Geocaching With Your Dog
Many people talk about the benefits of geocaching in regards to weight loss; which should not be down played or looked over. But the idea of benefiting from exercise due to geocaching does not have to be limited to just the avid geocacher, others such as spouses, children and yes, even dogs can benefit from the activity.
Madcacher.com is a two-man team, and we both love our dogs as though there were members of our family. And we’re not alone in this; many of our friends feel the same way. This is probably in some way linked to the fact that people are having children later in life than they used to and are thus filling the gap with our four legged friends, but that is a much deeper conversation than we want to get in to here.
Just like obesity in humans can cause a range of health issues, the same holds true for our four legged friends. Dependent on their size, even being 5-8 lbs. over their ideal weight can cause a host of issues including bone and hip problems, heart issues, difficulty breathing and yes, even diabetes. If your dog is overweight it is most likely a result of “to much love”. The best way to show your love for your dog is to keep it healthy by limiting it’s food intake to recommended levels (consult a veterinarian) and giving them regular exercise such as runs or walks. This is where geocaching comes in! Would you rather walk Fido around the block, or plan out your route so you can pick up a few caches along the way? You both get the benefits of the walk AND you get to grab some geocaches – it’s a win-win!
One of the great parts about geocaching is that it is not linked or held hostage to one area or region of the world. Geocaches can be found everywhere from New York City to the deep woods of Maine – and you can take your dog almost everywhere such caches exist. (There are of course exceptions) Dogs can also lend you much needed camouflage when out looking for that elusive find in public; rather than seeing a person wandering aimlessly around say a water fountain and wondering what they are doing, a Muggle might look at you with your dog and simply smile that you were out for a walk and had stopped to let the dog take a break!
A few notes on geocaching with your dog;
- Know your dogs limitations – If your dog has a short leg span or is heavily overweight think twice before taking them on that 7 mile round trip to get that cache in your local state park. Likewise taking them on hikes that require scaling difficult terrain such as cliffs, waterfalls etc may take all of the enjoyment out of what you are doing and may actually lead to a harmful result.
- Dogs don’t sweat like we do – Dogs actually sweat through their paws! They are also covered in fur, so they can overheat rather easily. Make sure you hike at a comfortable pace and bring plenty of water for them to enjoy along the way.
- Observe leash laws – These can be annoying but remember; not everyone loves dogs and a “must be on leash” sign is far better than a “no dogs allowed” one. Dependent on your local laws you could even be fined for ignoring such rules or laws.
- Pick up after your dog! – Be a responsible owner and bring along bags to clean up any “messes” your dog might make while out walking or hiking. We highly recommend using a biodegradable bag instead of left over shopping bags. No need to create dog-doo fossils in our landfills. Let the things that are meant to biodegrade do so!
Thanks for reading; we hope you and your dog have a great time out geocaching. In fact, we’d love to hear your stories and see your photos of taking Fido along! Please feel free to post a comment below or send us your stories and photos through the contact us page. Enjoy!