6 Tips for Adventuring With Your Dog
Adventure dogs are the best kind of trail partners - they’ll always encourage you to go the extra mile and they never complain about early morning alarms. Whether it’s your pup’s first time on the singletrack or they’re a seasoned mountain dog, try these tips to make your human-canine adventure go smoothly.
1. Know the Land Regulations
If you plan to bring your dog along on your outdoor trips, you need to know where your pup is or isn’t allowed. Many public areas that allow dogs require them to be on-leash, and many other public lands (and most national parks) don’t allow dogs in some areas at all. On the other hand, many areas of BLM land allow off-leash dogs. Follow the regulations present in your area to keep your dog safe and keep those lands open to dogs for years to come.
2. Build up Their Fitness
You wouldn’t expect a sedentary person to run an ultramarathon without training - so your pup won’t be able to, either. If your adventure dog is really more of a couch dog, start with shorter rides or runs to build up their stamina before hitting the long, strenuous trails.
3. Bring Water
Unless you’re headed out on a short trip, your canine companion needs to rehydrate just as much as you do. Bring a collapsible bowl for a quick trailside drink, and remember: if you’re thirsty, your four-legged friend probably is too. Bonus points for an adventure that ends at a lake or river for a cool refreshment for your pup.
4. Clean Up, Of Course
We’ve all had that “oh no” feeling when we step on something questionable on the trail. Whenever you head outside with your adventure dog, you need to be prepared to clean up after them. Bring biodegradable waste bags and take them with you to dispose of - don’t leave them on the side of the trail for someone else to take care of. Keep our outdoor spaces clean for everyone else to enjoy!
5. Post-Ride Groom
If your dog has long or fluffy hair, their run through nature can attract some free riders. Once you return to the trailhead, pull off any seeds, branches, or cockleburs that may have hitched a ride. This will prevent matted hair and pain for your dog and prevent the spread of invasive weeds.
6. Watch Those Toes
We’ll admit, we’re always thinking about how to make feet more comfortable. You trust Swiftwick socks when you’re on the trail, but pups don’t have the option to wear high-quality socks. Keep your dog’s feet in mind when heading outside into extreme temperatures - their pads can burn on hot rocks or get dry and cracked after too much snow exposure. Try a pad wax if heading out into the snow and be sure to check for pricks and thorns in your dog’s pads to prevent further problems.
Spending time with your dog in nature is one of the best ways to bond with your four-legged friend. With a little pre-planning, you and your canine can enjoy your trail time together.