How do you combine your love of outdoors and spending time with your dog?
Hitting the trails with your dog is a fun way to exercise and bond. The wide open space, fresh air, and enticing smells will have Fido waiting at the door. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a newbie, these essentials will make it a success. There are a few areas to think about like safety, fun, and responsibility.
There are a few items that can make your hiking adventure safe for your dog. Remember to start slowly and work your way up to the long or strenuous hikes.
Harness- A harness with a reflective strip or bright color is the best choice. The harness will keep your dog visible in the woods, and is a safer option for walking.
Leash- Keeping your dog on a leash will keep your dog at your side and out of trouble. Dogs are curious and may run into a wild animal, or try to eat a toxic plant if not on a leash.
Boots- If you are going to be hiking over rough terrain, then Fido may need some paw protection. Boots, like the Guardian Gear Dog Boots, are breathable, lightweight, and will protect the paws from abrasive terrain.
Water bottle- Be sure you bring enough water for you and Fido. Staying hydrated is important especially during hot weather. It is best to hike in the morning or evening, the cooler times of the day, on a hot summer day.
Bug Spray- The woods are a peaceful escape, but is home to multiple bugs and wildlife. Keep your dog safe by spraying him with dog-safe bug repellent to ward off pesky bugs. Try this Insect Shield® Sleeveless Dog Pullover and skip the spray. The pullover will repel mosquitos, ticks, and flies.
Check Fido over for bugs after the hike. Ticks are common in the woods and love to burrow in dogs. They can be hard to spot with all the fur, so do a thorough examination.
All of the sights and smells will keep Fido entertained for hours. However, if you want to play a game of fetch in the open field or lake you can upon, consider packing one of these.
Air KONG® Squeaker Bone– This is what you get when you combine a tennis ball and a bone. This lightweight toy is perfect to play a game of fetch.
Caitec Amazing Molecule Ball Dog Toy– Toss this floatable rubber ball in the lake and watch Fido retrieve. This ball is easy to clean and see with the bright blue color.
Salmon & Ginger Soft Dog Treats– No hike would be complete without a healthy snack. Grab a bag of healthy dog treats to reward Fido, or to enjoy as you take a break on a the trail.
When hiking it is important to stay on the dedicated trail and pick up after your dog. The goal is to leave no trace behind.
Clean up after Fido with a handy waste bag holder that dispenses bags easily. It even attaches to the leash or your belt loop for convenience.
After a long hike, sit back and enjoy a cup of tea in this adorable mug. It will remind you of all the fun hiking adventures you had and all the ones to come.
Get outside and enjoy nature with your dog. Reap the rewards spending time doing what you love with the ones you love.
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Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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