The Do’s & Don’ts Of Hiking With Your Dog

 

One of the great things about owning an active dog is that it gives you plenty of opportunities to get out and about together.

Recently I decided to tackle the beautiful, imposing Mount Snowdon with my dog, Luna. It turned out to be a wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone.

So, how can you best get prepared for this adventure and then make the most of it?

 

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Choose the Route Wisely

Mountains that are popular with climbers and hikers tend to have a number of different routes that lead you to the top in varying ways. If you are walking it on your own then you might simply opt for the quickest approach or the one that looks most interesting.

However, when you are going with your dog then you need to take into account how easy it is going to be for him. In the case of Mount Snowdon, I did some research and discovered that the Llanberis Path is the easiest route. It isn’t the shortest way to the summit but it has the kindest gradient for a dog to bound up.

It is also good if the route has a few places for stopping and resting along the way, while the Llanberis Path has the added benefit of a friendly pub that we stopped in on the way back to the car. Don’t forget that walking for long distances can be tough on a dog’s paws, so they need the occasional rest.

 

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Get an Early Start

The idea of leaving home at 4 in the morning didn’t seem particularly inspired when the alarm clock went off in the middle of the night. However, it was definitely the right thing to do.

Luna slept pretty much the whole way there and we both felt good when we arrived at 6 o’clock to our starting point. The beauty of arriving at this time of the morning is that we had the place almost to ourselves at the beginning.

Other hikers soon arrived, some with their own dogs, but those precious moments when it was just the two of us standing at the base of Mount Snowdon felt very special.

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What to Take with You – An Outdoor Lead

Being prepared for the trip as well as you can be is the key to a trouble-free hike, in my experience. Therefore, one of the first things I did was buy a new outdoor lead that is longer than Luna is used to.

This was a partial success, as she pulled a bit more than usual but didn’t really cause me any other problems in this respect. The pulling was probably just due to her being excited rather than being the fault of the lead.

 

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What to Take with You – Warm Gear

Even if it is a nice day at ground level, the weather can rapidly take a turn for the worse when you start climbing a tall mountain like this. For this reason I took along a new winter coat for Luna, just in case it got chilly.

In the end, the weather stayed decent throughout the day so we didn’t need to use the coat. Having said that, I was still glad that it was there if needed.

 

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What to Take with You – Food and Water

This is a long walk so your dog is likely to get hungry and thirsty along the way. A big supply of water is essential, while I found Luna’s collapsible water bowl easy to fold up and carry.

I also took more food and treats than was strictly necessary. There is a shop at the top of Mount Snowdon that is open from April to October but I certainly didn’t want to run the risk of running short of her food at some point.

 

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What to Look Out For

Even the quietest and most remote walking trails tend to have some potential hazards and distractions to look out for. In terms of Snowdon, dog owners are asked to keep their pets on leads because of the number of sheep that are dotted about the area.

The path we took up to the top is hugely popular with hikers. This means that you need to be careful to not get in anyone’s way or let the lead annoy people. Not everyone wants to come across dogs on their hike and if it a narrow path then this can be dangerous for them as well as annoying.

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Summary

I would definitely recommend a hike like this if you have a dog who loves getting out and about. There are some practical matters to take into account but once you are both out there enjoying the sights all of the time spent preparing for the trip will feel well worth it.

This article was written by

Mike

www.cockapoohq.com

 

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