Take a Hike: Things you need to know before hiking with your dog

Now that the weather is getting cooler, you may be thinking about hitting the trails. And of course you want to take your furbaby with you! What do you need to know before hiking with your dog?

Hiking Trails

Hiking with your dog can be a lot of fun for everyone involved. However, just as with people, choosing the right trail is critical. With older dogs, choose a shorter, less strenuous trail. Dogs are just happy to be there. They’ll keep hiking as long as you do. Be mindful and don’t push your senior pups too hard.

Smaller dogs will likely tire faster than larger dogs simply because they have to take more steps to cover the area. Take breaks when you, or your dog, needs to.

Hiking Trail Etiquette

As with the dog park, there is definitely hiking trail etiquette you should abide by when hitting the trails with your dog. Letting your dog off leash may seem like a good idea. It isn’t. Remember, there are other people using the trails. Be respectful. It’s also not safe for your dog. There are other dogs to be mindful of and, of course, wild animals. A dog, especially if they have any sort of hunting dog DNA, will be over stimulated very easily. There’s too much to smell and chase. It is likely that, even if they’re the best boy or girl, they may get distracted and run off.

Hiking Gear

When going hiking with your dog, you may need to pack some extra gear, depending on how long you plan to be gone. Water is a must. To save space, take a collapsible water bowl, available at any outdoors store or online. These bowls take up minimal space and allow your pet to get a quick drink when you stop to take a break.

If you have a larger dog, let them carry their own things! Doggie backpacks are adorable and functional. Here’s a link to a backpack my dog has used.

Testimonial Time:

My dog, an 80 pound Pointer mix, loves his backpack and he loves to go hiking. That doesn’t mean he’s great at it. When wearing his backpack, we clip is leash to his pack rather than his collar. Catching a scent, he kept his nose to the ground and stepped right off a cliff. Had his leash been clipped to his collar, he may have choked before we could pull him up. We were able to get him back on solid ground, thankfully the buckles held, the backpack stayed in place, and Dipstick was safe and sound.

Talk to you Vet before you go

If you plan on taking your fubaby hiking, you may want to ask your vet about any additional medications your pet may need. Besides their usual heartworm, flea, and tick meds, they may need something for water parasites. Drinking dirty water isn’t something your dog does on a regular basis and they could very easily pick up a parasite in the water, making them very ill and ruining the hiking or camping trip.

So, hit the trails with your dog this fall and enjoy the peace and quiet.