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Hiking with your Dog!

Tips for preparing your Dog to go spring hiking in the Asheville Mountains!

Hiking with your dog can be a rewarding experience as well as a bonding activity for both you and your pup! However, it is important to properly prepare your dog for the challenges of hiking in the mountains. Here are some tips on how to prepare your dog for hiking in the mountains.

1. Consult with Your Vet

Before embarking on a hiking adventure with your dog, it is important to consult with your veterinarian. Your vet can provide valuable information on whether your dog is healthy enough for the activity and can recommend any necessary vaccinations, medications, or treatments. They can also advise you on any particular breed-specific considerations that you need to be aware of.

2. Start Slow

If your dog is not used to hiking or spending long periods of time outdoors, it is important to start slowly. Begin with shorter hikes and gradually build up to longer ones. This will allow your dog to gradually acclimate to the new physical demands of hiking in the mountains.

3. Get Your Dog in Shape

Hiking in the mountains can be physically demanding for both you and your dog. To prepare your dog for the rigors of hiking, make sure that they are in good physical shape. This can be achieved by regular exercises such as walks, runs, or other activities that promote cardio and muscular strength.

4. Train Your Dog

Hiking in the mountains requires your dog to be well-trained and obedient. Before hitting the trails, basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel should be mastered. In addition, it is important to train your dog to walk on a leash without pulling and to respond to voice commands.

5. Invest in Proper Gear

Investing in proper gear can make a huge difference in your dog's hiking experience. Ensure your dog is outfitted with a properly fitting collar or harness, a leash, and a backpack if they carry their own supplies. Dog boots can also be a useful investment to protect your dog's paws from rough terrain and hot surfaces.

6. Bring Plenty of Water and Food

Just like humans, dogs need plenty of water and food to sustain themselves during a long hike. Make sure to bring enough water for both you and your dog, as well as a portable water bowl. Bring enough food and treats to sustain your dog throughout the hike and consider packing some high-energy snacks to keep them going.

7. Check the Trail Conditions

Before heading out, it is important to check the trail conditions. Make sure that the trail is safe for your dog and that there are no hazards that could put your dog in danger. Additionally, be aware of any wildlife that could pose a threat to your dog and take necessary precautions to keep them safe.

8. Pay Attention to Your Dog's Body Language

While hiking, paying attention to your dog's body language is important. Look for signs of fatigue, dehydration, or discomfort. Take frequent breaks and allow your dog to rest and drink water as needed. If your dog is showing signs of distress, it is important to cut the hike short and seek veterinary attention if necessary.

9. Leave No Trace

Hiking in the mountains comes with a responsibility to leave no trace. This means packing out all of your trash, leaving natural objects undisturbed, and staying on designated trails. In addition, make sure that your dog is also following these guidelines and is not disturbing wildlife or causing damage to the environment.

In conclusion, hiking with your dog can be an incredible bonding experience. However, it is important to properly prepare your dog for the challenges of hiking in the mountains. By following these tips, you can ensure that your dog is healthy, happy, and safe while exploring the great outdoors with you.

Barkwells Is a Great Home Base for Your Next Outdoor Adventure!

If you and your dogs are outdoor lovers and you are looking for a pet-centric retreat, then look no further than Barkwells, The Dog Lover’s Vacation Retreat. We have ten cabins between Asheville and Brevard. 

We offer everything you and your dogs need to enjoy all of the comforts of home, along with access to a wide variety of activities and amenities, including private ponds and acres of fenced-in meadows. At Barkwells, we have plenty of space for your dogs to explore in a safe and secure environment

For reservations or more information about our dog lovers' getaway, get in touch with us or visit our website.