One of my favorite places to take my Elkhound hiking is along the James River in Richmond, Virginia. One of the nicest places is Belle Isle which is a 54-acre island on the James River that is actually within the city limits of Richmond. There may be no better dog to take on a hike than an Elkhound. Of course I may be biased, but I ‘m sure many would agree that the Norwegian Elkhound is an excellent companion when treking through the woods or along the river.
I’ve hiked there during all seasons of the year and Aspen my elkhound loves it. In the summer she can’t wait to get into the water which is a great way for her to cool down. Because we spend a fair amount of time outdoors and in particular wildlife areas near the river I make sure Aspen gets a Lepto vaccine each year. Leptospirosis (Lepto) is a bacterial disease that affects a wide range of animals besides dogs. It occurs throughout the world and is often found in wet environments. If you take your elkhound hiking (or any breed dog) in wildlife areas or around rivers, lakes or ponds you should consider a lepto vaccine for your dog.
If you plan on taking your elkhound hiking there are a few things that you should consider:
Hydration is crucial for an active dog in particular northern breeds in a warm climate like elkhounds. Aspen carries her own water (and snacks) in her backpack. Even though there is plenty of water it’s best not to let your dog drink from rivers or ponds. Dogs are susceptible to giardia protozoa much like humans, so bring fresh water from home or be sure to filter and/or treat their water just as you would if you were going to consume it.
You should always check on the dog regulations for the areas where you’ll be hiking. Most U.S. national parks, for example, do not allow dogs to share the trail. In the parks and wildlife areas that do allow dogs you will need to be sure to maintain control of your dog at all times. Dogs are required to be on-leash at most maintained public trails and most require a leash to be 6 feet or less in length.
See you on the trail!