How to Bring Your Dog Along On Your Outdoor Adventures
There’s a reason the Smith HQ is dog friendly, and that’s because we love bringing our dogs wherever we go. It’s great taking them to meetings but even better when they get to come on our outdoor adventures. Whether you’re heading out on the water, hitting the trails, or skinning in the backcountry, it’s great to have your four-legged friend there. There are a few tips that can make sure you both have as much fun as possible together. We asked the Smith team (and their dogs) for their advice on adventuring together.
Introducing Your Dog to New Gear
Before you and your dog head out, you’ll want to slowly introduce them to the gear they’ll need and be around when they’re joining you. Whether you’re bringing them on the water and they need a life jacket, or you’re going on a bike ride and they’ll need to get used to the noise and movement of the wheels, it’s great to start early and start slow.
Let them get used to gear by checking it out and eventually wearing it at home, and be sure to reward them with lots of treats. Even if your dog is still too young for taking long hikes or bike rides, you can still get a head start by exposing them to gear early on. Jake from our product team started introducing his dog to adventure gear as early as possible, “When my dog Juni was little, I would wheel my bike around the yard with her so she wouldn’t be scared of it when she was old enough and strong enough to run alongside with bikes. (it worked!)”
Once they get adjusted to the gear, you can start exposing your dog to new experiences. “By the time my dog Midge was 6 months old, she’d already checked national parks, paddleboarding, boat rides, trail dogging, and snow sprinting off her list.” said Kyle from our Digital Team, “Just like humans, the more animals are familiar with a situation the more comfortable they are.”
Packing for Your Pup
There are a few essential items to bring with you for your dog no matter what destination you have in mind. Top of the list is plenty of water and something for them to drink out of like a collapsible bowl. In general, dogs should drink approximately 1 ounce of water (1/8 of a cup) per pound of body weight each day, but if your dog is exercising or it’s hot out they may drink even more.
The next on the list should be a first aid kit specifically for dogs. Jake says, “Like us, dogs can be prone to injury in outdoor activity and it’s important to have dog-specific first aid items when things go wrong. My personal favorite is the Adventure Medical Kits ADS Trail Dog First Aid Kit.”
Another item that our team called out as essential (in addition to things like a leash, treats, poop bags, and plenty of water) is Musher’s Secret. This wax is great for adding a protective layer to your dog’s paws on the trails or out on the snow. Eleanor from our digital team swears by it, “My dog loves being out in the snow, and putting on a little Musher’s Secret before we head out keeps her comfy and protects her feet.”
Heading Out for Adventure
When you’re planning for your outing, make sure that dogs are allowed where you’re going and follow the leash laws, as Jake pointed out “If they need to be leashed it’s probably for good reason!”
It’s also important to remember to make sure that your dog is getting enough breaks for rest and water. “I focus on stopping a lot and making sure that the experience is fun for my dog Theo,” says Jaden from our Dealer Services Team, “It means taking things easier than I would if I were alone or with just humans. I try to make sure that we get in a water break at least every 20 minutes, where he gets to catch his breath and cool down a bit.”
Being outside with your best friend is one of our favorite ways to pursue our thrill. Let us know below if you bring your dog out with you and if there’s any advice that’s helped you and your pup have fun and stay safe.