First consult with your veterinarian if your dog is up to the new challenge. It wouldn’t be
a bad idea for you to do the same. Make sure you are able to take on the new
challenge. Like with any new activity start out slowly and build it up from there.
Hiking is a sport and like with every sport take it slow and build it up. The challenge is
about your dog and its ability to hike with you. Start slow and gradually increase the
distance, the time and maybe even the speed. Join a local dog hiking club or team up
with a friend. Hiking with another human companion is much more fun for you and your
If you are a dog hiker with a backpack make sure your dog is used to the backpack
before you start your new adventure. Start by putting it on empty and gradually adding
weight, never exceeding the manufacturer’s advice.
For a great way to start read The Project Dog tips on how to get started:
Running with my Dog
Biking with your dog is taking the exercise level up one notch. Instead of a low speed
hike, your dog will most likely be running next to your bike.
We highly recommend you use an attachment to your bike like the Springer, to ensure
a safe environment. Holding on to your dog's leash or having your dog off leash does
not provide you and your dog much control and accidents are more likely to happen.
Biking usually doesn't allow your dog to eliminate during the exercise. We recommend
that your dog has had the possibility to eliminate before the ride. Remember, when your
hike or run you don't want to start of needing to go to the bathroom either!
We also suggest reading "Running with my Dog" under above mentioned Running. It
provides you great tips on how to get started. Remember, running on the road will have
an impact on your dog's paw pads! Take lots of breaks and let the dog cool off and
drink plenty of water.
Water is the key element to every exercise. Take a lot of water along during your
exercise but give it in small portions!
Soft surfaces are much better to start with. Remember, your feet need to get used to
new shoes and your dog needs to get used to a new surface. Your dog’s pad will
toughen over time but if they don’t consider wearing boots (Ruff Wear) to avoid injury!
Use designated trails for your hiking challenge as soft surfaces are much better to start
with. Remember, your feet need to get used to new shoes and your dog needs to get
used to a new surface. Your dog’s pad will toughen over time but if they don’t consider
wearing boots to avoid injury!
Don’t hike, run or bike with a full stomach and don’t expect the same from your dog. A
minimum of one hour is suggested before hitting the trails. If you don’t make that take
some of your dog’s food with you as positive rewards. Your dog will love you for the
treats during the hike. Treats during a run or bike run can be used but not too much.
Keep it fun and challenging. Practice basic obedience during your hike with a simple sit,
stay, down, look, etc. Your dog loves the mental challenge and it will tire your dog out in
a different way.
Don’t walk or hike with your dog when temperatures exceed 90 F. Dog’s have a difficult
time to cool off and you do want to make the exercise fun for the both of you!
Leave no trace behind! Be a pawsitive dog owner and bring poop bags and clean up
after you dog.
|Hike. Bike. Run.
|The Fitness Challenge!