Road Tripping With Your Dog, What Should You Bring

There’s no extra planning to bring along the family dog right? Just tell Fido to jump in the back seat, roll his window down a little so he can have his face flapping in the breeze for 6 hours and you’re good to go right?

Maybe, but maybe not.

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We tend to road trip with our little four legged friend fairly frequently. She’s only 40 pounds and she doesn’t take up much room, so it doesn’t even matter if we take the car, the truck or the RV, there’s room enough for her.

While I wouldn’t say she is high maintenance, even though she gets her hair and her nails done pretty regularly, there are a few things we have learned to think about when we are going out for the day with her.

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One of the first things we try to figure out is if there is a place for her to run around and get some of that puppy energy out before we walk around where ever we are headed. We have learned that is a much more enjoyable walk in the park for all of us if she gets to run around and chase a squirrel or two before we go for a walk around a lake.

Another thing we take into consideration is the temperature and amount of sun shine. She loves to be outside playing in the snow a LOT longer than we do. She’s built for Canada not Texas, so when we move there we are going to have a new learning curve with her summertime playing in the yard.

A lot of parks are starting to pave some of their trails to make them more wheel chair accessible, which is awesome for my buddy Tommy, but it’s not so great for Lagerthas paws when its 80 degrees and sunny. So if you are going to be walking on a paved trail try and make sure there is some grass or dirt next to the trail for your pup to walk on.

We always bring a back pack with us on our day hikes with a few snacks, we’re fat kids on the inside don’t judge, some water bottles, a first aid kit and whatever else gets tossed in there that day.

When Lagertha is coming with us we always bring extra waters, some doodie bags and plastic grocery bag that we can tie to the outside of the pack for her used doodie bags.

Don’t forget to bring a bowl to pour their water in like we did on our first outing with her. After that day Loretta found a set of silicon collapsible dog bowls that we just shrink down and leave in our hiking bag so that we always have them.

Another thing that we have learned to do is keep 2 styles of leash with us. One of the standard 3 foot long cloth ones, and one of the 20 foot retractable kind.

She HAS to be way out in front of us on the trail so the retractable is great for that. She can run ahead and sniff what ever she wants and we can keep our leisurely pace until we catch up to her, then she takes off again.

When we are going to be near other people in say an outdoor exhibit, we use the cloth leash to keep her closer to us, and if need be we can wrap a few times around your hand to shorten it even more to keep your pup right by your side.

And the BEST thing Loretta has gotten for her is a harness that goes over her shoulders like a bra that we can clip her leash to instead of her hitting the end of the leash and choking herself with her collar.

There is another advantage to the harness over the collar. It is a little grim to think of it, but better to think of it now, than to have it happen and have to live with it forever…

If you do a lot of hikes on mountains and near water falls or cliffs like we do, the harness could end up saving your dogs life. Lets say you are walking along a cliff edge and the pup hears a chipmunk squeak and takes off. If they make it to the edge of the cliff and fall over the edge this is where you will be glad to have the harness at the other end of the leash.

Just because of the shape of most dogs heads, and that most of the weight is to one side of the collar, if they were to go over the edge and you were able to hold tight on the leash, their head could slip right through the collar and down they go. With the harness strapping across their chest, around their shoulders and clipped on the back, it would be like holding someone in a parachute rig, giving you those precious few moments to pull them back up to the trail.

We hope you find this list of dog friendly hiking considerations useful, and if you have a tip that we didn’t mention then let us know!

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