Whether you’re combing through densely forested off-roading trails or motoring across broad swathes of desert, off-roading with your dog is positively thrilling and such a great way to enjoy the beautiful summer weather!
While you may include your family in the off-roading fun, perhaps even forming a trekking caravan, leaving your pooch at home is no fun. As long as you’ve mastered certain off-roading tips for beginners and follow these tips for off-roading with your dog, feel free to bring your mutt along for the ride. It’s a great way to spend quality time with your dog while enjoying the great outdoors!
1. Check If Your Pup Is Allowed
Before you set out, dog on leash, check the website for the park or trail system you’re heading to. Certain protected areas don’t welcome dogs, so you’ll need to know beforehand if your particular off-roading venue allows dogs.
If the park does allow dogs on the trail, there is likely some stipulation about leashing them for the duration of your visit. Be sure you know what is expected of both you and your dog.
2. Secure Your Dog When Driving
Perhaps the most worrisome part about off-roading with your dog is your pet’s safety. She is much more likely to take a tumble at a sudden bump or turn or otherwise get in trouble as you drive.
To be certain she’s safe, tether her (with a harness) within the vehicle so she cannot reach an edge. While holding her is tempting and seems secure, giving her a clear but limited space to roam while tethered in the cargo area is the safest bet for all.
3. Prepare for a Day (or More) Away
Don’t forget to bring plenty of food and water for your pup too, especially if it’ll be a long day or multiple days of camping with your dog. Your hound will be thirsty and hungry with all the excitement of the trip.
In addition, pack bags for dog waste and a container to put the bagged waste until you reach a trash receptacle.
Oh, and don’t forget the pet first-aid kit! It’s also a great idea to have a people first-aid kit for yourself!
4. Have Fun
Off-roading with your pooch can be an absolute blast. When you do stop, give your dog a chance to stretch her legs and sniff away to her heart’s content. Pack her favorite toys and, if she responds readily to your voice and you’re visiting a designated off-leash play area, let her off-leash to take advantage of the open space.
Do you off-road with your dog?
I’d love to hear about your experiences! Leave a comment below or stop by my private Facebook group for dog moms and join in the conversation there.