#MyMontane: Tips for adventuring with your dog

In celebration of International Dog Day (26 August), the #MyMontane community share their top tips to help you explore safely and confidently with your favourite four legged adventure companions…

Is there anything better than exploring with your dog? Several members of #TeamMontane have dogs and love to share their experiences in the great outdoors with them. We know many of you are also big dog lovers too! 

For us, National Dog Day is an opportunity for everyone to not only celebrate our incredible companions, but to help educate how we can take better care of them. Because we know that owning a dog is a huge responsibility and that, whilst taking them out on an adventure is great fun, it also comes with added responsibility. This is to ensure your dog is safe and that you’re well prepared, whatever you may encounter together. 

That’s why we want to share some advice and tips from the extended Montane team, each of which has a deep love and respect for exploring the great outdoors with their trusted four legged friends. Whether you’re looking to head out walking, hiking, running or camping overnight, here’s some great advice to bear in mind:

General Advice

Know your dog, no matter the activity. With my dog Thor, I can spot when something isn't right with him, i.e. dehydration, fatigue… He will sit on the floor, roll around, and pant a lot. I carry double water and lots of nutritious snacks to keep him fuelled. Also snacks that I can eat and are dog friendly are great for longer journeys! - Kat Roberts, #TeamMontane

    Kat Roberts and Dog Thor

    Be careful with overloading your dog with too much distance too quickly. They need training up just like a human! When I started training for bigger distances I only took Affy out on the shorter easy runs and built her up til she could come on my long runs on the weekend too. I also keep her on a lead for the whole run to stop her over exerting herself too early! - Hannah Campbell, Sell Through Team Manager

    Take your time when introducing your dog to new activities (and locations) and make sure you ease them in gently. I'm a keen paddle boarder and we were keen to get our puppy used to life on the water. We started Oti out on a really shallow calm river and got her used to just sitting on the board at first. Once she was happy and feeling confident, we then took her out on a flat, calm bay at sea (with a life jacket in tow). The breed of dog you have can also determine how ‘naturally’ they may take to something, so this is definitely worth reading up on. ‘The book your dog wishes you would read’ by Louise Glazebrook helped me to learn a lot! - Fran Wilson, Digital Marketing Manager

    Remember your dog is cooler than you - Do you run? hike? swim? climb? If your dog does it with you they, are automatically cooler than you. Don't try to outshine them, just give them a life of adventure and loads of love... even in the rain and snow. - Dan Armstrong, Sell Through Team

      Regulate your Dog’s Temperature

      Make sure your dog will be cool in summer – I will adjust routes and plans if it’s too hot for my dog even if I know I will be fine. I also carry a travel bowl to allow for sharing my water – if I’m going really light on weight I will just use a plastic bag folded down. I also plan a route with streams and places my dog can swim and cool down. - Jen Scotney, #TeamMontane

        Jen Scotney and her dog on a run

        When adventuring on warmer days, knowing where to cool your dog down is important. Ensure you take a cold compress or water with you so you can hold this against the backs of their legs or on their paws. - Olivia Jackson, Montane E-commerce Executive

        Make sure they are warm enough if it’s cold – I take a dry fleece dog coat for my dog to put on at night so he can stay warmer in bivvies and camping in winter. I also bought him a dog sleeping bag… but he prefers to squeeze into mine with me! - Jen Scotney, #TeamMontane

        I like to carry a spare Montane insulated jacket for my dog to sit on or chuck over him for when we stop and eat! - Kat Roberts, #TeamMontane

          International Dog Day

          Hydration and Food

          If I am backpacking with my dog, I will take dehydrated dog food for him to save on weight. When I am changing his food like that, I will gradually introduce it into his meals the week before I go so it’s not too much of a change to his stomach. Don’t forget snacks for your dog! We often take food we can share such as apples and carrots.-  Jen Scotney, #TeamMontane

            Don’t forget to take some sort of drinking utensil for your dog. It’s not always possible to find a stream or river for your pooch to drink from and if it’s hot you’ll want to make sure they can drink regularly. We carry a light takeaway box, but I know friends who have specially designed water bottles for dogs they can drink from on the move, as well as packable bowls that can stuff down small in your bag. -  Fran Wilson, Montane Digital Marketing Manager

              Packing Essentials

              Invest in a comfy harness! We’re fussy on boots and clothing and I want the pooches to be as comfy as possible! I love Ruffwear - they’re shaped properly, padded and have plenty of adjustment points so you can size it properly for your pooch. - Hannah Cambell, Montane Sell Through Team Manager

                Tips on keeping your dog safe in the outdoors

                For swims, camps, and bivvies I take a light stake (which is a heavy duty plastic tent peg for marquees) I can attach his lead to, so I have my hands free from a lead while I set up the tent or sort out our meals. - Jen Scotney, #TeamMontane

                Leave no trace! Ensure you’ve packed plenty of poo bags for when your dog inevitably needs to go to the toilet. This way, you can keep the trail nice and clean for other users and avoid any negative impact it may have on wildlife. - Annabel Knowles, Montane Social Media Manager

                Ensure you pack a First Aid Kit for your dog, including extra sports tape/bandages and chiefs for yourself and your dog in case of injury as well as stuff to clean a cut. Make sure you also check for ticks regularly!  - Kat Roberts, #TeamMontane

                  Dog safety in the hills