One of the great joys of having a dog is the way that you can enjoy getting out and being active with them in so many different ways. Walking or hiking with your four-legged friend is great fun and I would recommend it to anyone.

Recently, I was looking at ideas for going on a day trip with my Cockapoo, Luna. The idea of scaling the biggest mountain in Wales caught my attention and heading to Mount Snowdon turned out to be one of our best adventures to date. The following are some of the things we learned from our day out.

Getting Up Early Is Worth It

The weekend is usually a great time for getting up late and enjoying some lazy time at home. However, we were both up bright and early for our Snowdon hike, leaving the house at 4am for the first time ever. This turned out to be a great idea, especially for Luna, who slept all the way there. We got to our starting point for the climb at 6am and were able to enjoy some glorious peace and quiet before the crowds arrived a bit later on.

Choosing the Right Trail Is Vital

While planning the hike at home I had been torn between choosing the quickest route up and the gentlest. In the end, I made a smart decision by choosing the Llanberis Path. This isn’t the shortest way to the summit but it has the gentlest gradient. This meant that we got to stretch our legs on a long but gentle climb up Mount Snowdon. It was quite tiring because of the distance involved but that was better than worrying about Luna scrambling up steep paths or dangerous sections.

Pick the Right Supplies

It can be tough to pick the right things to take away so that you are prepared for anything but aren’t weighed down by too much stuff. In the end Luna didn’t use the new winter coat I had brought along but it was still worth taking in case the weather had turned nasty. Of more use was the big supply of water, the collapsible water bowl and the dog snacks I took along. I had also bought a new, outdoor lead that was a bit longer than Luna is used to and that was fine, even if it maybe caused her to pull a bit more than normal. Of course, the pulling might just have been because she was so excited.

Take Regular Breaks

We both appreciated the fact that it is possible to take regular breaks on this gentle route up the mountain. I wanted to reach the top fairly quickly at first, but soon realised that taking it easy and stopping now and then was a better approach. Luna was as grateful for these breaks as I was, as the path was probably quite tough on her paws. It also gave me a chance to enjoy the different views and take plenty of photos along the way too.

Watch Out for Sheep and Other Hikers

One of the most important pieces of advice for anyone who goes hiking here with a dog is to watch out for the sheep. Indeed, we are advised to keep our pooches on leads at all times in this area for that reason. I would also recommend being as considerate as possible with other hikers, as not everyone is happy to see an overly enthusiastic dog bounding towards them on these narrow paths. Of course, you will see some other dogs on the way too, which is good news if you have a dog who is as sociable as Luna.

Savour the Moment

What I most learned on this outdoor adventure is that it is easier to savour the moment when you have your dog by your side. There is something very special about climbing a mountain with a dog that means I am extremely keen to do it again as soon as possible. After we had spent some time soaking up the view from the summit we walked back down, now feeling more relaxed and free of stress. We stopped in at a welcoming pub where the friendly barman gave Luna some free food and I could settle down for a nice rest after a long day.

All in all, it was a terrific day out and something I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to create some special memories with their dog while getting some fresh air and exercise.

This guest essay was written by Mike over at www.cockapoohq.com. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

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