If you are a hiking person and a dog lover, then you probably must have wondered what would happen if you combined both of your passions. Can dogs go hiking? Well, of course! They totally can enjoy this amazing activity. What is more, it can be extremely beneficial for their physical and mental health.
Nevertheless, there are some certain tips you must follow so both you and your dog can be safe.
1. Find the best hiking trail
Not all hiking trails are safe for dogs, and not all of them allow pups either. This is why it’s extremely important that you do your research before setting off on your first hiking journey.
Find a trail that not only allows dogs, but that’s also suitable for yours. If you guys have just started hiking, we don’t recommend doing very long hikes. You both will have to ease into it. Make sure to know your dog’s resistance and always keep it in mind.
2. Choose the best day
Weather conditions are an extremely important factor when deciding when to go hiking with your dog. You have to make sure temperatures won’t be too hot or cold. We would say that the most important one would be the hot ones.
Heat can have a terrible impact on dogs, affecting their well-being and even resulting in a heatstroke.
3. Always bring a leash
While doing your research, you’ll find out that many trails require dogs to be on a leash, and sometimes they even establish a determined length for it. Imagine arriving at the trail, not having a leash and having to go home, all because you forgot to read the trail’s guidelines.
Having your pup on a leash while hiking makes a lot of sense. What if they see a deer or some kind of animal they want to chase? What if they fall and you don't have a leash to pull them back up?
As well as your pup can behave to walk of leash around your neighborhood, you need to understand that a hiking trail is not the same. There are new stimuli that your dog is not used to, and it’s totally okay if they don’t act the same around them.
What is more, there might be other doggos on the trail that can have a reactive reaction towards an off-leash dog.
4. Always bring extra bags
As obvious as it might seem for the more responsible pet parents, there are some that don’t clean up the little gifts their pups leave along the way, which is completely unacceptable. You must always take extra bags for any emergency that you might encounter.
A great tip to follow is to take your pup on a short walk before setting off the trail, hoping they will do their business there. By doing so, you’ll hopefully won’t need to pick up poop and carry it during the whole trail.
5. Never forget tags
This might be one of the most important tips! We all know that a dog should never leave their house without wearing a tag that has some type of contact with their family. When you go hiking, this is even more important. You never know what can happen, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
There are even some amazing tags that have a GPS on it, that are a great option for this kind of scenario.
6. Bring treats and water
Make sure to take enough water both for you and your dog. There’s nothing worse than running out of water in the middle of the trail. Humans can somehow hang in there, but it’s definitely not the same for dogs.
What is more, if your dog’s thirsty and you don’t give them water, they might attempt to drink from ponds or puddles, which can be extremely dangerous for them.
You should also take your dog’s favorite treats in case you need them for calling them.
7. Bring extra supplies
Besides the ones mentioned above, there are some extra supplies you should take with you when going hiking with your dog.
First of all, there’s a dog first aid kit. We all hope that nothing’s going to happen to our pups when we go hiking, but the truth is we never know. That’s why it’s so important to always have a first aid kit with you, and to know how to use it, of course.
You should also take some dog-safe insect repellent with you.