There are plenty of posts out there about where New Yorkers can hike, swim, or play outside of the city. And there are several about which ones your dog will enjoy with you! Turns out, the Metro-North can take you and your dog to a lot of out-of-town highlights, whether for a day or a long stay. So, how do you prepare for a wilderness-trip this Summer with you family? Here are a few pointers.
Before you take your pup on a physical outing, it’s always important to make sure she has the fuel inside to burn. Dogs have a higher Mitochrondria levels than humans: energy boosting cellular structures. Because of this, their primary fuel is their fat. Not the carbs that humans burn.
This means that your dog’s muscles are important to her activity (duh.) A strong diet of fats and proteins can help support her on your summer hiking trips!
Like our own feet, your dog’s can get worn out and chapped. Cracked, dry, over worked skin can cause serious problems for her! If you’re planning a day trip, or a long stay, thinking of your active dog’s paws is important. Some owners use booties to protect paw-pads, but an effective alternative is paw wax! You may think that paw wax is for the winter, but it also offers a barrier between rough surfaces, and keeps her skin healthy.
This is where you need to sit down and make a list. Plan out what your trip is going to be: A leisurely camping trip with the occasional hikes, an activity filled trip, or just a day of swimming, hiking, and cooking on a barbecue? Other than the two items suggested above, let’s start with the items you’re going to need no matter what:
A lot of hiking trails or camp grounds will have creeks or ponds, which are great for swimming. But making sure there is fresh drinking water available for your dog should be taken into consideration. Water fountains, bathrooms, or bottled would do! Just limit your dog’s consumption from the elements as best you can!
For travel purposes, a bowl that can collapse or clip to your leash is perfect! Small, compact, and something you can put that fresh water into while on a long hike, or just hanging out by the tent.
Even for a day trip, just packing a little something for when dusk comes around can make a difference. A reflective harness or a flashing clip could really help. It’s smart to plan when out in the wilderness, because sometimes we lose track of time!
Know The Area
This means a couple things. First: research what the land, the wildlife, and bug populations are. Prepare for hard terrain, raccoons, ticks, and other dangers you may encounter for both you and your pup.
Second, it’s important to know what the rules are for your chosen camp, or trail. On leash, off leash, vaccinations, licensing. You should make sure you have all your paper work in order before embarking on a trip with your pup.