Hiking with your pet can be an exhilarating adventure as you tackle new trails together, but if your pet has never joined you on a hike before, how do you enjoy the great outdoors with them while also keeping them engaged and interested? While we recommend first and foremost a visit with us here at Cypress St. Animal Hospital to launch your hiking plans, here are some helpful tips to get you started before you meet with your Vancouver animal wellness hospital.

How fit is your fur baby?

One of the best things you can do for yourself, and your canine companion is to assess their overall health and ability to accompany you on your hike. Considering factors such as your dog’s age, breed, size, and physical fitness is an important part of deciding whether or not to bring them along for your next trail adventure. If you’re unsure whether your dog is up to the task, you can always try a shorter and simpler version of your hike by taking them on a walk longer than they are used to and paying close attention to how they are faring. If your dog is moving slowly and panting heavily, then it may not be ready to join you on a hike yet. The best way to determine if this is something that can be remedied with the right training or whether hiking with your pup isn’t in your future is to take them to your Vancouver animal wellness hospital and have them evaluated by a knowledgeable veterinarian. This is a great way to get a realistic perspective on how much hiking your hound can handle. It’s also a great way to measure their overall health and find out if there are any lifestyle changes you could make to improve your dog’s physical fitness such as a change in diet or type of exercise.

Hydration for hounds

If you’ve decided to move forward with taking your dog hiking with you, it’s important to remember you aren’t the only one who needs gear on the trail. There are lots of backpacks built for dogs and their supplies like water and dog bags but be sure to do some trial runs first to ensure your dog can tolerate the feel of and bear the weight of the backpack comfortably. Along with a first aid kit for yourself and your dog, your dog must stay hydrated during your adventure. A good formula for how much water your dog needs is at least 8 oz per hour spent hiking. At Cypress Street we suggest, for humans and dogs alike, freezing some plastic water bottles (that are ¾’s full), to take along with you. The ice melts as your trek and gives you a refreshingly cold drink of water each time. For tips on what to look for to make sure your dog is hydrated, consult with your Vancouver animal wellness hospital about things like checking your dog’s nose for dryness.

Here in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, we have so many amazing natural spaces to explore. Enjoying the outdoors with your best friend (your dog of course) makes for even more fun. For the best safety tips and information on things to watch out for on our local hikes, it’s best to check in with a Vancouver animal wellness hospital, like our knowledgeable veterinarians at Cypress St. Animal Hospital so we can get you and your pup prepared to hit the trails.