As the weather improves, more and more of us are thinking about vacationing and enjoying the great outdoors–often with our dogs.
“With the current economic environment, many of us have become acquainted with adventures and destinations closer to home. And adding four-legged friends into the mix can exponentially increase the fun,” said Patrick Kruse, owner and founder of Ruff Wear, a company that produces high performance dog gear.
Today we’ve got some great tips from Ruff Wear for you to consider before you plan your next adventure:
1. IS YOUR CANINE COMPANION READY TO GO?
When you get ready for an activity, you prepare, dress, and pack to fit your plans, but what about your dog? Properly outfitting your companion is every bit as important. Consider weather conditions, trail surfaces, rivers, lakes and other wonders of nature that could impact your canine friend. After all, a happy, relaxed dog is a good dog.
2. HAVE YOU CHECKED REGULATIONS FOR DOGS IN THE AREA YOU’LL BE VISITING?
Before you head out, it’s important to know where dogs are allowed and where they are not. Wherever you go, it’s always considered good etiquette to maintain control of your dogs and to leash them if necessary. And, always be sure to pick up after them.
3. IS YOUR DOG IN PHYSICAL CONDITION FOR THE TRIP?
Take small outings first and gradually build up to extended jaunts. Start with lighter loads in the dog’s pack, working up to no more than 25 percent of the dog’s weight. Teach your dog the rules of the trail. If your dog is old or in poor physical condition, consider leaving him or her with friends.
4. DO YOU HAVE PLENTY OF FOOD AND WATER FOR YOUR DOG?
Keeping your active dog well hydrated is crucial, especially in warm weather. Active dogs burn a lot of energy, so pack the essentials with you. The Ruff Wear Palisades Pack features a built-in hydration system that carries a large water supply for thirsty dogs. Ruff Wear collapsible food and water bowls allow you to feed and water your dog without carrying a clunky dish or sharing your water bottle. Use the cinch top bowls to pack food. Let your dogs carry their own food and water in the Ruff Wear Approach Pack or Palisades Pack.
5. WHAT SIZE PACK DOES MY DOG NEED FOR OVERNIGHT TRIPS?
This will depend on the climate, exposure to the elements, and activities planned. Pack enough gear to make the experience comfortably enjoyable, but not so much that the gear becomes a burden. Don’t load the pack up with more than 25 percent of the dog’s weight. Plan out meals and activities down to the last biscuit, with a day or two worth of extra food. Once you’ve determined how much space the necessities consume, choose the size pack that will carry the load.