You are probably reading this wondering if you can take your Cockapoo hiking with you?
I am no dog expert, but the answer is yes!
I’ve taken Luna up Mount Snowdon twice and she did it with no problems at all. We have walked up both the Llanberris path and the Pyg and Miners track. I think the Llanberis path was slightly better for her as there were fewer steep parts for her. There was also a lot more dogs going up this route.
Before taking your dog hiking with you I read that it’s recommended to wait until your dogs over 12 months old. This is because their joints and bones might not be fully developed. I think when I took Luna for her first time she was about 18 months old.
In this article, I am going to go through some of the things that I think you should take when hiking with your dog and some general tips to help you have a good hike!
Essentials You Should Take On Every Hike
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As well as taking my own supply of water, I always take a bottle of water for Luna.
You could take a bottle that comes with its own drinking cup on the end like this one.
Or you could take a normal bottle of water and then take a collapsable bowl that will fold up nicely in your bag.
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Luna is fussy and sometimes refuses to drink from a bowl that she doesn’t recognise so its always worth doing a quick check to see if your dog isn’t spooked out by the bowl before you use it.
Is there a stream or lake on your walk? If there is, then you can always refill your dogs water there (if its safe to do so).
I’m not suggesting you take a tin of dog food up with you but its definitely handy to take some food out with you if you are out all day. Chances are you are taking your own sandwiches or nibbles and your dog will need something as well.
Luna is a big fan of these chews so I’ll take some of these with me as they will be fine and last for ages.
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As its a special day out, I will sometimes take some extra tasty treats like chicken or sausages and give her a few each time we stop to keep her energy up.
You might not need a coat but it could be worth packing a thin one in your bag if its forecast that the weather might change. Our dogs can’t tell us if they are cold and if you get near the top of the mountain and the weather suddenly changes then its always handy to have something you can pop on them for a bit. I recently wrote a post about dog coats and there’s a suggested one for hiking in there.
When we walk on the streets I just use a regular lead that’s quite short.
However, when we are in the forest or up mountains I like to use a lead that’s a bit longer. This gives her the chance to explore a bit more and I feel it also helps up jump and down steps etc when needed as shes not quite as restricted as when shes on a short lead.
If you are on a walk where you don’t need a lead then thats great, but most of the routes I do require Luna to be on a lead as there are fields with sheep in or steep drops.
Harness or Collar?
On hikes up mountains, I’m a big fan of a harness.
The first reason for this is that if she slips then its the harness and her body that take the weight, and not her neck!
The second for this is that some harnesses come with a handle on the back. Most Cockapoos are between 8kg and 12kg in size. This means that if there’s a part they can’t walk up themselves you can simply pick them up by the handle and give them a helping hand.
Tips – Things To Be Aware Of And Watch Out For Hiking
Fox Poo and Other Poo
I remember the first time we took Luna through a field of sheep. She tried to eat their poo! Yep, it happens and it’s disgusting. She also had a good roll around in fox poo. So just keep an eye out for these as if your Cockapoo spots something smelly there’s a good chance they will investigate.
Be Mindful Of Others
I’m a dog lover. You’re a dog lover. However, not everyone you will encounter on your hike will be a dog lover. It’s, for this reason, I keep Luna on the lead and always give others plenty of space when we are passing. I wouldn’t want to try and squeeze through a tight gap with Luna and have someone coming towards us that isn’t a fan of dogs and have them slip or injure themselves.
Always plan your route and ask for advice on Facebook groups or the Internet to see if the route you are doing is suitable for hiking with your dog. I’ve been on a few walks seeing poor dogs dragged up walks that are just not suitable for the dog. Either leave them at home or do a walk that’s suitable for you both.
Things To Do After The Hike
A Big Feed
I’m sure we have all said “I’m starving” after a long hike. Your dog will be the same and be ready to munch down a big plate of food. I always keep a tin of her favourite food in the car with a pop-up bowl. When we get back to the car I give her a big bowl of food and plenty of water.
Tips For the Car
I always have seat covers on my back seats. That way, it doesn’t matter if Luna is full of mud as she can go on the back seats and I don’t have to worry about her making a mess of my car.
I always keep a spare towel in the boot as well. If she’s muddy or wet I will always give her a towel dry before putting her back in the car.
What’s better than having a pint after a walk? Head to a dog-friendly pub where you can chat about the day, while your dog falls asleep under the table!
If you have any more tips that you think I have missed please let me know in the comments below.