Dogs are naturally curious, athletic and adventurous explorers! Lively outdoor activities such as hiking, running, camping, biking, snowshoeing, etc., will ensure your dog stays healthy, strong, and joyous as well as making the bond you have with them much stronger. However, before taking your dog on any such activities, you will need to consider their level of experience and energy level along with any additional needs they have.
First and foremost, you should make sure that your dog is fully vaccinated for any outing. Many things can be picked up by your pup in the outdoors like fleas, Leptospirosis, and Distemper, so checking with your vet before is a must. There are also some additional things to consider like micro-chipping, rattlesnake avoidance training, locating anti-venom carrying vets, and noting the nearest emergency vet to your location and traveling areas.
It would be best for beginner dogs to start with small hikes and gradually increase the distance and demand until your dog is adequately conditioned and comfortable. Along with making sure ahead of time that dogs are allowed on your outdoor excursion, some other things to make sure of is preparing any gear that is needed for certain terrain or weather, for example dog booties, extra layers, extra water and frequent water stops, keeping your dog on leash, healthy treats throughout the hike, rest breaks, noting any elevation changes and effects it has on your dog, and being mindful of the temperature.
It is important to have control over your dog and their training experience and knowledge for any potential hazards or emergencies that could be life-threatening like poisonous snakes, running into a larger animal, etc. It is also extremely important to watch for any signs of out of the ordinary health signs, for example, hypothermia, overexertion, heat exhaustion, shock, raw paw pads, drooling, gum color normality, excessive panting, etc. With various areas of planning and practicing safety measures, outdoor activities can provide an eye-opening, healthy, positive, rewarding experience for your pup and everyone involved.