Dogs can be some of the best companions to take with us on hikes. They love walks, fresh air and enjoying the great outdoors (sticks!). But it is important as pet parents that we are prepared for all the risks that could come with having them tag along on our adventures. With the proper dog health insurance and dog wellness plans you can prevent illness or cover emergency care. Here are some top tips for hiking with our dogs and things to keep in mind when considering different pet insurance companies.
Train Dog Before Hike
It’s important that your dog has basic training before you take them on a trail as well as is socialized. This is for, if and when, you do come into contact with another dog and other hikers that your dog is calm. You can test their socialization skills at the dog park before you hit the trails.
It is also important that your dog knows their name and responds to simple commands such as ‘come’ and ‘sit’. This could be important for safety on really busy trails or steep trails. This is also why you need to bring a leash and leash them up if things ever get too steep or if the park requires it.
Use Dog-Friendly Trails
It’s important to remember that not every trail is dog-friendly and some require dogs to be leashed the entire time. Take some time to research the trail beforehand and even search for reviews made by fellow dog owners. If you’re looking to hike in National or State Parks then check out www.nps.gov or the parks official website.
It’s also important to consider how easy the trail will be on your dog’s paws. Try and avoid trails that have a lot of sharp rocks and looser rocks that could cause slipping and injury. Opt for a dirt trail instead! Also, if possible find a trail with plenty of shade for those hot summer days.
Take Enough Water & Food
I don’t know about you, but I get extremely thirsty and hungry on my hikes and both are needed to maintain energy to get to the finish line. It’s important to remember that while most of our hiking dogs don’t look exhausted, they also need loads of water and snacks to keep their energy up and hydrated regardless if it’s a hot or cool day. Hiking exerts a lot of energy going straight uphill or steeply downhill and it’s important you remember to keep them hydrated and offer snacks throughout the day.
It’s really important to keep our dogs hydrated from the water we bring them so they don’t go looking for water in puddles, ponds, rivers, etc. This is all for safety, helping them avoid bacteria like leptospirosis. This is an infection that is spread through urine-contaminated water, such as stagnant puddles and ponds frequented by infected wildlife.
If your dog does contract something on the trail Wagmo pet insurance can help! Our dog health insurance can help cover the costs of emergency vet care, medications, and any diagnostics they need to be done.
While Wagmo also offers wellness plans that help cover vaccinations, flea and tick care, and more! Ticks are especially important to watch out while outdoors and if you haven’t already purchased the medication from your vet, you can in the meantime be prepared with topical sprays that include tea tree oil.
Dog Hiking Equipment
Hiking with a dog is a lot more than just loading them in the car and heading to the trail. It is important to bring not only water and snacks but other equipment that leaves the trail clean and your dog happy. Some equipment to bring along include:
Poop bags: this is a given, but it is respectful to wildlife and other hikers to clean up after your dog. You are responsible for ensuring the ecosystem of the path is maintained.
First aid kit: You never know what your dog might be into or find when out in nature. It is best to be prepared for cuts, fleas, ticks, etc. Wagmo pet insurance is also a great tool to have in your toolbelt.
Extra clothes or booties: If you’re hiking and planning to camp overnight it’s important our dogs stay warm and cozy. A dog jacket can keep their temperature regulated and dog booties help protect their paw pads from frostbite or pain. And of course lots of blankets!
Doggy bowl: Find one of those collapsable doggy bowls so it is lightweight and easy to whip out to offer your dog food and drink. Take plenty of rest breaks!
Hiking with our dogs is one of the best ways to get to know them. It can bring you closer together and create a stronger bond. It is also an awesome way to keep our dogs fit and healthy! But it’s important to keep in mind hiking brings a lot of unknowns. Your dog might get into a poisonous plant, get bit by a tick, ingest infected water, or break a leg. This is why dog health insurance is so important. Wagmo pet insurance is the best way to have peace of mind and feel confident taking your four-legged friend out on a hike!
Wagmo offers dog insurance coverage for emergency care in the case of a broken leg, illness or other unexpected injuries or infections. While Wagmo’s dog wellness plans are helpful to prevent your dog from getting sick. Wellness plans cover vaccinations, flea, and tick care, and grooming for after the hike and they are a little muddy! Take Wagmo’s coverage quiz today and find the perfect plan for you!