I love this time of year! The bridge between cool and warm temperatures makes for perfect hiking weather. A couple weeks ago, my family took our first hiking trip of the season. We’ve come to really enjoy the challenge most trails bring us, and so has Savannah! She’s always game for any adventure (just as long as her family is too), and that’s what makes it so special. She truly loves being outdoors and I absolutely love it, even if it is stressful sometimes.
Speaking of, I’m proud to say that I feel as though I’ve mastered the “bring your dog hiking” challenge. Not only do you have to worry about them getting dirty (I might be working on that one still…), but you’re also constantly on alert for other dogs and BUGS. Oh man, the bugs. Ticks and spiders haunt me, but they should never be a reason you or your pet don’t venture outside and explore nature!
For those of you who want to test the waters (or trails) with your pups this summer, here is a list of must-have’s while being one with nature with your dog:
- Always, always, always have your pet leashed — This rule goes along with what I said above about constantly being on alert for other dogs. Your pup may be extremely well-behaved, but other roamers may not be! Trust me, it’s so tempting to let your dog run wild, but its better for their safety if you keep them tethered with a fitted harness (plus identification tags). And remember to bring doggie waste bags!
- Water — You get thirsty, right? If you’re bringing a water bottle for yourself, odds are, you need to be packing one for your pup, too. I use this cool portable canine water bottle by Gulpy. It holds the perfect amount of water for Savannah and doesn’t take up any room in my bag! If you opt out of buying a 2-in-one option, be sure to bring a regular water bottle and a bowl.
- A yummy snack — We get hungry after burning some calories while exercising and I’m sure you could imagine your pup does too, especially if they’re running double the distance like Savannah does (I think she’s a “No Man Gets Left Behind” board member). I always like to bring a little treat for Savannah after we go hiking, whether it’s her normal dog food or a special treat.
While these are the main items I always pack along with me on hiking trips, you could also include a dog brush/comb for those pesky stickers that may get stuck in fur, dog booties just in case water or mud is present, and a doggie first-aid kit just in case something goes a little awry. I’m personally excited to test out all-natural bug repellent that’s safe for both humans and our four-legged friends, but that’s a blog post for another day 😉
So, are you ready? Get out there, be safe, and have fun — Let us know how it went in the comments below!