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A dog on the trail?!

2 feet and 4 paws

NUTRITION

 I bet if you go hiking you carry water and nutrition for yourself. If you take your dog with you, be prepared, to carry a lot more stuff, especially water.

Your dog can not sweat to cool down, so he will need a lot of water while hiking (especially in sunny uphill parts!). Do not rely on finding water on the trail! I usually carry a foldable bowl* with me and an extra bottle of water only for Ioma. If there is no fresh (!) water on the trail (rivers etc.), I stop at least every 30-45 minutes and offer water to Ioma. This is the only chance to make sure she stays hydrated.

 

As Ioma has a very sensitive stomach, she gets fed three times per day with a special diet. She has a bigger breakfast before every hike and I make sure she has a long lunchbreak. I carry her lunch with me. If it's hot, you should carry a coolpack (if your dog is fed with wet food).

 

During the hikes she gets some extra treats as well. I usually have some small treats in my pocket, as well as a tube of tuna-paste (which she loves). Especially the tuna gives her some extra energy and if she has to cross more difficult areas, she is rewarded as well.

 

 

ANIMALS

Hiking means being outdoors. And I think there is no dog that doesn't want to run along the trail with you. Ioma loves to be off-leash, but she is not always allowed to run freely. 

If we hike through the forest between May and July there might be a lot of wildlife in the alps, so I keep her on the leash for the safety of deer and friends.

Last Sunday we crossed some grazing areas of cows and I realized that crossing those with a dog can be a lot more challenging. Normally you need to keep your dog on a very short leash and pass the cows calm, fast and with a safety distance of at least 20m. Unfortunately, this was not possible on Sunday. Three young cows were standing close to the exit of the graze, so we needed to get closer. Ioma was scared and started barking, so the cows would realize we were there. They turned around and came a lot closer than they actually should. So we decided to go backwards, as you're supposed to, and leave the graze. Unfortunately, they were already too close, so we started running (you are not supposed to!) and the cows started following us. We unleashed Ioma, so she could run away and luckily we all got off the graze safely.

 

I am not telling you this to scare you. I just want you to be aware, that meeting other animals (with your dog) on the trail is not always easy and that you should follow some easy safety advice!

 

GEAR

On the trail Ioma usually wears her Ruffwear Webmaster Harness* in Size XS. This harness was expensive, but it's so much worth it! It is super secure and she cannot get out of it. The handle on her back makes it easy to lift her up when needed.

As unfortunately the backpack for this harness* was not available in her size. I sewed one on my own. But she is only carrying her own stuff when it is not to hot.

Additionally I carry a second small harness or collar with me, in case she wants to go swimming (never happened so far, but who knows...).

The leash I am using is a very simple leash which is normally used for jogging and sports. I couldn't find mine online, but I found a similar one here*.

 

Additionally, there is always a big towel for Ioma in my backpack and I am thinking about to buy some more gear, like shoes (for salt water/sharp stones etc.) and a water bottle for dogs, but I haven't decided, yet.

*this is an Affiliate-Link. If you buy via this link I will receive a small provision, but it won't change anything for you.

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