Hiking season has begun which means it's time to lace up your hiking boots, grab your furry friend and hit the trails. To help you and your pooch have the best experience, we have come up with some helpful tips on how to help you both enjoy your time outdoors!
Do Your Research
Unfortunately, not all areas and hiking trails allow dogs. And, nothing is worse than getting yourself (and your dog) packed and excited for a great hike, only to arrive and find out it is not actually dog friendly. Spending just a few minutes to ensure your chosen trail allows pets will save a lot of time (and disappointment) in the long run. There are many tools and apps that have great information about trails. Our favorite is AllTrails which has information about dog accessibility but also great information about difficulty, wildlife, terrain and more!
Dogs Get Thirsty Too
It is not likely you will forget your water bottle when hiking, but it IS easy to forget that your dog needs to hydrate too! Relying on springs and lakes along the way to hydrate your dog is not always a safe bet. While some dogs drink from them with no side effects, these natural water sources contain organisms that can make your dog very sick. It is much better to pack them water. Packing a portable dog bowl, or even just an old tupperware to pour water in during breaks, is an easy way to ensure you will be able to help your dog stay hydrated and safe during the hike.
Check the Weather
It can be sad to leave your dog at home when you go on a hike, but it can be even worse to expose them to unsafe weather. VetsNow recommends that you never take your dog out above 90 degrees Fahrenheit in order to avoid a serious risk of heatstroke. Different breeds and different sized dogs also react differently to various temperatures and have various needs. You can read more on VetsNow about what is best for your specific dog!
Leave No Trace
This one seems obvious but still seems to be an issue. Picking up your dog's poop is
the most important way to not only be respectful of others, but to keep the beautiful trails we are lucky to hike on clean and pristine! Not all trails have trash cans which can definitely be a pain. However, there are some awesome products out there that can help solve this problem! One great example is the Doodie Pack. This is a vest your dog wears that allows them to carry their own waste (and other doggie essentials). It lets you enjoy a hike free from poop-bag-holding with the added benefit of giving your proud pup a job!
We all love spending time with our dogs, and hiking is one of the greatest ways to do so! We hope these simple ideas help you and your favorite friend enjoy your time outside together even more!