For those who love thrill and adventure, trekking is fun. And, if you have a pooch and are planning a holiday in the Himalayas, take him along. They’ll surely love it, just like our pawstar Sheeba!
Last summer, we were the only people in Ladakh trekking with our dog, Sheeba (Indian mixed with Basenji). We took her in the car from Delhi to Darcha, the starting point of the Zanskar Valley Trek to Lamayuru (20 days). And, we flew back from Leh to Delhi. It was surprisingly easy, for her and for us. Here are five tips to make trekking easier with your pooch:
Acclimatizing in high altitude for city dogs: Sheeba had no problems at all acclimatizing to the high altitude of Ladakh. She was running up the rocky mountains like she would run up a little hill. In fact, she must have done the trek three times by running forward and backward, checking on us slow humans. Even when we reached the highest pass on the trek (nearly 5500 m) she was not only the first on top but also still smiling while we were catching our breath.
Feeding the dog on the trek: We fed dry active-dog-food (high energy food) as well as eggs, paneer, rice, milk, pasta and potatoes to Sheeba.
Protect wild life from your dog: Due to the enormous space she had in Ladakh (no trees), running was fun for her and we could see her all the time. Only when she was tempted to hunt marmots we would put her on the leash or put on a muzzle. Of course, she was absolutely not allowed to hunt any wild animals! Thanks God, she is well trained. So at the end of three weeks running she was one of the fittest and fastest dogs in India. Her fur was shiny, her muscles strong and she was very happy.
Watch out for other dogs and leopards: We also took Sheeba and her younger friend Cato (an Indian mixed breed) to Himachal Pradesh. This was also fun, but one had to be more careful because of the leopards. The leopards will usually not attack the dogs when they are near humans. So, our dogs were always with us. Unfortunately the mountain dogs, which protect the sheep and goats from leopards can be very aggressive towards other dogs. So we had to watch out for them more.
Bonding experience for dogs and humans: It was a great bonding time for us and we will take our dogs Sheeba and Cato to Ladakh this year again.
So, if you are planning a trekking adventure, take your pooch along… and have double the fun!