Australia boasts breathtaking landscapes, diverse terrains, and an abundance of hiking trails, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. For many pet owners, hiking with their furry companions adds an extra layer of excitement and companionship to the adventure.
Hiking with your dog in Australia can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning, essential equipment, and following certain tips to ensure both you and your four-legged friend have a safe and enjoyable adventure together.
In this blog, we take you through the essential equipment and tools needed for hiking with your dog, along with some useful tips to make the experience unforgettable.
A well-fitted dog harness is crucial for hiking as it allows better control of your dog while preventing strain on their neck. Choose a harness with secure straps for comfort during extended hikes, as this will prevent shifting or rubbing. A sturdy leash that provides enough length for freedom but keeps your dog close when needed is also essential.
Keep your dog hydrated and energised during the hike with a collapsible food and water bowl. These space-saving accessories can be easily attached to your backpack and ensure that your furry friend stays nourished and refreshed throughout the journey.
Our recommendation: P4P's Pop Up Portable Travel Dog Bowl
Let your dog share the load by carrying their essentials in a dog backpack. This can include their food, treats, and some lightweight gear. Make sure not to overload your dog, and gradually introduce the backpack to them before the hike to ensure they are comfortable wearing it.
Accidents can happen, and it's crucial to be prepared. Pack a canine first aid kit containing items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers (for removing ticks), and any necessary medications your dog might require.
Our recommendation: Check out this blog to learn how to build your own dog first aid kit
Responsible pet ownership is a must. Always carry dog waste bags and clean up after your dog along the trail. Leaving no trace helps preserve the natural beauty of the environment and shows respect to other hikers (there’s nothing worse than stepping in a pile of doggy doo-doo, after all.)
Our recommendation: Zippy Paws Adventure Gear Poo Bag Dispenser Forest Green with 120 Pick-Up Bags
Australia is definitely not short on an abundance of ticks and fleas, which can pose health risks to your dog. Consult your veterinarian and use appropriate preventive measures to protect your pet from these parasites in preparation for your hike.
If you plan to hike on rough or hot terrains, consider investing in dog booties. These protective shoes can shield your dog's paws from sharp rocks, hot surfaces, or thorny vegetation.
The trick is to introduce dog booties to your canine well in advance of your hike, so they can become accustomed to the sensation of wearing them beforehand.
If you intend to hike during low-light conditions, outfit your dog with reflective gear such as a collar or vest. This increases their visibility and safety, which can be particularly beneficial if there’s any dense areas of bush.
Our recommendation: Rogz Classic Reflective Dog Collar, Dayglo Yellow
Consider your dog's age, breed, fitness level, and past hiking experiences before choosing a trail. Puppies and older dogs may require shorter and less strenuous hikes, while high-energy breeds might relish more challenging trails.
Not all hiking trails in Australia are pet-friendly, and some might have specific rules for dogs. Before hitting the trail, research and ensure that dogs are allowed, and comply with any leash requirements or other regulations.
Check out some of the best dog-friendly hiking trails in Australia here.
Australia's weather can be unpredictable, so check the weather forecast before embarking on a hike with your dog. Avoid hiking during extreme heat or other hazardous weather conditions that could endanger your pet's health, such as storms or high winds.
Just like humans, dogs need to stay hydrated during hikes. Carry enough water for both you and your dog, and offer regular water breaks to prevent dehydration.
Our recommendation: Kurgo Gourd Travel Dog Water Bottle & Dog Water Dispenser
Ensure that your dog is well-trained in basic commands like "come," "stay," and "leave it." This training will help you control your dog during encounters with wildlife or other hikers.
Australia is home to unique wildlife, some of which can be potentially dangerous to your dog. Keep your dog on a leash and avoid areas with known dangerous species, such as snakes.
Hiking can be physically demanding for your dog, especially if they are not accustomed to it. Take frequent breaks, find shady spots to rest, and allow your dog to recuperate when needed.
Not everyone may be comfortable around dogs, so always be considerate of other hikers. Keep your dog close and controlled, and yield the right of way when encountering other hikers.
Hiking with your dog in Australia can be an amazing experience, fostering a stronger bond between you and your furry companion while exploring the beauty of the great outdoors.
By investing in the essential equipment, following these useful tips, and respecting nature and fellow hikers, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure for both you and your beloved pet.
So, grab your gear, leash up your dog, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the picturesque landscapes that Australia has to offer. Happy hiking!