Your Best Deals for the Best Hiking Solutions With a Small Dog
Walking with a small dog for a hike is possible and can be a lot of fun if you follow a few simple things. Hiking with a small dog is possible. Of course, walking with a hunting or herding dog is not the same as hiking with a pug.
Larger dogs generally have greater stamina. But also here exceptions confirm the rule, and it depends on the training, the condition, and even the breed of the respective dog.
Below are some tips that have proven themselves for hikes with small dogs
- Your own assessment
Nobody knows your dog as well as you! The best way to assess whether your dog can manage the planned hike and enjoy it until the end. Please note that puppies should not go on strenuous hikes and dog seniors, only those who allow their health and fitness.
Please inform yourself exactly how many kilometers you plan to walk, how the path is made, and, above all, how many vertical meters the planned tour has! The height meters are often given too little attention, especially by inexperienced hikers.
- Variety brings momentum to the Gassi rounds
Like every dog owner, you might go outside every day, walking my dogs over hill and dale, sometimes longer laps of eight kilometers and more, sometimes only a 20-minute lap when it is raining or when you are sick. As with a jogger preparing for his next competition, it is essential not to go the same round every day.
This is not just monotonous for you and your dog. It is best to gradually increase the length, intensity, and demands of your walks. So, on the one hand, it builds up a solid condition and, on the other hand, protects the dog from overload during the later hike. So, to prepare for the hiking season, start with moderate walks and increase them slowly but steadily.
To strengthen your dog’s balance and body awareness, you can incorporate various balance exercises. For example, let him balance on a fallen tree in the forest or build a small course with branches that your dog should walk slowly over.
All four legs are raised alternately here. Especially with small dogs, please make sure not to hold the treat too high, but just below your dog’s nose. After all, you want your dog to see where it is going and not just squint at the treat.
- Walking with puppies
In the past, the rule of thumb was to walk 5 minutes a month until the dog was 12 months old. A 10-month-old puppy should walk a maximum of 50 minutes a day. However, this rule of thumb is outdated.
According to the expert, small dogs up to 15 kilograms in final weight with 5-6 months have developed enough muscles and coordination so that the dog can move without restrictions.
Again, you know your dog best and can estimate when the dog is tired. Puppies quickly overestimate themselves and often don’t know their own limits. That’s why less is more with them more often!
At the latest, when the puppy sits down and no longer likes to walk, the walk should be ended, or the dog should be carried while hiking. Particular caution applies especially when climbing and descending.
Do not put too much pressure on your dog, and the joints are not yet mature in the first few months. So the first half of the year should be avoided entirely and then moderate hiking.
If you are unsure, wait for the first year and/or ask your vet for advice. A hike can also be done a year later, and then everyone involved has fun.
- Does your dog listen to his word?
Can your dog be called up? Does he stay by your side even in dangerous situations? Can you rely on him one hundred percent? If you now frown, you will do yourself and your dog a greater favor to keep him on a leash.
An exception is dangerous places, many people, and generally other dogs. Here they come on a leash. Leash your pug on confusing or narrow passages, where there may even be a risk of falling. Above all, Max is a bit clumsy and daring and would put himself at risk in some places on the hike.
- Breaks, food, and water, first aid kit
Breaks for relaxation are not only good for you, but they are also important for your four-legged friend. Sufficient drinking opportunities for the dogs on every hike are generally essential! Are there creeks or a mountain lake that provides cool refreshments? This can be seen well on Google Maps or even better on OSM (Open Street Map).
A first aid kit is always stowed in our backpacks. In this way, minor injuries can be treated by us on site. Each first aid kit for the dog includes tweezers and a disinfectant in addition to the usual dressing material. A children’s sock can provide additional protection over the bandage when the paw is pitted.
- Harness and leash for hiking with a small dog
Whether a collar or harness is up to you, it is recommended to have the harness. The dog is simply better secured. Harnesses have definitely proven themselves because my pugs with their thick necks slip out of the collars more easily.
When it comes to small dog harnesses, you should take care not to restrict your dog’s freedom of movement. The Norwegian harness, for example, is (generally) not suitable for dogs because the tape is directly over the shoulder blades. Rather use H or Y harnesses that leave the shoulder blades free.
Since your dog is allowed to run free most of the time when hiking, they are only leashed in dangerous or heavily frequented places where they are kept short anyway. It is helpful if the length of the line can be adjusted.
Because if it goes steeply downhill, it is more pleasant for dogs and people and also safer if the dog has more freedom of movement when hopping down without “hanging in the harness” too quickly and/or causing his owner to slide.
- Walking with a dog on cow pastures
There is a lot of discussion at the moment, not least because there was a fatal accident involving a hiker with a dog in a cow pasture in the recent past. In principle, avoid the cattle herd over a large area, be it to leave the path and keep the dogs on a short leash. Do not take your eyes off the cows without making direct eye contact with them.
If there is an attack by a cow, take off the dog as soon as possible and go away! Dogs and humans each have better options to avoid them and are simply faster if the dog runs freely in such a dangerous situation.
For this reason, it is best to hold the leash in your hand and do not tie it to your backpack or around your waist. Light dogs can also be hugged, so they are often not even noticed by the cow.
The weakest link
Of course, your child is the weakest link in our hike with toddlers and dogs. However, you can simply put it in the box. Your dog, however, has to run. It is, therefore, all the more important to pay close attention to them. If the dog often falls back, sits, or even lies down, he is overwhelmed, and the hike must be stopped.
You should train your dog, as mentioned above, to make sure it doesn’t get that far. There are also special dog backpacks in which small dogs can take their place on a long hike. However, you do not have such a dog backpack, and you cannot say anything about it.
Fortunately, never get into such a situation that your dog seemed overwhelmed during a hike. Tired yes, overworked no. And so it should be in expert opinion, so that hiking with a small dog (and also a larger dog) is fun.