As a dog owner, there’s nothing more exhilarating than experiencing the great outdoors with your canine companion. Exploring the sights, smells and sounds of our beautiful countryside – from the coastal paths to the mountain tracks – is a great way for you both to keep fit and indulge in some quality time together away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
We’ve teamed up with performance dog gear company Ruffwear to put together some top tips for hiking with your dog, including some ideas for accessories which are bound to set tails wagging on the trail!
Image credit: @annalieandtedIt’s essential to find the perfect place to rest up during your adventure, and we’ve got a range of dog-friendly cottages worth barking about.
Hitch Hiker Lead. Image credit: @ruffwear and @ruffwear_europe
Preparation is key
When taking your dog hiking, you need to ensure you have everything you need before you set one paw outside the door. Planning your route and doing a few simple checks means you are prepared for whatever the day may bring.
The following questions are worth bearing in mind:
- What’s the weather forecast for today? This will guide the decisions you make when deciding what to pack for both of you
- Are there any doggy rules and regulations you need to consider on your chosen route? This includes any seasonal restrictions such as having to keep your four-legged friend on a lead at certain times of year
- How far should you hike in one go? The length and difficulty of your hike depends on many factors, including your dog’s age and any health conditions they have. Tailor your trek accordingly so that you can both get the most out of it
This guide to the UK’s best dog walks offers plenty of inspiration when selecting a destination.
This Front Range dog harness is padded, offering maximum comfort for your four-pawed pal. With two lead attachment options, it’s also versatile.
A Flat Out adjustable dog lead can be handheld or worn around the waist if you want to go hands-free. Team it with the Flat Out collar and you can both em-bark on all kinds of exciting treks.
The Hitch Hiker Lead can be handheld, waist-worn or used to hitch around a single tree or post when stopping for a break.
Quencher packable dog bowl. Image credit: @ruffwear and @ruffwear_europe
Pack some snacks
If you think you’ll get hungry and thirsty on a hike, you can guarantee your furry friend will too! Food and drink are top of the list for everyone on the hike, whether on four legs or two. Don’t forget to pack a few of your pooch’s favourite treats – these could come in handy if they’re having such a good time that they stray a bit too far and you need to bring them to heel! Or as a reward for being the ‘bestest boy’.
A bottle of water or two, depending on how warm the day is, can go a long way when you’re well into the hike and tongues are lolling. Of course, you want to travel light; there are plenty of lightweight and collapsible water bowl options you can pop in your backpack to help keep the hound hydrated.
The Quencher packable dog bowl is great for food or drink and comes in three different sizes, making it suitable for all breeds.
The Quencher Cinch Top dog bowl has a drawstring that means you can pack it full of dry dog food and just open it up as and when you ‘paws’ for a break.
Your canine pal can help shoulder the burden with the Front Range Day Pack. It’s perfect for packing the doggy hiking essentials, including collapsible water bottles.
The packing list doesn’t stop there, however, there are other dog walking essentials to bear in mind.
Front Range Day Pack. Image credit: @ruffwear and @ruffwear_europe
Call of nature
Hiking with your dog is the perfect opportunity to embrace nature and appreciate your surroundings. As a responsible dog owner, you’ll always aim to leave things as you found them: pristine and unspoilt. That applies to your pet’s ‘deposits’ as much as anything else, so be sure to scoop that poop!
This Pack Out Bag is the ideal solution to dealing with your dog’s doo-doo when you’re out in the wild. Full poo bags can be carried conveniently until you reach a suitable bin without those nasty niffs escaping.
Livestock and wildlife are a beloved part of the UK landscape; they add a wonderful dimension to any hike, so it’s a good idea to be aware of where you’re trekking and pay attention to what your furry friend is up to. If they like to chase, keep them on a lead if other animals are around (including other dogs if they’re not that sociable with other hounds or a bit nervous).
Camp Flyer flying disk. Image credit: @ruffwear and @ruffwear_europe
You’ve planned where you and your VIP (very important pup) are going to hike. You’ve got a bag packed and the lead in hand; all that’s left is to get out there and have some fun! With your faithful four-pawed friend at your side, relax and treasure every second. Don’t be afraid to explore and be spontaneous. An unscheduled break next to a babbling brook or a pause to take in the delightful scenery can be restorative and life-affirming.
It’s universally acknowledged that the second-best way to a dog’s heart is playing a game of fetch (the first being food, naturally!) - so why not take along a favourite toy or keep an eye out for a decent stick to throw during a break from walking? We guarantee you’ll get bored of the game before they do!
Treat the pup in your life to a Camp Flyer flying disc and lap up those woofs of delight. It’s kind on your dog’s gums but durable enough that it will pop back into shape after being stuffed into your bag. It also doubles as a water bowl when you stop for a break.
Fun on the trail. Image credit: @ruffwear and @ruffwear_europe
Happy hounds and holidays
Here at Canine Cottages, we want you and your doggo to have the best hiking holiday imaginable. Be sure to browse our checklist of canine holiday essentials and then book one of our dog-friendly cottages as your base. Happy hiking!
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.