82% of adults in the UK agree that being in nature made them very happy; it’s obvious that we enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer. After all, nothing beats breathing in the fresh air, seeing spectacular views, and conquering challenging trails.
These experiences are so wonderful that it’s no surprise that many want to share them with friends and family. You might even want to bring your pets along for a fantastic bonding experience.
Traveling with dogs for outdoor adventures is entirely possible, but you should take some measures to ensure their safety. Here are some ways you can prepare your dogs and their kennels.
Assess Your Pets’ Health and Condition
Before you set off and go backpacking with dogs, you have to make sure they’re in good enough health to handle it.
It’s a good idea to book a visit to the veterinarian so they can get thorough checkups. In addition, the vet can give them vaccinations and any necessary preventive treatments, such as tick and flea control. If they’re not already microchipped, we highly recommend this, as it’s a permanent form of identification that can come in handy in several situations outside of traveling with dogs.
You’ll also need to consider how obedient your pets are. Nature can be dangerous at times, so you want them to respond reliably to commands, even when distracted. It can literally be the difference between life and death.
Before the trip, gradually build your pets’ stamina and endurance through regular exercise. This will decrease the chances of injuries, and it’ll be more likely that they can handle the physical demands of outdoor adventures.
Pack Essential Safety Gear
Whether camping with dogs or on your own, a first aid kit is a must-have. Include items like:
- Adhesive tape
- Antiseptic wipes
- Disposable gloves
If you’re hiking with dogs, then bring dog booties. These can protect their paws from hot pavement, sharp rocks, thorns, or rough terrain. In addition, these provide additional grip on slippery surfaces.
Do you have water activities planned? Then pack doggy life jackets, which are especially useful for canines that aren’t strong swimmers or are brachycephalic. Make sure to buy life jackets that fit properly and have handles for easy retrieval.
Pay attention to the forecast too, as this will affect what safety gear your pets will need. For example, if there’s going to be rain, they’ll require doggy raincoats. Or if it’ll be especially cold, they may need warm coats or sweaters.
If your pets are physically capable, then giving them doggy backpacks can be beneficial too. In these, you can put their water, food, treats, collapsible bowls, and waste bags.
Ensure Proper Ventilation During Transportation
Kennel travel is possible, but there are certain things you should do so your dogs are comfortable and safe.
Position the kennel correctly and keep the mesh panels or vents clear of obstructions. When in the car, crack the windows and avoid placing the kennel in direct sunlight.
If it’s hot, you can keep your dogs cool by using portable fans and giving them unlimited access to water. Take breaks on the road trip to stretch your legs; put your pets on leashes to prevent escapes.
Use the Appropriate Restraints and Harnesses
Your dogs may be well-trained, but you never know if something will cause them to behave uncharacteristically. Considering how unpredictable nature can be too, it’s of the utmost importance to use the appropriate restraints and harnesses.
Not only should your pets wear their regular collars with identification tags, but they should also have a sturdy harness. Plus, bring leashes that accommodate their sizes and strength. Both retractable and standard leashes are fine, so long as they’re six feet or less; this length ensures safety.
Manage Potential Risks in Unfamiliar Environments
Even the most experienced mountaineers and adventurers run into unfamiliar environments, so if you’ve been on outdoor excursions multiple times, it doesn’t hurt to think about how to manage potential risks.
Always take it slow and easy; this is vital during extreme weather. Take plenty of breaks and make sure that everyone drinks plenty of water.
To protect against wildlife, you should make plenty of noise while backpacking with dogs, especially if there are bears around. Keep them on their leashes to ensure they don’t aggravate wildlife or eat anything toxic.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
When camping with dogs, you should be prepared for any emergencies that may happen, especially if your pets have health issues.
You should brush up on basic first aid techniques for canines. If you have other companions coming, then learn first aid for humans too.
Before leaving for your trip, find out where the nearest vet is, then save their information on your phone or write it down on a piece of paper. You should also bring your pets’ vaccination and medical records.
Find out the poison control centre hotline number too. That way, if something’s ingested while hiking with dogs, you can immediately call to find out if you need to bring them to the vet.
Travelling With Dogs Is Possible With Proper Preparations
It’s understandable that you want to share your life experiences with your furry friends. Travelling with dogs can be fun and exciting, especially if you’re exploring nature, but you definitely have to do your due diligence before setting off.
After checking that your pets are in good enough health to travel and explore, you should pack essential safety gear. During your excursion, be prepared for potential risks and emergencies too. If you keep your wits about you, then it’ll result in a much better time for everyone involved.
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