Tips on Hiking with Your Pets

Walking outside the city in the woods or in the mountains is an interesting and exciting activity! You can not only breathe fresh air and explore the surroundings but also exercise. But who to take with you? Friends are often busy. Hiking alone is boring. You are very lucky if you have a dog or a very active cat! Dogs and some breeds of cats generally love to walk with their owners. While walking in unfamiliar places, they discover a whole world of new sounds and smells. The more often they walk, the healthier and happier they will be. If you are completely and fully prepared for a hike, it will be an amazing experience both for you and your four-legged friend.

 Preparing for a walk.

 What should you do if you decide to go on a long walk in nature with your dog or cat? Immediately dive into the car and go out of town? No. It is highly desirable to explore the route alone, without a pet, in advance. Your path must be safe for the animal and for you. Not every dog, let alone cat, ​​is suitable for trails that a person can overcome. You can try hiking with very active cat breeds like oriental shorthair or bengal. In addition, if the animal did not move much before, and you have chosen a long path, and it will have to overcome steep climbs uphill and other obstacles, it can get very tired out of habit. Overwork is never good. The same goes for cats but double or even triple the effort.

The first step is to consider whether the route you choose is suitable for the breed of dog and cats in general. Some breeds are very hardy and some are not. Some have powerful long legs, while others are short and weak. For example, Siberian huskies are good for long winter hikes, but for a toy poodle such a walk will be unbearable. Lap dogs also cannot travel long distances. Large dogs, especially German Shepherds, often have joint problems, which makes it difficult for them to move over rough terrain. Read in advance about the breed of your dog and find out what kind of stress it can endure.

 When you are in the wild, it is necessary to take a well-mannered dog, which is trained at least in elementary commands. If your pet is naughty, it is better not to go out with it – it may run away from you and not return. At best, you will find it much later; at worst, you will never find it. If you have the opportunity or need to walk your dog in nature, you must first take it to behaviour correction courses. Always keep your cat on the leach if you do not know how it behaves outside.

 It is better to start with short walks, which can be gradually increased. Lengthen the routes as long as you can withstand them yourself. If you want to go hiking in rugged terrain with steep slopes, prepare your pet for it in advance by giving it some very intense exercise.

How should you go hiking with a pet?

 It is best to walk your dog on a leash. This will protect the animal from unwanted encounters with other animals – hedgehogs or even snakes. You may also meet other dogs whose possible reactions you do not know. If the dog is on a leash, it will obey better. True, if you are sure that it is well-educated and will obey you even without a leash, you can walk it like that. Also, do everything possible so that your pet in the forest does not bark in vain without attracting the attention of wild animals. And be sure to stick to your itinerary. To make the walk more fun, do not forget to take some kind of toy.

 Don’t forget to bring plastic bags to clean up after your dog. Yes, respectable owners collect excrement after animals even in the forest! If you imagine that all dog owners rush to walk outside the city and do not clean up after their animals there, it will become so dirty that there will be nowhere to step. Then it will be unpleasant for you to go into the dirty forest yourself. It’s easier with cats – you do not have to clean anything.

First-aid supplies

 Before venturing into the woods, prepare a first-aid kit. It will help the animal survive a major accident or wound until it can be taken to the veterinarian facility.

 What should be included in the first-aid kit:

  • antihistamines;
  • hydrogen peroxide for wound cleaning;
  • bandages;
  • syringe;

 Pet safety while walking

 During a walk with a pet, various troubles can happen. Cuts, splinters, ticks and other joys often happen to active animals, dogs and cats alike, when they are running through the forest. It is better to foresee such situations in advance and have tweezers or a band-aid with you. There are all kinds of means and collars helping with ticks.

 If your route is in an area where there are stray dogs, try to be as confident and careful as possible. It is best to walk around a pack of stray dogs a few meters away, showing that you do not claim their territory or food. Animals may bark at you, but this is not always a sign of attack. So they show alertness and anxiety.

 Dogs sweat just as much as humans, so if they get very hot, they can become dehydrated. Take a bottle of water with you. Dogs often do not want to drink from an ordinary bottle, there are special drinking bottles, so it is better to be prepared. The situation is very similar with cats. If the walk is planned to be long, you can take a portion of dry food with you, in this case there is a convenient device – a bag for food.

 Do not let your animal drink from a river or other body of water. Their water may be polluted or infested with giardia and other parasites.

 If you decide to go into a forest where hunting is allowed, put a bright orange vest on your dog so that hunters from a distance do not mistake him for a forest animal. It is optional for cats but think about it – it will be much easier to for you to find your cat if anything happens. You will clearly see your cat in an orange vest.

 Always be aware of snakes. Dogs and cats sometimes notice them too late. This is one of the reasons why it is better to lead a pet on a leash. If your animal unquestioningly carries out the voice command “Do not touch!” or some similar one, then you are in safe water and have nothing to worry about. Poisonous snakes will not attack first, but the dog may want to play or just touch. Curious pets are usually bitten by snakes on the nose or paws and it is very common for cats. If a dog whines and you notice two teeth wounds on its body, you need to act that the poison does not do its job.

 Keep your animal calm, so the poison will be absorbed more slowly. Treat the bite site with peroxide. Alcohol can not be used! Make sure your dog is drinking plenty of fluids. As first aid, taking an antihistamine is suitable. It is ideal to immediately deliver the pet by car to the nearest veterinary clinic. There, the animal will be injected with a special serum. It is not advisable to take it into the forest in case of a snake bite – due to a violation of the storage rules, the medicine will not give the desired effect. Serum is stored only in the refrigerator.