How to Keep Your Ridgeback Hiking Safely

Whether you're saying your dog for a hike or simply walking him down the street, it's essential to keep your Ridgeback from being attacked by coyotes, foxes, and other wild animals. A Ridgeback is one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States, but not everyone knows how to keep this big, powerful dog safe while hiking or walking through rugged terrain. This guide will help you and your Ridgeback learn how to hike safely together. Hikers and ridgebacks can get into trouble when they don't know how to be safe while hiking. In this article, we'll give you some tips on keeping your ridgeback safe when hiking.

How to Keep Your Ridgeback Hiking Safely

How to Keep Your Ridgeback Hiking Safely

1. Choose the Right Dog for You

If you own a dog and plan to take them hiking, keep in mind the following: Dogs are natural explorers and should be allowed to experience new things like rivers and waterfalls. However, if you take your dog into unfamiliar areas, or if you're not trained to deal with potential medical issues, you may end up with a dog that becomes anxious or traumatized. If you take your dog hiking for the first time, always allow them to stop and rest when needed, and make sure that they've had enough exercise before heading out. Read more best hiking shoes.

To choose the right dog for you:

  • Consider their weight, height, and fitness level.
  • Make sure your Ridgeback has been obedience trained and is used to walking on a leash.
  • Be aware of the terrain and make sure your Ridgeback can handle it before taking him hiking with you.

2. Choose a Good Outfit

When you go hiking with your Ridgeback, make sure you choose the right outfit for the conditions. Here are some tips to help keep you and your Ridgeback safe while out on a hike: 

Wear bright and conspicuous clothing so that people can see you if they need help. Pack plenty of food and water since hIKing can take a lot out of your dog. Make sure your Ridgeback is well-trained and knows basic obedience commands (come, sit, stay). This will help him stay safe if he gets lost or frightened. Be aware of any wildlife in the area, and avoid scaring away any animals by making too much noise or making sudden movements. Take breaks often, especially if your Ridgeback is tired. This will help him stay healthy and happy on a long hike.

3. What to Wear

How to Keep Your Ridgeback Hiking Safely

If you're hiking with your Ridgeback, it's essential to know what to wear. Here are a few tips:

Wear a safety helmet. Ridgebacks are strong and can easily knock over small objects. Its safety helmet will protect your head in the event of a fall. Wear sturdy shoes that are fit for hiking. Your Ridgeback may pull you along the trail or jump over obstacles, so make sure your shoes are sturdy and support your weight. Wear clothes that cover your skin. If you're hiking in hot weather, wear clothing covering your skin to prevent dehydration and heatstroke. Bring plenty of water and snacks. Hiking can be thirsty work! Bring plenty of water and snacks with you, so you don't have to stop often for sustenance.

4. What to Bring Equipment

If you don't bring the right gear, it can mean the difference between a fun hike and a painful, life-changing experience. Here are some essential items to pack in your backpack for your next hike.

Water – At least 2 quarts (2 liters) per day. Bring enough for three days.
Food – Bring enough food to last the whole day and night.
Headlamp and extra batteries.
Map and GPS – Find your route ahead of time and download the coordinates into your phone or GPS device.
Extra clothing – Layer appropriately.
Bandana and sun hat – Protect your face and skin from the sun and wind.

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5. Identify the Risks of Hiking

The Ridgeback is one of the best dogs for hiking because they are very hardy, friendly, intelligent, adaptable, and loyal. However, some risks come along with hiking with your dog. Here are some of the most common risks and ways you can prepare your Ridgeback to help keep him safe while on the trail.

To keep your ridgeback safe on the trail, make sure you take the following precautions:

  • Always keep your Ridgeback close by when hiking, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area;
  • Be aware of your Ridgeback's movements and make sure he stays close to you at all times;
  • Use a leash when hiking with your Ridgeback;
  • Be aware of any obstructions in your hike route and avoid going off-trail; 
  • Be prepared for emergencies by having identification and medical information on hand, including contact information for your veterinarian;  
  • Take steps to prevent injuries, such as wearing a properly fitted harness and making sure your Ridgeback is well-fed and exercised before taking him on a hike.

