A Cavapoo dog can be the perfect hiking companion. Preparing, training, and respecting your Cavapoo’s (Cavaoodle’s) limitations are key to enjoying a lifetime of tail-wagging treks. The unlimited mental and physical benefits of hiking are equally valuable to both owner and Cavapoo.
Cavapoo Hiking Limitations
Cavapoos are suited to outdoor pursuits due to their boundless energy and love for playing, swimming, and walking.
Despite their unending capacity to play, Cavapoos overheat and tire more easily than larger dog breeds. Their shorter legs use more energy walking, and their zealous attitude can prevent them from stopping when burnt out.
Careful monitoring of your Cavapoo’s behavior, as well as gradual training to walk longer distances on diverse terrains, will enable them to develop the stamina needed to safely enjoy their hikes.
Can I Take My Cavapoo Puppy Hiking?
If you are tempted to take your spirited Cavapoo puppy hiking, know that doing so may do them more harm than good.
Your puppy’s growth plates only close and becomes a stable part of their bone after 12 to 18 months of age. Over-exercising your Cavapoo before this time can cause injury, affecting normal leg growth. Puppies are also not yet capable of regulating their own body temperature, which can lead to overheating in warm weather.
Waiting at least 2 weeks after your Cavapoos final vaccinations before allowing them to walk in public areas is also recommended.
A good guide to how many minutes a Cavapoo puppy can walk would be to multiply their age in months by 5. This will give you the number of approximate minutes your puppy can safely walk up to two times a day. This excludes general romping in the garden and playing indoors.
Can My Elderly Cavapoo Hike With Me?
My family and I are avid hikers, and my 13-year-old dog will sulk and look notably grumpy for the remainder of the day if we miss a weekend hike. He can also walk laps around my younger 2-year-old dog.
Older dogs, over 11 years of age can handle the same hikes as other adult Cavapoos, if provided with enough rest time and are allowed to walk at a more leisurely pace. Elderly Cavapoos that are accustomed to walking long distances and have built up endurance and strength can easily manage regular hikes.
Nevertheless, Cavapoo’s suffering from joint pain or arthritis should avoid hiking, as this could aggravate or worsen their condition. Dogs complaining of any hip, knee, back, or heart problems should rather avoid hiking.
How Far Can a Cavapoo Hike?
Considering your Cavapoo’s fitness level, personality and age are necessary when deciding on a hiking distance. With the correct training, Cavapoo’s can walk a couple of miles a few times a week. Several Cavapoo’s have been known to hike distances of 10 miles at a time, given they have the stamina for it.
If your Cavapoo is new to hiking, start with shorter walks and alternate between various terrains. Always check with your vet if you are attempting a hike that is out of the ordinary.
Can I Help My Cavapoo Prepare For Hiking?
Preparing your Cavapoo by building on their muscle strength and balance can assist them on future hikes.
Give them lots of jumping practice by allowing them to jump up on low couches, benches, and obstacles. A homemade obstacle course can also work well.
Climbing stairs and walking across low roadside curbs can help improve their balance.
Walking on various terrains can also assist in toughening up a Cavapoo’s soft paw pads which will prevent injury on future hikes.
Teach Your Cavapoo Good Manners
It is well worth the time to teach your Cavapoo some basic training skills before heading out on your first hiking trail.
Sit, drop it, come and stay are words your Cavapoo should know well. This will allow them to come to you when called if other hikers or animals are about.
They should also be able to patiently wait while hikers pass you by or drop anything they may have picked up which may be dangerous.
Keeping your Cavapoo always leashed and picking up after them are also recognized hiking practices.
Choosing The Right Hiking Trail For Your Cavapoo
I cannot emphasize the importance of research and preparation before setting off on a hike. I learned this the hard way after carrying my not-so-light-figured furry friend on a path that not only felt unending but was guiding me around in circles away from the exit.
There are lots of hiking sites with dog-friendly trail guides such as the well-known https://www.alltrails.com. For newbie dog hikers I would suggest starting with shorter local walks and joining a doggie hiking group in the area.
Not all hiking trails allow dogs or are dog friendly. Stay away from trails that are too uneven or where there are notable large drop-offs or streams that need crossing. Although Cavapoos are good swimmers, inexperienced dogs could endanger their lives when crossing deep waters. Start with shorter walks on alternating terrains.
Cavapoo Hiking Essentials
A Cavapoo should drink approximately 1 ounce (1/8 cup) of water per pound (450g) of body weight. When exercising water consumption requirements double. It is always better to bring more water than too little when hiking.
2. Dog Water Bottle
It is best to have a lightweight water bottle with fresh water on hand when hiking. Toxins and bacteria can be found in the water when hiking.
I swear by the MalsiPree Dog Water Bottle when hiking. My dog refused to drink on hikes until I found this water bottle!
