extra preparation. Apart from packing outdoor gear like sports sandals, a tent, and a knife, your dog will require some things as well. Here are some things you should know about bringing your dog to an outdoor trek.


Do Some Research


Not every kind of dog is suited for the wilderness. Do some research online about your pet and learn more about its kind. Some dogs are natural hunters and they will excel at any kind of outdoor activity. Some of them are only ok with one activity, like camping, and staying in a single spot, but not with long periods of climbing and walking that a hiking trip requires. Some kinds are just not outdoor material, but that doesn’t have to mean that they are not able to enjoy walks through the forest with you for at least a short time.


A New Place 


Unfamiliar surroundings can be very overwhelming for some dogs. If you see that your dog is scared of a new location, don’t force it to do anything. Try to ease it in and let it explore its surroundings. It will feel much safer if it gets to learn about the new terrain at its own pace. Keep it on a leash if you think that it’s overwhelmed and even if it is not on a leash, it’s a good idea to always stay within the sight of your dog. This way you can relax and the dog will feel much safer, knowing that it can always come back to you.


The Dangers


Nature can be dangerous. Even if you stay on the most used trails or familiar paths, something could happen. There might be dangerous wild animals, snakes or ticks in the grass. You will need to check your dog regularly to see if there is something on its fur. Also, if it is an area with wild animals, keep it on a leash, so it doesn’t just run out to get into a brawl with something dangerous. Animals are not the only danger out there, plants can be just as bad. Poison ivy, for example, can harm your pet. If you see your dog playing with something in the grass, always stop it and check it out carefully.


Dog Things


Just like people, dogs need provisions too. It is important to pack enough water, food and treats for your pet. It might even need a vest for cold weather. Your dog can get very excited while in the wilderness and it might get exhausted or thirsty without realizing it. Take regular breaks and keep it always hydrated. A doggy first aid kit is also essential. You never know what kind of dangerous things your dog might run into and it’s better not to leave anything to chance. If you are going on a camping trip, consider bringing along a doggy bed so that your pet has something comfortable and familiar to sleep on.


Leave Nothing Behind


As with any kind of camping, pick up everything behind you. Don’t leave trash or dog poop on hiking trails, as someone else might step into it. Pack several bags that you will use to collect such things and throw them out in designated garbage areas. It is not ok to leave any of it behind you even if it’s biodegradable. The poop your dog leaves can interrupt the natural order of things in the area and cause stress or discomfort to local animals. Also, keeping everything clean makes it nice and tidy for the next camper too.