Hiking Essentials: 5 Tips for You and Your Pup In and Out of the Car

When you’re ready to summit a peak or circle a mountain lake, there’s no better companion than your dog. With a happy-go-lucky attitude and lots of tail wags, dogs are excited to come along, rain or shine. At PuppTech, we support taking your dog everywhere you can, so we have a short list of ideas for the next time you go exploring with your dog.

If you haven’t seen it already, go play around with PuppTech’s new Hiking App, a mapped database of prime locations to explore with your dog. Follow our updates as we complete more adventures!

1. Get a Last Minute Veterinarian Checkup

It never hurts to get a clean bill of health from the vet, especially if you’re going to be on top of a mountain or in a lake. If necessary, tick removal and vaccinations can be done in addition to other physical examination. Getting Fido and Fluffy a checkup can avoid potentially avoid a bigger health issue later on. Plus, if traveling with your pup for the first time, your veterinarian may have some useful tips to prepare your dog for a hike.  

2. Bring Some Healthy Treats for Both of You

Sometimes your pup needs a little nudging to cooperate. An unfamiliar setting with exciting new smells, people, and animals should not overwhelm your well-trained dog, but some Milk-Bones can’t hurt. Don’t forget to feed yourself, too! Without a little jerky or trail mix to satisfy that stomach growl, you might be a tad grumpy (and you could both use the protein).

3. Check that Supply List Twice

If you’re anything like me, then you always forget something whenever you leave the house (hopefully you’re better than I). In any case, it’s still a good idea to double check that you’ve remembered everything. Never hiked with your pup before? Be sure to include these items for a trip without headache:

  • First Aid Kit - You should always carry one while hiking, with Fido or not. Make sure you have sufficient bandages, gauze, disinfectant, scissors, and painkillers.

  • Sturdy Leash - Consider a chest harness, too. They are less strenuous on your dog’s neck and can help you maneuver them through tight spaces.

  • Collapsible Water Bowl - You’ve remembered the water, but your pup can’t drink as easily from the bottle. A portable water bowl is perfect for giving them a drink, wherever you are.

  • Towel - Even if you’re not planning on your pup taking a swim, it’s always a good idea to keep one in the car. That way you can dry Fluffy off when she jumps into a puddle.

4. Consider Additional Training

Did you know most dogs can understand over 150 words? Your pup likely has room to learn more commands for a specific activity, such as hiking. If you’re a serious outdoors person, always trekking somewhere with your dog, you’ve probably taught Fido and Fluffy additional commands. Training your dog to avoid rattlesnakes or hike off-leash are just a couple ideas. Do be aware of any forest or park rules about leashes, as some areas may prohibit dogs being off-leash. At the very least, if taking your pup on a short hike, make sure they know basic commands to avoid a frenzied foot chase.

5. Plan Your Post-Hike Food Stop Carefully

Odds are you’ll be traveling during the summer, or perhaps you live in a warm area. When you want to treat yourself after a successful hike, try limiting your options to restaurants with a drive through or pet-friendly outdoor seating. If you do make a stop, make it short and leave someone with your dog to keep the door open or the AC on. You can make and pack your own lunch, but if it’s frozen desserts you’re after, going to a restaurant is a much easier option.

Do not ever leave your pup in the car in the heat, unprotected, even if you think you’ll be back shortly. Doing so risks your dog’s health, and even life, depending on the temperature and time spent in the car.

Most importantly, have fun! Enjoy the nature for what it is, or take lots of pictures for social media. Either way, your dog is happy to be alongside you.

Go on car trips frequently with your dog? Learn how the PuppComm can provide safety and convenience when making stops on the road. 

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