Hiking with your dog is a great way for your and your four-legged friends to enjoy beautiful scenery, soak up some sunshine, and get some exercise. Dogs are just as susceptible to heat, dehydration, and burns as we are, but unlike humans, can’t tell us when it’s getting too hot. To keep your pup in peak condition, we’ve put together some hot tips to keep your dog cool for the summer.
Hitting the trails early means you’ll miss the worst of the heat, and the early-morning dew can be a big help in keeping your dog’s paws cool. Not everyone is committed to starting early, so as an added bonus, you and your pup might have the trail to yourselves.
Give them Plenty of Water
For humans and dogs alike, drinking plenty of water is the key to staying cool and hydrated on a hot day. Make sure to pack plenty of water and a collapsible dish for your dog to drink from, and take frequent water breaks. If your dog isn’t a big water-drinker, get them hydrated before the hike by pouring some water over their morning meal. Throughout the hike, you can encourage your dog to drink by adding a few slices of hot dog or a dab of low-sodium chicken broth to the water to make it more enticing.
Choose your Trail Carefully
When hiking with furry friends, pick a trail with lots of shade. A tree-lined road helps you both stay cool, and can save your dog’s paws from burns. To make sure your pup’s paws stay safe, try the 7-second rule: hold the back of your hand to the ground for 7 seconds. If you struggle to keep it there comfortably, it’s too hot to for your dog.
Work up to Longer Hikes
Just like humans, dogs need training to build up their stamina and strength. If your dog isn’t used to strenuous activity, start with shorter, easier hikes and gradually work up to longer, more difficult terrain. Slowly ramping up your hikes will also toughen your dog’s paws so they’ll have an easier time in the future.
Know the Leash Laws
You’ve chosen a gorgeous, shaded trail, you’re stocked up on water, and you and your dog have trained for the terrain. All that’s left is to make sure you read up on the trail’s leash laws and dog policies. The last thing you want is to show up empty handed at a trail that requires leashes, or, even worse, doesn’t allow animals at all.
Once you’ve found the perfect hike for you and your pooch, keep them safe and on the trail with a Freedom No-Pull Harness. The patented control loop discourages pulling, making sure your dog stays by your side no matter the landscape or wildlife. Now you can walk easy knowing your dog is prepared and safe for your next outdoor adventure. Happy trails (and tails)!