Dog Trekking - Hike with a Dog for a Long Distance
Published: 06th February 2017
Not every dog will pass long walks with muscle tension and load on cardiovascular system, therefore there are some limits for this dog sport:
- only grown-up dogs are allowed;
- old dogs and dogs with health issues are allowed only after consultation by a vet, who tells you whether a body burden isn't too high for your pet;
- the dog must be well-behaved and respond to the commands immediately in spite of the hunting instinct and any distractions.
Preparation for Hiking
The dog must be high trained for such kind of activity. Not only dog's physical fitness but also its skills are considered. Dog breeds, which like running, e.g., Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, can take a trim trail with their stride. Massive and short-legged breeds, on the contrary, most often have lack of stamina.
When you are going to hike with the dog, take a notice of two the most important points:
1) Whether dogs are welcome in the hostel you've chosen.
2) Whether there are places where it's forbidden to walk the dog without the leash. If you are going to travel with your dog abroad the requirements of the chosen country for international guests must be observed.
Your dog should be trained for the hikes with heavy loads. Walk the dog three or four hours at least one week before hike to get the desired fitness. Besides, you can increase the distance of your every-day walking route to train the dog in a gentle way. You have to train the dog to the saddlebag, if you want it to carry its equipment. But not every pet can cope with this challenge.
Must-Have Gear for Hiking with the Dog
Think ahead of quality and functional equipment and enough food for your dog and you. Choose dry dog food because of the less weight. Don't feed the dog oftener even while raised energy consumption. Otherwise the dog's digestive system can be overstrained. So, throw your dog into good form, provide it with dry food in good supply, and the most important - provide your four-legged companion with enough water. Use folding travelling bowls.
Take along a first aid kit for your dog: a disinfectant, a wound textile, tick tweezers and pincers for pulling out small stones or stings.
Use a trekking harness instead of a dog collar, because it is safer and more comfortable for your pet. The dog harness is usually connected to the owner's running belt with a long dog leash so that the dog has enough space being safe.
Sometimes it would be better for the dog to wear dog shoes with non-slip soles, e.g., on stony roads or at low temperatures. As it is difficult to train the dog to wear shoes you must take care of this in advance.
Three Main Conditions for Dogs to Take Part in Trekking:
1. Only healthy and adult pets are allowed.
2. Short-legged and massive dogs must be allowed to hiking only after consultation by a veterinarian.
3. The speed and the distance must be chosen so that the dog can endure it.
Competitions in Dogtrekking
The distance is at least 80 km. Min. dog's age is usually at about 18 months. The hike extends over several days. A good fitness of both - two- and four-legged competitors - is essential.
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