Hiking with Senior Dogs: The do’s, don’ts, and how-to’s
Do you love exploring the outdoors with your pupper? For senior dogs, there are some extra precautions you need to consider when bringing your four-legged friend on a nature adventure.
- Choose a low-key trail: For seniors, a short, flat trail with little elevation gain and a dirt path is best. Too much strenuous activity or unpredictable terrain can be too taxing for a senior pup.
- Plan your route: Bring a map and plan a route that will allow you to have maximum fun with minimal stress. Plan for rest breaks and let your pup decide when they need a break.
- Pack water: Bring plenty of water for your pup. Senior dogs need to stay hydrated, so it is important to bring water and offer it regularly throughout your hike.
- Don’t push your pup beyond their limits: Older dogs may not have the energy they used to, so it is important to be respectful of what your pup can handle. If your pup needs a break, listen to them and give them a rest.
- Don’t let them off leash: Although it may be tempting, senior dogs need to remain leashed. Letting them off leash could leave them vulnerable to hazards like sharp rocks, thorns, and other animals.
- Don’t forget their meds: If your pup is on medication, make sure to bring it along and give it as prescribed. Keeping up with their meds will ensure they are comfortable and safe during the hike.
- Start small and work your way up: If you’re just getting started with senior dogs and hiking, start small. Try walking around your neighborhood, or at a local park with more flat and easy terrain. That way, you can get an idea of what your pup can handle and slowly increase the distance and difficulty.
- Pay attention to the weather: Plan your hike carefully and avoid extreme temperatures and storms. Hot or cold days can be too taxing for senior dogs and rain or thunder can be unsettling and dangerous.
- Bring a first-aid kit: Just like people, dogs can be injured during a hike. Stock up on a first-aid kit for your pup and bring it on any outdoors adventure.
Hiking with senior dogs can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Just make sure to do your research, plan ahead, and most of all, listen to your pup.