Many people think that hiking and camping with a dachshund is not a good idea. Because of their short legs, they give the appearance that they cannot go over obstacles and will get tired very fast. Although this is true in some way, dachshunds are a hunting breed, they love to go hiking in the outdoors and can walk faster and further than you may think.
Great little doxie explorers
Dachshunds love hiking and exploring! However, their short legs and long backs do pose some challenges, so they may not keep up with larger dogs. As you may know by now, dachshunds don’t seem to be aware of their size and think they are bigger than they really are. This means that your dachshund won’t self-limit and will try to go over large obstacles or cross water streams that may be more than they can handle. You also must be aware that small dogs have to make twice the effort as larger dogs. So there are some considerations to take before hiking and camping with a dachshund.
Use a leash to keep your dachshund close and in control
The first thing you should know about hiking with your dog is to keep your dachshund on a harness leash. It might be tempting to let your dog loose while you are on the trail, but this is not a good idea. Some trails and parks have rules that require dogs to be kept on a leash, but even if your park doesn’t have such rules, it’s a good idea to do it anyway. Keeping your dog on a harness leash will help you manage encounters with other people, dogs, mountain bikers, or even wildlife.
Why your dog should wear an Id tag and GPS tracker
Keeping your dog on a leash will also prevent him from getting lost in the outdoors. But just in case make your dog uses a collar with an id tag that has your phone number on it. Or even better consider using a GPS tracking collar. This will make finding your dog a lot easier if gets away from you on the trail. Speaking of collars, it is also a good idea for your dog to wear a flea and tick collar. Your dog can pick up fleas and ticks while hiking outdoors.
Follow trail etiquette with dog poop bags
Remember to clean after your dog and don’t leave any nasty surprises for other hikers. So, take some dog poop bags to pick up your dog’s gifts. It,s not enough to pick up your dog’s poop, you must carry it until you find a trash can where you can dispose of it properly. It can be very unpleasant to carry smelly poop bags with you while you are hiking. Bring some odor-proof zip bags to make things easier for yourself.
Pack enough water and food
Small dogs burn a lot of energy when hiking, so it’s important to take plenty of water and snacks with you on the trail. Give your dog some water and a little snack every time you take a break. Using a portable dog water bottle and bowl will make this easier.
Take a dog carrier bag pack on your hikes
Check your dog for signs of exhaustion, if he is panting excessively, breathing heavily, or walking slower, it’s time for a break! Look for a place with shadow and let your dog rest for a while and give him some food and water. On the other hand, if you see that your dog is getting wobbly on his feet or limping, it means your dog may have overdone himself, and something is hurting. Now, it is a good idea to carry your doggie. A dog carrier bag pack will come in handy in this situation.
Taking care of your dog’s paws
Sometimes your dog will start limping not because he is hurt, but because there is some debris stuck in his paw. When this happens just clean the paws with your hand and carry on. If you notice your dog’s paws are dry or cracked after a hike or long walk, using some paw balm will help them recover. When hiking on trails with sharp rocks and thorns, you should consider putting booties on your dog’s foot, this will protect him from cuts in the paws. You should also consider taking a pet first aid kit with you when hiking with your dog.
Choosing the right trail
Beware of obstacles you may encounter while hiking, especially vertical obstacles, and inclines. As you know dachshund’s backs are delicate, so try to avoid trails where your dog will be forced to climb over rocks or fallen trees, as these types of trails might be dangerous for your doxie. If your dog is not used to go on hikes, is important to choose the easiest trail and go for short hikes to build up your dog’s skills.
Coming home after hiking
On the way back home remember your dachshund will be quite dirty, their bellies are close to the ground so they will get wet and dirty. Put a towel on the seat of your car or use a car seat cover to keep your car clean. Once you get home give your dog a good bath and a nice meal and tell him how much of a good boy he is.