As a pet sitter I often find myself hiking in the mountains. There are some dangers to be weary of and simple tools to bring with you for a successful hike. In an older post I described some of the dangers we come across when walking our dogs in the desert and how we prepare ourselves for overcoming these obstacles.
This article will describe some of the tools I always have on me when hiking.
Water, water and even MORE water! – Too many times have I seen people out hiking with their dogs and they hardly have enough water for themselves, let alone their tired and hot pooch. Most dogs are are more than willing to go hiking with their parents and will follow, or lead without complaint…sometimes leading to heat exhaustion and death. So PLEASE…if you bring nothing else, bring lots of water for you and your pooch.
Collapsible Bowl – Bringing a collapsible bowl will help you keep more water than wasting it. If your dog has never drank out of a collapsible bowl you might want to get him used to it before you go hiking to ensure he won’t snub his nose at it when he really needs it.
Needle Nose Pliers/Tweezers – No, you won’t be plucking your eyebrows on your hike…but, if Fido gets cactus needles stuck in their fur or pads, you don’t want to be removing them with your fingers…then you’ll get stuck! I have found that needle nose pliers work great at getting the big needles out and tweezers are great for the finer needles.
Charged Phone – In case you get stuck and can’t get out or if you didn’t bring enough water and Fido is too exhausted to move, you’re gonna need to call for help.
Poop Bags – Feces left behind on a trail are gross! I don’t want to look at it and my dogs always want to smell it. Some dogs like ingesting feces from other dogs and that could lead to all kinds of intestinal parasites and disease. Besides, it’s just plain irresponsible to leave your dogs poop behind. Be courteous and help keep our natural surrounds beautiful by cleaning up after your pet.
Remember: Provide your pooch plenty of rest stops so he can drink and cool down. Nugget’s first hike was an easy one, but we still stopped several times in the shade so he could re-hydrate and rest.
The image most often thought of when you think of a dog walker is one that looks a lot like this…