A trip to a forest reserve is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There is no better way to do this than in the company of your loyal friend. Most dogs love being outdoors and are great company during hikes. Planning a trip with your pup might seem overwhelming, but all you need is preparation.
Before you embark on your trip, do some research. Find out the forest rules and regulations, including leash regulations. Get as much information as you can about the types of trails available.
Find out if they have gravel, paved, or natural trails. Knowing the hazards ahead of time will help you prepare. Some breeds do well in areas with running water and cliffs, but difficult trails may not be ideal for some.
Make sure your dog is up-to-date on all their vaccines before the trip. Vaccinations help protect your pet against serious illnesses. Wait until your new puppy is a bit older before planning the trip.
Most dogs are not fully vaccinated until they are around five months. Talk to your vet about recommended vaccines and the best tick and flea treatment for your pet. The vet will discuss options and the best solution for your dog.
If your pet has never been camping or on a hike, they may feel nervous sleeping outdoors. The inability to sleep can damper your hiking trip. If you plan a camping trip, spending the night in a tent in your backyard can help.
You can introduce your pet to outdoor living in a controlled and comfortable manner. You can make the experience as realistic or as fun as you like. Your pet can get used to the experience before your trip. Choose a dog-friendly campsite.
When packing food and water, ensure that you get extra. Hiking is an energy-intensive activity for both you and your pet. You will need more food and water than usual as you burn energy on the trails.
Your dog will likely require almost 50% more food than it regularly consumes at home. Bring more water than you think you need to avoid dehydration. It also helps to pack some extra treats.
Just as you would not set out on a hike while physically unprepared, the same is true with your dog. Build up your dog’s endurance before the trip. Help your dog build muscle strength before the strenuous activity.
Preparing your pet can help prevent injury and soreness. Start with short easy hikes, and monitor your dog’s energy levels. Choose easy trails in the beginning, increasing the difficulty over time. If the dog wants to stop for a breather, follow its lead.
Allow your dog to stop and rest as necessary. Keep your dog on a leash as much as possible during the hike. It can keep your pet from getting lost or injured. Consider your dog’s age and overall health when planning the trip. Consult your vet before making any decisions.
For more on preparing your dog for a trip to Prescott National Forest, visit Harmony Veterinary Care at our Prescott, Arizona office. Call (928) 445-7499 to schedule an appointment today.