How to trek with your dog

06 Dec 2023

Walking your dog is a fundamental part of keeping them healthy and active, but if you want to walk for longer distances or even trek with your dog then it’s important to prepare in the proper way.

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As with humans, it’s important that your dog is fit and well before taking on anything physical and that you’re prepared for every eventuality. Take a look at our top tips for trekking with your dog:


Check with your vet

Before going out on any very long walks or treks with your dog, it’s a good idea to get them checked over by your vet. In order to take part in an event like the Muddy Dog Challenge your dog should be generally fit and well, already fairly active and comfortable with this level of activity. Your vet will also be able to check for any underlying mobility or respiratory issues which might be made worse by taking part.


Make sure your dog is old enough, or young enough!

If your dog is under 12 months old, you should wait until they are slightly older before taking them on a longer distance challenge trek like Muddy Dog Trek in order to allow time for their bones and muscles to fully form. The same goes for more senior dogs; if your dog is finding it harder to walk these days, then it’s best to stick to shorter more comfortable distances.


Go steady

You should gradually work your way up to walking at a decent pace during training, and on the day itself, keep a steady pace. You don’t need to run, it’s not a race! Always go at a pace that is suitable for both you and your dog and never tug them along on the lead. We ask that all dogs who take part in the Battersea Muddy Dog Trek are kept on the lead for the duration of the event including at the start and end points so it’s best to train with them on the lead too. If your dog is prone to pulling on the lead you might want to look at our advice on teaching your dog to walk on a loose lead.


Be aware of other dogs

If you’re out and about or taking part in an event where there are lots of other dogs, make sure you’re aware of space around you and try not to crowd other dogs. If you’re taking part in an event you should be especially aware of this at water points and at the start and finish where participants might gather. Your dog may be very enthusiastic around other dogs, but some might prefer a bit of personal space.


Check the weather

If you’re planning a big walk or trek, check the weather and be prepared for every eventuality. If it’s hot on the day of your Muddy Dog Trek the length of the course might be adjusted, or in the event of extreme heat it may be postponed. Keep an eye on your dog for any heavy panting or fatigue and make sure you take breaks to sit in the shade and cool off if needed. You should also carry plenty of water for both you and your dog and make use of all the water points. Likewise, if there’s rain forecast, you’ll need to make sure your bag, clothes, and equipment are all waterproof and that you have a towel or two with you to dry off your dog.

If you and your dog are up for the challenge, why not take Muddy Dog Challenge? All money raised goes towards helping Battersea be there for every dog and cat.