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The Outdoor Hound

Standing on a mountain trail looking out over the horizon while feeling your accomplishment of having hiked to that position is an amazing, life-giving experience. To many the only thing that could make that experience better would be sharing it with someone they love. Some hikers take friends or family along with them for the journey in order to share the joys of hiking. However, others do not have friends or family capable of a hike of that nature or simply want a hiking partner who's a little quieter. Those hikers tend to turn to man's best friend. Recognizing the unique and special bond hikers and their dog share, sports manufacturers have begun making hiking equipment specifically for dogs.

The essentials While many dogs are trained to listen to their master's voice and capable of walking a trail without one, most national parks require all dogs to be on leashes. Some breed of dog, particularly scent hounds, should never be without a leash anyway because their instinct to follow an animal trail can overcome even the sternest command. Good hiking collars and leashes are made of a flexible material and not leather. Good leashes for hiking which need to allow some space and distance for safety are nylon cord leases with a retractable base. These leashes can give your dog enough leeway to sprint up a steep part of the path and can be reeled in should your friend encounter another hiker.

Backpacks Being a pet owner always involves a certain amount of responsibility. You need to feed and care for your animal, provide for shots and veterinary care and make sure they get plenty of exercise and love. Taking your pet outdoors also involves the responsibility to clean up after them should they need to use the bathroom on the trail. Taking a pet on the road means also taking disposable bags along for any mishap that should happen. Many pet stores sell pet backpacks tailored for the size of your dog which can carry that treats, water bottles and the ever important disposable poo bags. Backpacks should be packed in accordance with the size and weight of your dog and should be balanced for the ease and safety of your pet. Water Proper hydration is as important for pets as it is their owners. Be sure to take plenty of water along that you're able to give to your pet as you climb any trail. Outbound Hound is a company that makes travel water bottles and portable bowls for owners to carry easily as they hike and walk their dogs. These bottles and bowls are made of a collapsible synthetic fabric that dries easily and is light weight to carry.

An invention from the military has made its way into dog walking as companies have begun to design the popular Camelback hydration system for dogs. This system, like a backpack, is fitted around the dog's back with a drinking tube the dog can be trained to use. Whether taking a long walk around the neighborhood or hiking up a mountain with your best friend, making sure you have the proper equipment will be a benefit to man and hound alike.


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