Goldendoodles have boundless energy and they love spending time outdoors. They are also the perfect hiking companions as well as excellent trail dogs.
As with humans, your Goldendoodle must be trained systematically before embarking on a hike. This serves to ensure that your beloved pet doesn’t get too exhausted, injured, or lost on the hike.
The basic commands should already be instilled in your Goldendoodle, i.e: Sit! Stay! Come! Your pet should also be fine with strangers and ears should be fine-tuned to your voice and command when you call her name.
Very importantly, make the hike about your pet first, so you need to prepare your Goldendoodle well to complete the hike with ease.
Planning well before the hike
- Firstly, check the weather for the day that you are planning the hike.
- Secondly, make a list of all the things you need to take on the hike for your pet and yourself, the same as for kids.
- Know your pet’s favorite food and snacks (if any) and even a toy or two, to keep a familiar item close by especially at night. Remember, your pet is completely dependent on you to thoroughly enjoy the hike and not suffer any trauma along the way.
1) Select the appropriate trail
Explore various trails that you are acquainted with and select the best one especially if this is the first hike that your pet is going on. The terrain should not be too steep, rather keep it as flat as possible for your pet’s first hiking experience.
2) Check the policies on pets
Make sure that you are acquainted with the rules for taking pets on the particular trail you have chosen. Check whether pets are allowed at all or should be kept strictly on a leash.
3) Medication to prevent infection from fleas and ticks
Fleas and ticks are very active in hot and cooler weather. Ticks can make your dog very sick so ensure that you pack natural Insect repellent and tick and flea medicine, (Frontline Plus) is a good source. Pack tweezers into your first aid kit in case you need to pick out ticks.
4) Goldendoodles love to eat and snack
The amount of food you take along will be dependent on the weight and size of your pet but it’s best to err on the side of caution as the outdoors may make your pet extra hungry.
5) Purified water and a clean water bowl
Don’t allow your Goldendoodle to lap water from any source on the trail as it could be laced with chemicals, heavy metals, and bacteria that could cause severe illness in your pet. Take your own water bottles and a water bowl for your pet.
6) A well-equipped First Aid Kit for you and your Goldendoodle
As with kids, you may have to deal with some scrapes and hopefully no sudden meeting with a porcupine! Adopt the Scout’s Motto, “Be prepared!”
Ensure you also have a bag to pick up waste of any kind left on the route by your pet.
7) Vaccinations- must be up to date!
Senior dogs do get vaccinations every 3 (three) years. Check with your veterinarian if any other vaccinations are required.
8) Care for sore and tender paws
Use a good paw wax-like “Mushers Secret” to rub into your pet’s tender paws. You can also get rubber booties if it’s not too hot to protect your pet’s paws from the hard surface.
9) Rather use a harness than a leash
A leash can cause injury to a smaller dog due to tugging or pulling too often, whereas a harness distributes the pressure evenly over your pet’s body and reduces unnecessary strain on their back and neck.
10) Doggy Backpack for your Goldendoodle
Depending on the size and strength of your dog, they could carry their essential luggage in their backpack. Also, ensure that you carry an extra backpack in case you have to give your pet a ‘lift’ if needed.
11) Reflection lights/ Bells/Microchip/ID Tag/Photo ID
All of these items will allow you to track or spot your dog if she gets away.
12) Life Jacket and Waterproof Jacket:
A life jacket is a must if you intend hiking near a lake or the ocean.
A waterproof jacket is necessary for cold and rainy weather.
13) A good sleeping bag and sleeping pad for your Goldendoodle
Depending on the size of your pet, a sleeping bag and a sleeping pad to keep your pet off the damp, dry or hard ground surface is a good idea. Smaller dogs could be covered with one of your extra thick jackets.
After the excitement of a wonderful hiking adventure with your best friend, comes the time for post-hiking inspection!
- Give your pet a full body check for ticks, fleas, burrs, bite marks, small wounds, etc.
- Remove ticks with tweezers and daub the spot with alcohol or iodine to disinfect the spot.