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Beginners Guide to Summer Hiking with Your Dog

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Summer is on its way and in the UK and we love to get outdoors. Well, some of us do. In that respect we’re just like our dogs. Some dogs are designed to run up mountains, others to strut the high streets. When hiking with your dog it’s important that we treat them like we’d treat ourselves. Be prepared, have the right kit, and know your limits.

When hiking we must know what they’re capable of and not push them past their limits, physically AND mentally. We should think about how far they can feasibly walk, how much food (and water) will they need, and what will you see along the way? Some dogs are super obedient and stay by their owners’ side, others love to go off and roam. To make leashing up easy, I always recommend the Ruffwear Slackline Lead which can be waist-worn. That leaves your hands free but also gives better weight distribution for dogs who like to pull or charge. For those who need a bit of help, I use a Halti Collar attached to a Ruffwear Hoopie Collar.

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When on the trail, food and water are key, especially on hot days. If your dog is big enough, they can carry their own supplies in the Ruffwear SingleTrak Pack. This means they get a great work out and they have their supplies with them. Whilst we keep items in ours including nibbles, water, first aid kit, bowl, and waste bags.

Summer conditions vary in the UK but sometimes it gets warm on the hills. Dogs don’t have any other way to dissipate heat other than panting and through their ears/paws. We play fetch a lot with which means Finn gets quite warm. Dogs with thick coats are especially vulnerable to overheating so regular breaks are key to their health and enjoyment.

In your own pack, make sure to pack a wide neck bottle for your dog’s waste. It’s important we leave no trace on the hills and people are particularly angry when seeing doggy bags about. A wide necked Nalgene bottle seals in the smell so you can dispose of it later.

After an awesome day out make sure you give your best friend a once over, just like you would yourself. Check paws for cuts and abrasions, eyes and ears, and all over for ticks. It’s important we know that they can settle down safe in their bed after enjoying the hills with us.

Huw and Finn are Ambassadors for Ruffwear UK. Huw is an Adventure Photographer and Filmmaker from Wales, UK.

Take a look at our Ruffwear range to kit your dog with all they need for fun day out on the hills

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