6. Avoid Dangerous Situations

How to Keep Your Ridgeback Hiking Safely

One of the most important things you can do to keep your Ridgeback hiking safely is to stay away from dangerous situations. Below are some tips to help you avoid dangerous situations:

Stick to well-maintained trails. Ridgebacks are solid and independent animals, but they still need guidance when hiking. If the trail is rocky or steep, make sure your Ridgeback has a firm grip on your hand or leash to stay safe. Avoid crossing streams and rivers. Ridgebacks are strong swimmers, but they may not be able to swim if they get caught in a river or stream. Make understand to check the water depth before crossing. Be aware of wildlife. Whenever you're hiking, be aware of the wildlife around you. Keep your Ridgeback's distance from bears, wolves, mountain lions, and other predators. Keep an eye on your Ridgeback's energy level. If your Ridgeback starts to get tired, pull them back from the trail and rest before continuing.

Protect Your Dog from Sunburn

One of the most common injuries dogs suffers while hiking is sunburn. Ridgebacks are especially prone to this because they have a thick coat of fur that can quickly become trapped in the sun's rays. The best way to protect your dog from sunburn is to provide plenty of shade and water to keep them cool and hydrated and avoid exposing them to the sun's high temperatures.

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7. Know Your Trail

Ridgebacks are among the most popular dog breeds for hiking because of their endurance and ability to handle long distances. However, ridgebacks can be prone to accidents if not properly trained and supervised when hiking. Here are five tips to keep your ridgeback safe on the trail:

  • Always have a leash with you when hiking with your Ridgeback.
  • Make sure your Ridgeback is well-trained before taking them on any long hikes.
  • Make sure your Ridgeback knows how to stop on a dime and has been taught how to cross a creek or other bodies of the water safely.
  • Never leave your Ridgeback alone while hiking – they may become lost or injured if left unsupervised.
  • Always take caution when crossing busy trails, especially during the summer months when there are more people out and about.

8. Prepare for Rain and Cold Weather

Keep your Ridgeback hiking safely during rain and cold weather by following these tips: 

  • Dress for the weather. Bring a raincoat, hat, gloves, and boots.
  • Pack an extra layer of clothing.
  • Carry enough water and snacks.
  • Follow the trail closely. Stay in the middle of the trail to avoid slipping and falling. 
  • Use caution when crossing streams or rivers. Be sure to check for ice before crossing.

9. Know Before You Go

How to Keep Your Ridgeback Hiking Safely

Ridgeback hiking can be an exhilarating experience, but it's essential to know the risks. Here are a few tips to help keep your ridgeback safe on the trails: 

  • Teach your dog basic obedience commands like "sit," "down," and "stay" before you go hiking; this will help them stay with you and ensure their safety.
  • Make sure your Ridgeback is appropriately vaccinated and up-to-date on their rabies vaccine; even if your animal has been vaccinated in the past, they may still require a new vaccine for traveling to new areas.
  • Always bring food and water with you when hiking; if an emergency arises, you may not be able to get help quickly enough if your Ridgeback is stranded
  • Be aware of the terrain around you - while ridgebacks are athletic and sturdy animals, they are not immune to falls, accidents, or other injuries that can happen while hiking.
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife - even if your pet behaves perfectly during a hike, there's always the possibility of encountering a wild animal that may not be used to humans or dogs.

10. Types of Safety -Identifying Areas of Risk -Training

Types of Safety:
There are a few main types of safety when hiking with your Ridgeback. The most important is keeping yourself safe, and secondly, keeping your Ridgeback safe. Here are some tips for each:

Keep Yourself Safe:
Always use common sense when hiking with your Ridgeback. Follow all the usual hiking safety guidelines, such as staying aware of your surroundings, having proper gear, and being prepared for any eventuality. If you're feeling particularly risky or adventurous, always watch your Ridgeback's behavior and readiness to respond should something go wrong.

Keep Your Ridgeback Safe:
Just like with yourself, always take care when hiking with your Ridgeback. Ensure they have proper gear and training, and keep an eye on their behavior and readiness to respond in an emergency. You always know where they are at all times and never leave them alone if you can help it. Finally, be sure to tell someone where you're going before you go hiking so they can let you know if there's an emergency happening while you're gone.


As a Ridgeback owner, you must keep your dog safe while hiking. The best important thing you can do to ensure their safety is to understand the warning signs your Ridgeback might give and be prepared to act on them quickly. By following these simple tips, both you and your Ridgeback will be able to enjoy all the beautiful hikes that the great outdoors has to offer safely. Thanks for reading!

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