Hiking With Your Dog

Hiking With Your Dog

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Getting out in to nature is a great way to unwind for you and your pooch! Make the most of your adventure with these handy tips for a fun and safe hike…

Things to Bring:

  • Enough water for you and for your dog
  • Tick removal tool (available at most pet stores)
  • Consider sunscreen for your dog if he or she has white or light-colored fur
  • Collar and six foot leash
  • Dog tags on your dog’s collar
  • One tag with your contact information
    • Your dog’s current rabies license tag
    •  Poop bag(s) to scoop up the poop

Dog Hiking Safety:

  1. Hiking on a trail with other dogs, wildlife and people can be very exciting and distracting for you and your dog.  Your dog should have basic obedience training so that he or she can walk on a loose leash.
  2. Physical fitness is important for dogs too!  Don’t overdo it on your first hiking trip – ease in to a fitness routine if your dog is a couch potato.  Start with shorter hikes initially to stay in check with your pup’s stamina.
  3. Dogs can overheat very quickly since they do not sweat.  Remember to give your dog water and a chance to cool down if they seem overheated.  Temperatures can rise quickly (up to 20 degrees or more!) as you hike up the trail, due to the lack of shade and water. Dogs can only cool themselves off by panting, so if the air is hot and they are dehydrated, they can easily get heat exhaustion.  Pay special attention to your dog on hot days!
  4. Stay on the trail for your dog’s safety as well as yours – you won’t know what you might encounter in the vegetation or under rocks – be aware of rattlesnakes, scorpions, and foxtails.
  5. Provide your dog with year-round protection from fleas and ticks.  Use a safe topical medication once a month or as advised by your veterinarian.  It can take up to 24 hours for the medication to fully absorb; for large dogs, you may want to put the medication on several places along his or her spine for faster absorption.
  6. Be polite on the trail to other fellow hikers.  Pull you dog to the side when passing other hikers.  Always let horses and cyclists pass you first.
  7. Always ask a dog owner first if your dog wants to meet an approaching dog.  Not everyone will be ready to meet a strange dog; asking first and walking up slowly to the other dog usually allows for a friendly greeting!
  8. Have fun!

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