Things to Consider When Going Hiking with Your Pet

The health benefits of going hiking with your pet are many, for sure. However, you must take into account their breed, age, and physical condition in order to plan accordingly. This is because the extraneous activity can damage the joints of large dogs, for example.
Things to Consider When Going Hiking with Your Pet

Last update: 29 March, 2021

Spring is approaching and enjoying time outdoors, maybe even going hiking with your pet, sounds like a great idea. Here are some tips for you.

There are a few things to keep in mind before you grab your backpack and head out though, so continue reading for some tips on how to do so safely.

Benefits of hiking with your pet

Hiking is a physical and recreational activity that helps to improve physical condition and stay in shape. Fortunately, there are many hiking trails scattered throughout the world.

Trail routes are also excellent for providing times when you can clear your mind. By detaching oneself from the hectic pace of the work routine, one can reduce stress levels and prevent its negative symptoms.

There are many benefits of physical activity on the health and well-being of your best friend too. Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and thus prevents obesity. In addition, it helps regulate the heart and respiratory rhythm. It’s also effective in lowering glucose and cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.

In addition, walking also improves your physical strength and endurance by strengthening muscles, bones, and joints. This can prevent numerous diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and joint problems.

A woman and a dog on top of the world.

As you can see, contact with nature and the feeling of peace is great for all animals. Domestic pets are also particularly stressed and bored of their unstimulating routine. It’s for this reason that outdoor walks are highly recommended in order to keep their temperament balanced and prevent behavioral problems.

Can all dogs go hiking with their owners?

In principle, all dogs, regardless of breed, sex or age, can go hiking. The main requirement is for their owners to take the proper preventive measures and respect the limits of each dog’s body and mind. Therefore, you must consult a veterinarian before taking your best friend along for this kind of physical activity.

Elderly dogs and puppies don’t do well in intense hikes and should receive primary attention from their owners. Older animals also experience wear and tear on their joints and lose muscle mass, which decreases their physical endurance. This is why their activities should be low impact and always moderate.

Similarly, puppies are still developing their body and mind, and so they also need gentle and moderate exercise. Thus, these little ones can only engage in outdoor activities after completing their first round of vaccinations and anti-parasitic treatment.

It’s important to consider an adult dog’s physical structure, health status, and specific needs. For example, brachycephalic dog breeds can’t exercise intensely or for long periods of time. Also, unusually large dogs need moderate exercise to prevent accelerated wear and tear on their joints.

A woman and a dog enjoying the view.

Tips for hiking with your pet

  • Checking their state of health and fitness is important before taking them out on any new types of physical activity. In order to do this, have them checked by a veterinarian for a medical check-up and to carry out the appropriate tests.
  • Check your own state of health with your doctor to know how fit you are before you venture out.
  • Establish a training routine in preparation for a hike with your pet. Owners and pets must learn to walk together and respect each other’s rhythms and needs.
  • Respect your pet’s adaptation times as each individual is different. Always start at a slower pace and gradually increase the difficulty of the activity.
  • Pets require patience and encouragement to follow your pace and enjoy a new approach.
  • Consider the weather before training or hiking as dogs are more sensitive to heat than humans. Also, extremely hot surfaces can cause burns on their pads.

Thanks for reading, we hope you’ve enjoyed this article.

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