Winter Backpacking with your Canine Partner
Linus loves to go backpacking in the Colorado Rockies any time of the year, but especially in the snow.
The All-American Dog is hiking buddy to Louisa Morrissey of Silverthorne, CO. Eleven-year-old Linus is a member of the AKC Canine Partners program and also holds the titles of
The good manners that he has learned through the CGC program help make him a great hiking buddy as having good leash walking and greeting skills are helpful on the trails. You do not have to stop walking and hiking with your dogs in the wintertime weather, but you need to take some extra precautions:
- Carry plenty of water for both you and your dog to prevent dehydration. A collapsible water bowl is helpful (fits easily in your dog’s backpack).
- Take a snack for you, like trail mix, and one for your dog too. There are special power bars made for dogs, but any high protein treat will be appreciated.
- When walking in the snow, you might want to protect your dog’s feet and pads with special dog boots.
- During hunting season, check to see if hunting is permitted in the areas that you hike. Keep your dog safe by using an orange safety leash and putting an orange vest and/or bandana on him.
- If your dog does not have a heavy coat, keep them warm with a dog coat.
- Hiking in the snow can be very strenuous. Take breaks to give your dog and you time to rest.
- Avoid frozen lakes and ponds to prevent your dog from breaking through the ice.
- Make sure you and your dog are in good shape before starting any exercise program. A vet check before winter hiking season is always a good idea!