Spending time adventuring with your dog is always exciting and fun! Many people enjoy running, jogging, walking or even hiking with their canine companion.
But what about breeds that are small and might struggle with such an endeavor like the Chihuahua? Well, they can certainly have their hiking fun too!
Having an adventure with your dog is great for the body, mind and soul, but you’re worried about taking your little Chihuahua with you.
Have no fear, it’s totally possible to bring a Chihuahua hiking with you – and to do it safely!
By Allison Salonko.
Allison is a Veterinary Technician in the state of Indiana. She graduated from International Business College and Vet Tech Institute of Indianapolis with a degree in Animal Science and Technology in 2011.
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5 Tips For Short Hikes With Your Chihuahua
If you’ve taken up a hiking hobby and want to know how you can include your pint-sized companion, then keep reading to find 5 tips on how you can bring your Chihuahua hiking with you.
#1 Always Plan For Short Hikes With Chihuahua
Chihuahuas have little legs, so they have to expend a lot more energy in order to keep up with much taller humans
It’s best to plan for short distances as they will become tired pretty quickly.
Don’t push the hike if they are showing fatigue because going for too long can put a lot of strain on their little legs and muscles.
Now, that’s not to say that some Chihuahuas hiking can’t handle longer distances.
It’s important to know what your dog’s physical limitations are so that you can adjust your activity levels accordingly.
#2 Bring Something To Carry Them In
Of course, the idea of hiking is for your dog to walk and get some exercise with you.
That’s great and for a majority of the time is exactly what will happen.
But, what if your Chihuahua gets really tired or hurts themselves somehow on the trail.
If you have something to carry them in, either a sling or a backpack (one that’s meant for a small dog of course), then you can easily strap them in and carry on with your excursion.
Here are our picks of the best slings and backpacks for small dogs.
#3 Take Frequent Breaks
Even if you’re hiking alone, it’s important to pace yourself so you don’t end up too fatigued and exhausted on the way back.
When you have your Chihuahua hiking with you, you will want to stop and rest somewhat often to give your little dog’s body a break.
If you know that your companion is growing tired and you have a way to go, then carry them for short spurts so that they can have a rest while you continue to cover ground.
That’s the nice thing about Chihuahuas! At least, they don’t weigh much!
#4 Bring Plenty Of Water And A First Aid Kit
Preparing yourself with water and a first aid kit (dog and human) is crucial when you are venturing out into a forested area for a hike.
You will inevitably grow thirsty at some point and so will your dog!
Having the emergency pet and human first aid kit is another very important item to bring along.
You never know when someone will get a minor injury, bug bite or twisted ankle while out on your hike.
#5 Teach Them The Rules And Always Keep Them Close By
A big concern that many people have about adventuring with their dog is them getting too far away and lost.
This is certainly a valid concern as dogs that are off leash are at a higher risk of getting separated from their owners.
From there, they could be lost, injured or attacked by another animal.
Hiking with Chihuahua presents one unique challenge
Chihuahuas are quite small and easy to lose sight of!
So ensuring that you always know where they are is incredibly important.
You can either keep them on a long leash or equip them with a GPS tracking device on their collar.
Teaching them the rules of the trail is another owner responsibility.
Dogs will not instinctively know that they can’t just run off and go chasing squirrels, especially if you let them off leash right away.
Proper Hiking Trail Etiquette For Dogs And Owners
Always have control!
That means that your Chihuahua doesn’t go too far ahead of you. They should stay within 6 feet of you at all times, especially if it’s a busy walking or hiking trail.
Communicate with others
If you see another hiker coming, let them know that you have a dog with you and if they are friendly or not.
Yield To Others
Whether they have a dog or not, it’s best to let them get past you on your terms and ensure that your dog is safe.
One Dog At A Time
Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have too many things at once. It’s easier to control and keep track of one dog at a time.
Clean Up After Yourself
Nature is beautiful and we don’t want poop bags and water bottles tossed into the brush. Always clean up after you and your Chihuahua!
Hiking With Your Chihuahua: Making Adventures And Memories
Your little Chihuahua will be your friend and companion for many, many years.
It’s always a blast creating fun and lasting memories that you will cherish forever, and surely they will too!
Just ensure that you are prepared and have the proper safety measures in place to go hiking with your pint-sized pup.