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Tips for a Dog Hike – Fun Outdoor Adventure

dog hike We’re sure your best friend would love to go on a dog hike. All dogs, even urban dogs, enjoy some fun in the sun and new adventures. Here are some great tips:

1. Check in advance to ensure the trail or park allows dogs

Not all trails or parks are dog friendly so definitely check in advance.

2. Make sure your dog can handle the exercise

Hiking is more strenuous than walking, especially since the terrain is uneven. Make sure your dog’s fitness matches the distance and level of hike you’re planning to take. Otherwise, you might end up carrying your dog half way through the hike.

small dog hikeSome factors you’ll want to consider is their age and overall health. Dogs that are in shape and over 40 lbs generally are well adapted for hiking. Smaller dogs can be good hikers too, but they do need to take a lot more steps to cover the same piece of ground, and they cannot stretch as far up or down a rock, so they may need a lift where a larger dog would not. If you’re not sure, start with an easy, flat hike that’s not too long.

3. Bring the right gear for your pooch
Summit Backpack

Summit Backpack

  • If you have a strong, fit dog and you want him to share the load and get him to wear a dog backpack.
  • If the hike you’re considering does not have much shade and you have a dog that could easily sunburn, bring some sunscreen made for dogs.
  • If your dog overheats, consider using a dog cooling vest.
  • Remember to bring water not just for yourself, but also for your dog. Check out our recommended travel water bottles.
  • We believe it’s also good to bring some treats for your dog. It’s a great way to get their attention and they might need some nourishment if it’s a strenuous hike – just as you would bring trail mix for yourself.
4. Follow Dog Hike Etiquette
  • Clean up after your dog just as you would after yourself, using the Leave No Trace principles.
  • Give dog-less hikers the right of way. When you meet others on the trail, put your dog on a leash.
  • Do not allow your dog to disturb plants or wildlife.
  • Keep your dog on the trail.

Hot Weather Tips for Your Dog

summer dog

It’s great to spend time with your dog outside. Just remember to take some simple precautions to help prevent your dog from overheating during the hot weather. Here are our Hot Weather Tips for Your Dog:

Hydrate

Make sure to bring water with you – not just for yourself, but also for your dog. Check out these water bottles for dogs.

Shade

Look for a shady place for your dog so they can get out of the sun and cool down.
water bottle

Street Smarts

When the temperature is high, don’t let your dog walk on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your dog’s body can heat up quickly, and its sensitive paw pads can burn.

Not sure if it’s hot? Well if it’s too hot for your foot, it’s probably too hot for your dogs. Press the back of your hand firmly against the asphalt for 7 seconds to verify it will be comfortable for your dog. The last thing anyone wants is for your dog to burn his paws.

ruffwear cooling coat

cooling coat

If you live in an area where the ground is always scorching hot, consider getting your dog some dog booties for hot weather.

Exercise

Try to exercise dogs in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are lower. If your dog quickly overheats, you might want to try out a cooling coat.

Water Activities

Dogs, like people, often love to get wet when it’s hot outside. Make sure to introduce your dog to water gradually and don’t leave them unsupervised around a pool as not all dogs are good swimmers and they should not drink pool water, which can be toxic.

Summer dogDogs should wear a flotation device when on boats (just like us humans do). Never take your dog to the beach unless you can provide a shaded spot and plenty of fresh water for them to drink. Consider having your dog wear doggles to protect their eyes.

Remember to rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from their coat.

Sunscreen

sunscreen for dogsSunburn is a hazard for pets who spend time outdoors. Use a pet-safe sunscreen to protect your dog from the sun’s harming rays, which can cause skin cancer especially of the ears and nose. Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog – the layers of dogs coats can protect them from sunburn.

Warning Signs

If you find your dog excessively panting or just not wanting to exercise or walk as they normally would, your dog might be overheating. Try to get them out of the sun and preferably in an air conditioned room asap.

Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car!!!

NEVER leave your animals (or children) alone in a parked vehicle. A parked car can become an oven and easily lead to fatal heat stroke for pets and children. Please keep them at home if you can’t bring them with you.

Now that you have the tips – go outside with your best friend and enjoy a great, safe summer!

Protect Your Dog’s Paws from Getting Burned

hot asphalt awareness

Hot Asphalt Awareness

Press the back of your hand firmly against the asphalt for 7 seconds to verify it will be comfortable for your dog. The last thing anyone wants is a dog with burnt paws.

If needed and your dog is small enough, pick him up if the asphalt is too hot. Alternatively, you can get your dog some summer dog boots to protect his paws from the hot ground.

paws

paws

Dog Popsicles – a great hot weather treat

dog popsiclesWith the weather so hot outside, we’re sure your dog would love a dog popsicle treat. Lucily, they’re easy to make:

Dog Popsicle Recipe:

1. Get a carton of low sodium Chicken or Beef stock

2. Pour into popsicle molds, plastic cups or ice cube trays

3. Put in freezer

4. While it’s freezing and not yet completely solid, add a chew stick / bully stick. This will be the popsicle stick for your dog to chew on. If you’re having a hard time getting the stick straight, try covering the tray tightly with saran wrap and then poking the stick through the saran wrap.
lick
5. Freeze until solid

6. Simply remove and give to your dog. We suggest letting them eat these outside or somewhere where things can get a bit wet.