Pitbulls are an energetic and loyal dog breed. They love to go outside and chase after their toys or pack mates. They enjoy interacting with their families and always want to be the center of attention.
Many people enjoy taking their Pitbulls beyond the backyard and often wonder if they can take their Pitbull hiking with them.
The answer is yes!
Pitbulls can be the perfect hiking partner! If you want to know more about hiking with your Pitbull, continue reading this article to learn why they make good hiking partners, things to watch out for, and things to bring along during the hike.
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Do Pitbulls Do Well On Hikes?
If you have a Pitbull or know someone who does, you know how much energy they have! Adult Pitbulls need at least 30 to 45 minutes of exercise per day. Depending on the energy level of your Pitbull, they may require more than 45 minutes of exercise. If they are senior dogs, they could need less.
Pitbulls have such high energy levels and require an abundant amount of exercise. Their increased energy levels and elevated stamina makes them the perfect hiking partner.
Many Pitbulls will love joining you on a hike, and they will keep you company so you will feel less lonely. Hiking provides them with their daily needed exercise and provides both of you with companionship. That is a double win!
What About Long Distance Hikes?
Long-distance hikes are loosely defined as hikes that take multiple days or weeks and cover a distance of 30 miles or more. Most people will cover 10 or miles per day until the hike is complete.
Since Pitbulls have excellent stamina and need exercise each day, they do well on long-distance hikes.
One thing I have learned when hiking with my Pitbull is that I need breaks more often than she does, she is like the energizer bunny and can just keep going and going. Always remember to rest if you feel the need to take a break.
Can Pitbulls Hike In All Weather?
Not everyone lives in an area where the climate is steady throughout the year, and sometimes when hiking up a mountain, the temperature can start warm and get colder as the elevation increases.
When we are hiking in extreme heat or cold, we want to make sure our Pitbulls are well prepared for the weather!
Pitbulls have very little body fat and do not have an undercoat to their fur. This lack of insulating blubber and second coating can cause your pit to become cold when the weather is cold.
To help prevent your Pitbull from freezing, you can buy them winter gear to wear during the hike! Yes, just as you may need a coat, your Pitbull will need one too! The Hurtta Extreme Warmer Winter Coat for dogs is a great product. It will allow your dog to stay warm while hiking in freezing temperatures!
Sometimes though, it’s not the freezing temperatures that we have to worry about when going on a hike with our Pitbulls. Many times, especially during the summer months, the weather is brutally hot.
Pitbulls can handle some heat but still run the risk of overheating. When you decide to hike on a hot day, start as early in the morning as you can, starting just as the sun begins to give enough light to see, and taking a break mid-afternoon when the sun is giving its peak amount of heat.
Use trails that have plenty of coverage from trees to help keep you from being directly exposed to the sun. And use good judgment. If your dog shows any signs of heat exhaustion take a break immediately. Supply them with shade, water, and rest.
You can use a cooling vest for your dogs, such as the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler, or a cooling bandana to help keep your Pitbull from overheating. These products will provide your dog with heat resistance which helps cool them down and keep them ready for a hike, even on the hottest of days!
How Good Is A Pitbull’s Focus?
We all know that not all dogs are created equally when it comes to focusing ability and attention spans! A dog’s age, personality, and training all make up its ability to focus and stay in line with what is expected of them, especially during an outing.
If your Pitbull has a hard time focusing at home, it will most likely have a hard time focusing while on a hike. You know your Pitbull best, so be aware of their personality before venturing out for a long and peaceful hike.
If your Pitbull is calm and collected while at home, most likely they will be the same during your hike. If your Pitbull chases every squirrel, rabbit, and cat that they see, they will most likely exude the same behavior while out on a hike.
If you want your Pitbull to act calmly and in a structured manner, the best thing to do is implement a training plan. Use treat training, which is positive reinforcement training, to teach them what is acceptable, and what is not.
A few weeks of training will help your dog unlearn poor behavior and give you a better hiking companion!
Things To Take During A Hike
Hiking isn’t something that you just do with no prior planning, especially with a dog. You have to create a list of must-haves and plan your hike to ensure the safety of both you and your furry friend!
Always take water whenever you go on a hike, even short hikes will require water. If at any time your Pitbull begins to show signs of overheating or lethargy, it’s time to take a water break!
First Aid Kit
Emergency situations happen! That is why it is also recommended to take a small first aid kit while on any hike! Your first aid kit should have hydrogen peroxide, band-aids, gauze, tweezers, tape, ointment, medical sticks, a flashlight, and matches.
These items will help if an unforeseen situation presents itself! It’s always better to be over-prepared, rather than underprepared. Ensuring you and your dog will be safe if something happens!
Sometimes things happen, and you can be stranded or stuck while out. While it may seem like a stretch and unlikely to happen, having a small amount of food can come in handy. If your 1-hour hike turns into an 8-hour ordeal, you and your dog are prepared and won’t go hungry.
Always carry identification for both you and your Pitbull. ID tags will help if your Pitbull gets spooked or wanders off. Be sure their ID tag is securely attached to their collar and states your name, cell phone number, address, and veterinarian.
Having your identification is important for many reasons, but mainly if someone finds your dog, you can match the name on their collar to your ID, so they know that your dog really belongs to you!
It is crucial that you carry dog waste bags! It is inevitable that your Pitbull will number two on your hike. It is your responsibility to clean up after your dog and place their waste in a bag, securing it to be thrown away in a trash can once one is available.
Is My Pitbull Ready For A Hike?
If you are ready to take your Pitbull on a hike, it is highly recommended that you visit your veterinarian first. A quick trip to the vet will let you know if your Pitbull is healthy enough for a hike, and they will recommend how long your dog can hike without overdoing it.
Your vet will check your dog’s weight to make sure they aren’t too overweight. They will check their joints and bones to see if they have any conditions that would cause problems while hiking. And, the vet will also recommend any needed vaccinations for your dog to make them as healthy as they need to be for the hike.
Always listen to your vet’s recommendations, they are the experts. While we may know our dogs best, they know what’s best for our dogs.
My Final Thoughts
Hiking with your Pitbull is highly rewarding for both you and your dog. It provides exercise, quality time, and helps the two of you explore the world.
I highly recommend taking your Pitbull hiking with you as long as they are healthy and disciplined. Safety is always the first thing that should be taken into consideration when going on a hike with your Pitbull. The safety of you, your dog, and others is important.
If your Pitbull enjoys the outdoors the same way you do, enjoy going on a short hike. Once they are experienced, work your way up to longer hikes and enjoy the experience!