border collie and owner hiking in the brecon beacons bannau brycheiniog in the mountains of wales in the uk with the twiggy tags trailfinder multi-way lead used around the waist with an extra handle, and a strong heavy-duty twiggy tags adventure harness

How to Prepare Your Dog For Hiking

Prepare your dog for hiking in the UK with this comprehensive guide

How to Prepare Your Dog For Hiking

Hiking with your dog is a wonderful way to enjoy the UK's beautiful countryside, but it's essential to ensure your furry friend is well-prepared for the adventure. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to get your dog ready for a hiking trip, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for both of you.

1. Assess Your Dog's Fitness Level

Before embarking on a hiking adventure, it's crucial to assess your dog's fitness level. Different breeds and ages have varying capabilities. Here’s how to ensure your dog is ready:

  • Vet Check-Up: Schedule a visit to the vet to confirm your dog is in good health and fit for hiking.
  • Gradual Training: Start with shorter walks and gradually increase the distance and difficulty to build your dog's endurance.
black working cocker spaniel looking out across a river wearing a bright, abstract multi-coloured twiggy tags adventure harness with 3 clips and a handle on the back, also wearing the onyx black monochrome multi-way hands-free double ended dog leash

2. Essential Training Commands

Proper training is vital for a safe hike. Ensure your dog knows these essential commands:

  • Recall: Your dog should come back to you when called.
  • Heel: Your dog should walk closely by your side.
  • Leave It: To prevent your dog from picking up dangerous items or chasing wildlife.

3. Pack the Right Gear

Having the right gear can make your hike more comfortable and safe for your dog. Here's a checklist:

  • Harness and Lead: A sturdy harness and lead provide better control and reduce the risk of injury. Our favourite Twiggy Tags products to use for a hike are our Adventure Harness, which has a handle for lifting over stiles and is extremely hard-wearing for any hike, and our TrailFinder Multi-Way Lead, specifically designed for hiking, this lead can go from hands-free to a short standard lead really easily.
  • Collapsible Water Bowl: Keep your dog hydrated by carrying a portable water bowl or a bottle that can be converted into a water bowl - or if you have a smart cookie, you can teach your dog to drink from a normal bottle!
  • First Aid Kit: Include items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and tweezers for emergencies. Our favourites are Poorly Paws.
  • Poop Bags: Always clean up after your dog to keep the trails clean, we recommend using our Extra-Large Compostable Poo Bags, and carrying them to the nearest bin/back to your car with a Porta-Poop.
weimerarner dog at a trig point in wales wearing twiggy tags adjustable adventure harness in bright and bold abstract pattern aurora, as well as sierra multi way hands free double ended trailfinder leash which has a bright blue, coral and navy mountain pattern and locking carabiner clips

4. Choose Dog-Friendly Trails

Not all trails are suitable for dogs. When planning your hike, look for dog-friendly paths. The UK offers many beautiful options:

  • Lake District: Known for its stunning scenery and variety of trails, most of which are dog-friendly.
  • Peak District: Offers a range of trails suitable for dogs, from easy walks to more challenging hikes.
  • South West Coast Path: Provides picturesque coastal walks with numerous dog-friendly sections.
  • Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog): Hilly and grassy, this National Park is perfect for beginner and advanced hikers - just watch out for all the sheep!

5. Monitor the Weather

The UK's weather can be unpredictable. Check the forecast and prepare accordingly:

  • Hot Weather: Avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day. Bring extra water and take frequent breaks.
  • Cold Weather: Ensure your dog is warm enough with a suitable coat, especially for short-haired breeds.
nova scotia duck tolling retriever in the scottish highland mountains wearing a twiggy tags petrichor dark green and grey herringbone pattern adjustable and tough adventure dog harness with a padded handle and 3 clips. attached to the harness, he is wearing a twiggy tags trekbright dog safety light which changes colour and has a flashing mode. the ground is covered in thick snow

6. Food and Hydration

Proper nutrition and hydration are crucial for your dog’s energy levels:

  • Water: Carry enough water for both you and your dog. Avoid letting your dog drink from streams or puddles, which may contain harmful bacteria.
  • Snacks: Bring high-energy treats to keep your dog’s energy up during the hike.

7. Post-Hike Care

After a hike, it’s important to check your dog for any signs of discomfort or injury:

  • Paw Check: Inspect your dog’s paws for cuts, thorns, or abrasions.
  • Hydration: Offer plenty of water to rehydrate.
  • Rest: Allow your dog to rest and recover after a long hike.
red merle border collie laid on the grass after hiking asleep attached to a dog camping tether ground stake with a twiggy tags trailfinder multi way hands free double ended leash in sierra, a bright mountain design with light blue, navy, coral and orange. there is a hiking backpack next to him and a pair of hiking boots, with a welsh mountain scenery in the background

Hiking with your dog in the UK can be an incredibly rewarding experience, creating lasting memories and strengthening your bond. By ensuring your dog is well-prepared, you can enjoy the beauty of the UK's trails safely and happily. Remember to follow these steps, choose the right gear, and select dog-friendly paths for an enjoyable adventure. Happy hiking!

By following this comprehensive guide, you can make sure your dog is ready for the great outdoors. Embrace the natural beauty of the UK and create unforgettable hiking experiences with your loyal companion.


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