3. Dog Leash
A leash that provides movement but restricts too much distance between you and your Cavapoo is best. A hands-free leash is a perfect option as it keeps both hands free which helps with balance when hiking and for lifting or assisting your Cavapoo.
A good option can be found here with SparklyPets Hands Free Leash.
4. Dog Harness
A clip-on and off harness is recommended. A harness with a handle can also be useful, especially when needing to help your Cavapoo over hiking obstacles.
I would recommend something similar to the PoyPet Harness.
5. Dog Treats
Always carry lots of snacks along with you on any hike. Your Cavapoo will need a recharge during their hike. Threats are great to reward, train and energize your dog along the trail.
A popular treat is these Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats.
6. Dog Poop Bag
A poop bag that clips onto your leash is a useful option when hiking. It is important to leave nature the way that you found it.
A great option is this highly rated Earth Rated Dog Poop Bag Dispenser.
6. Dog Winter Coat or Cooling Vest
Cavapoos are known to feel the cold in winter and can overheat in summer. A winter coat or cooling vest can be a great help to them when hiking during these times.
8. Dog Backpack
A doggie backpack for situations where your furry friend tires or if you have an elderly Cavapoo, can be very useful. There are many dog backpack options available. This is a nice option: Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack.
9. Floatation Device
If you are planning on taking your Cavapoo on more adventurous hikes where water crossings or swimming are expected, a floatation device with a handle would come in useful. The Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket is amazing.
10. First Aid Kit
Probably the most important hiking essential would be the doggy first aid kit. Amazon has lots of options, but this is a good lightweight option with all the essentials: ARCA Pet Cat and Dog First Aid Kit.
11. Towel and Brush
If it fits, a brush is useful to check for ticks on route and a towel is essential if your Cavapoo will be swimming or getting wet during a winter hike.
If your Cavapoo has extra sensitive paws, boots, or alternatively paw wax can work well as a barrier to ice, dirt, or hot ground.
13. Dog ID
It’s a good idea to always carry your dog ID with you in case of an emergency. Local authorities will be better equipped to help you if they have the information they need.
Cavapoo Hiking Dangers
Have an Emergency Plan
Before starting your hike, it is best to get to know your surroundings. Is there a cell phone reception available? Where and what emergency vets are available nearby? Load the emergency numbers on your cell phone before heading off.
Poisonous Plants and Wildlife
Educate yourself on the poisonous plants and wildlife in the area. It’s always best to keep an eye on your furry friend during a hike and to look out for any unusual behavior.
Cavapoos are inquisitive dogs and can stick their noses into anything. It helps to know what your Cavapoo could encounter on your hiking trail.
Snakes, porcupines, bears, and scorpions are only a few examples of wildlife encounters that could pose a threat to your Cavapoo.
Look out for signs of exhaustion from your Cavapoo. Heavy breathing, panting, a slow pace, limping, unstable legs, or shallow breathing are all signs that your Cavapoo may be overtired.
Excessive panting, drooling, and bright red gums are also the first signs of heatstroke. It is good to be aware of these signs so you can get your Cavapoo to help immediately.
Luckily Cavapoos are not susceptible to sun damage however if your Cavapoo has recently had surgery, keep an eye on them and rub some sunscreen onto this area before hiking.
If your Cavapoo injures its paw during the hike. Stop immediately and clean and dress the area. If there are signs of an open wound, stopping the hike would be recommended.
Keep an eye on your Cavapoos behavior and if they stop to lick their paws or refuse to walk, this would be a good indication that something is bothering or has wounded their paw.
Cavapoo Post Hike Checks and Care
Taking the time to inspect your Cavapoo after a hike is just as important as preparing them correctly.
Scan your Cavapoo from head to paw. Paws should be cleaned, and pads checked thoroughly for any trapped debris.
Your Cavapoo will also welcome a cold or warm bath depending on whether they had a summer or winter hike.
Provide your Cavapoo with loads of water and rest to regain their energy.
Look out for burns, cracked skin or bites. Study your Cavapoo for ticks behind their ears, neck, under paws and collar and remove or treat where necessary.
Benefits of Hiking With Your Cavapoo
The advantages of hiking with your Cavapoo are boundless. Your doggie-human bond will not only strengthen but the health benefits are by far the greatest.
Cavapoo Hiking Benefits
Your Cavapoo will thank you for both the physical benefits and mental stimulation.
Not only will their weight be better controlled, but their risk of diabetes will reduce substantially.
Dogs that hike with their humans regularly are known to experience better joint and urinary health than their more sedentary furry friends.
Owner Hiking Benefits
Those struggling to hold a proper exercise regime will benefit from their Cavapoo’s weekly or daily hike reminders and nudges. Not only does hiking with your pet decrease stress and blood pressure, but it also improves all-round cardio fitness as well as bone and muscle strength.
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