As more of us choose to staycation and enjoy what the UK has to offer, we're also choosing to take our pets on the adventure too.
But is it as simple as driving to a new destination and taking the dog with you? We spoke to Aimee, who has been exploring the fantastic British countryside with her partner Sam and two yellow Labrador retrievers Fergus and Bonnie, to find out her top tips for adventuring with your dogs.
Before your trip, Plan and Pack!
The best way to start an adventure is with a little bit of planning, we often use recommendations from friends, websites and maps to find the best places. The best apps I have personally found to use are OS maps and trailfinder. Dog furiendly website is great for finding a cafe/pub/restaurant to rest up and have a warm drink after your walk.
Always check the weather, I know its often not reliable but its always best to check the weather forecast before you set out, there's no point planning a hike up Snowdon if its forecast gale force winds.
Plan a route which is suitable for you and your dog, if you are just starting to have big hikes with your dog be realistic in how far you can both go. Make sure you pick somewhere your dog will be relaxed, this needs to be fun for you both.
Is your dog prepared for a trip out? Are they up to date with vaccinations and parasite control?
Essentials to pack for your dog;
- Water and water bowl
- Food and bowl
- High quality treats (Our personal favourite are Innocent duck sausages)
- Collar, ID tags and a lead. Or a harness.
- Dog first aid kit
- Poo bags
In the car;
- Waterproof / Water resistant dog bed
- Dog towels
- Dog coats - For drying / warming up
Essentials to pack for yourself;
- Food / Snacks
- Map / Map App / GPS locator
- First aid Kit
- Water proof and warm clothes
- Decent walking boots
During your trip
Always watch your dog, ensure they are safe, happy and under control. If they are out of sight, you do not know what they are doing so keep them close and under control. Its best to stick to marked footpaths and when required put your dog on a lead. Keep to ‘dog Etiquette’ if you see another dog approaching and its on lead, put yours on a lead also until you have passed.
Take regular breaks, if needed, its important to know your dog and their limits. If your dog is not used to walking long distances take lots of little breaks and ensure they remain hydrated, not stressed and happy.
Leave only footprints, take only photographs. Its so important to take all your litter home, including any dog waste. A handy tip for carrying dog waste is with a poo caddy, these can attach to rucksacks and are usually air tight so you get no nasty whiffs as your walking along.
After your trip
Clean and warm up your dog if needed, jackets are great for keeping muscles warm post exercise, if needed you can always do some stretches with your dog.
Check their fur for any ticks and check paws and pads for any thorns or cuts on them and make sure to offer your dog water after your hike
Most importantly have FUN and enjoy it! Adventuring with your four legged companion is the most rewarding hobby for everyone.
You can check out what Fergus and Bonnie get up to on their adventures over on their Instagram page: @fergusthelab_