Summer is a great time to discover new landscapes with your dog. The temperature is pleasant in the forest, the trails are dry and if you can ignore the mosquitoes, it’s the perfect opportunity to recharge your batteries.
Here are a few tips for an enjoyable hike.
First, you need to know if your pet is allowed in the area you want to visit. You can easily find this information by visiting the websites of the wildlife parks in your area or on the Parks Canada website. This will give you access to a wealth of useful information, such as downloadable trail maps, rules and regulations, and topography, which is very useful when planning your trip.
A word of advice: if you doubt your physical abilities, you should avoid the mountain trails. Although the views are breathtaking, it will take a lot of effort to get to the top and you will probably be out of breath before you get there. If you are a first-time hiker, it is a good idea to use trails that are short loops, around a lake for example, or that are no longer than 4 km.
Always share your itinerary with someone close to you for added security.
In terms of distance, calculate about 30 minutes of walking for one kilometer. Experienced hikers will tell you that this is a fairly slow pace, but you can always adjust your expectations for future trips. If you prefer to venture into the mountains, plan on 45 minutes per kilometer.
Being well prepared means being ready for anything unexpected. You’ll probably never have a glitch on a hike, but it only takes one incident to turn your walk into a bad adventure.
So remember to bring two first aid kits, one for you and one for your dog. Why two kits? The reason is simple: human products are not suitable for animals. You can easily find a first aid kit at your local pet store.
If you are unable to carry your dog in your arms, add a rescue harness to your kit. This will allow you to carry your pet on your back in the event of an injury.
Don’t forget to get a tick catcher, because in the last few years, these little bugs are very present on our trails.
Once the safety aspect of your expedition is settled, it’s time to think about food and hydration!
It’s always a good idea to bring supplies for your dog on a hike as picnics in the woods are so much fun. Has your dog ever tried our red meat kibble?
Calculate about 1 liter of water per hiker and per animal for a hike of less than 5 km. Do not hesitate to take regular breaks to allow your dog to quench its thirst, approximately every 20 minutes of walking.
Some experienced hikers recommend Canicross-type leashes that attach at the waist and allow the use of walking sticks. While they are convenient, they are far from necessary. It should be noted that the Canicross leash is practical on flat terrain and provides good traction when climbing. However, it is more problematic when going downhill, especially if your friend tends to pull.
Rules of Etiquette
When you are out hiking with your pet, it is recommended that you follow a few rules of etiquette:
- Pick up after your dog.
- Stay on the trail to protect the fauna and flora.
- Respect other hikers and their animals. For example, get off the trail when you pass other hikers.
We’ve got a little tip here: if your dog is puzzled or intimidated by the presence of strangers, use his favourite treats to distract him. Has your dog ever tried our chicken fillets?
Now all you have to do is go on your adventure. We wish you and your favorite companion a wonderful summer on the trails!