Tips on Hiking with Your Dog(s)

Ahh.. Spring and Summer, my two favorite season’s of the year! It’s the time for fresh blooms, warmer weather, outdoor events, landscaping, sunshine, and perhaps… a hike with your pup?!

Here are some quick tips for you to know before heading out the door and up the big hill –

1. Every dogs capabilities are different. If you walk or run your pup regularly, then they’re probably in decent shape. Be sure to do research ahead of time though, and head for a mountain that’s a good fit for your dog. Keep the hike short if your dog isn’t normally active.

2. Hike only dog-friendly areas. Check out this site for local hikes: Explorer Dog! Day Hikes

3. Make sure your dog has up-to-date tags, which includes their identification, your contact information, as well as your vet’s contact info.

4. Bring necessary supplies and information –

  • Carry 8 ounces of water for every hour of planned hiking. This is extremely important on those hot summer days!
  • Bring some treats and food. The amount will depend on the length of the hike.
  • A basic first aid kit
  • An extra collar or leash
  • Poop bags
  • A current picture of your dog (in case he or she gets lost)
  • Your vets phone number, as well as contact information to the closest emergency vet.
5. In any extreme weather conditions, I would probably just skip the hike. There’s no reason a dog should be hiking in those conditions. Too much can go wrong.

Quick tips for during the hike – 

1. Watch your dog(s) carefully, as they’re good at getting into all kinds of trouble! There’s a lot of wildlife out there, including; skunks, snakes, porcupines, etc. Take them immediately to the emergency clinic if he or she has encountered something dangerous or is acting unusual!

2. Though many people feel comfortable leaving their dogs off-leash, I, personally, would much rather keep mine on a leash. It’s safer, you know where they went potty, so you can clean it up, and they won’t bother other people or dogs. Simply put, there’s much less to worry about. When I’m hiking, I want to enjoy my time, NOT spend my time worrying about my dog.

Quick tips for after the hike – 

1. Though dogs are not affected by poison ivy, they can actually transfer it to your skin.  No matter what, at the end of your hike, check your dog thoroughly (for ticks, wounds, bites, skin rashes…) and definitely give ’em a good scrub in the bath when you return home.

2. Lastly, make sure they have fresh, cool water and plenty of food. Aren’t you starving after a long workout?

Got any more advice?? Don’t hesitate to post!

Happy Trails!

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