We love taking our dogs with us wherever we can, which means taking them on a lot of outdoor adventures. Though 2020 looks different in many ways, hiking remains a fun activity to enjoy for humans and dogs alike. But how can you safely hike with your dog? By following some new and tried-and-true best practices, you and your dog can easily get outside and moving for the last few months of summer.
Before a hike with your dog
Ahead of strenuous activities, people often start the day with a protein-packed breakfast that will give them the energy needed to finish that extra mile. Dogs are no different. Your dog needs a nutritious, filling breakfast so that they can keep up with you. Not sure if your dog’s food is giving them the needed vitamins and nutrients to stay energized? Check out how to read a dog food label.
What to pack for a hike with your dog
After breakfast, make sure you pack everything needed to hike safely with your dog.
- A snack for both you and your dog – A reward you’ll both enjoy at the summit and will give you an extra boost for the trek down.
- Plenty of water – Make sure to bring a bowl for your dog, as they need to stay hydrated as much as you do. Our lightweight, collapsible dog bowl is made from post-consumer recycled materials, so it’s an eco-friendly way to keep your dog hydrated on the go!
- Doggy bags – For mid-hike restroom breaks.
- Hand sanitizer and a mask – To stay safe against COVID-19.
During a hike with your dog
During any high-energy activity, such as hiking, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog to ensure they’re doing well. According to the American Kennel Club, signs of overheating in dogs include excessive panting, collapsing, vomiting, and diarrhea. Signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, a dry mouth, and poor skin elasticity. To avoid any problems on your hike, make sure you’re offering your dog water frequently and taking a break in the shade if they seem tired.
After a hike with your dog
If your favorite post-hike activity is to swing by a local brewery on the way home and cool off with an IPA, bring some of our brew biscuit dog treats so your dog doesn’t feel left out!
Once home, be sure to offer your dog plenty of water to rehydrate and feed a nutritious meal to restore energy levels. A meal that we’d recommend feeding is our chicken and yams dog food meal (topper), which includes beneficial ingredients for dogs who have spent the day exercising:
- Chicken thigh meat: Among other benefits, chicken thigh meat prevents fatigue and impaired neurological function. Chicken is filled with potassium and natural sodium, which helps dogs maintain fluid balance for energy and cellular health.
- Sweet potatoes / yams: High in fiber and rich in antioxidants, sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory nutrients, among many other benefits.
- Sea salt: This ingredient contains minerals shown to aid in alleviating arthritis pain in dogs, which older dogs may experience after physical exertion.
At Portland Pet Food Company, we feel strongly about taking care of pets the same way that we take care of ourselves, and that starts with the food they eat. We offer a variety of flavors of healthy treats and natural dog food toppings, including grain- and gluten-free options.