How to Go Hiking with Your Dog: 6 Simple Tips

Hiking is a wonderful way to work in some quality time with your canine friend. After all, dogs love to be out in nature, experiencing all the new sights, sounds and smells.

If you’re planning to go hiking with your dog this summer, these simple tips will help you and your dog stay safe on the trail and respect the environment as you go.

Keep Your Dog on a Leash 

There’s no question that Fido will be keen to run free, but keeping your dog on a leash will keep them safe and prevent them from disrupting the environment. Depending on where you are hiking, there could be wild animals lurking in the bushes looking to prey on your dog. Don’t risk it. Keep your dog leashed and out of harm’s way.

Additionally, many wilderness areas contain sensitive habitats for plants and animals. Humans are always advised to stay on the trail to avoid harming the natural environment and the same rule applies to your dog. This way you can help preserve the environment and ensure it remains a wonderful hiking destination for years to come. 

Pack a First-Aid Kit

Carrying a first-aid kit is always a good idea when you’re out in nature. The ability to patch up small wounds will mean you can continue your hike, rather than turning around and heading to the vet. Pet first aid kits are easy to put together and your veterinarian can help you include the correct dosages of medications your pup may need.

Be Mindful of the Temperature 

Exercising in hot weather is tough on humans and dogs. According to The Spruce, dogs should tolerate temperatures of up to 90˚F. However, there are many factors to consider, including your dog’s age and breed, the humidity levels, his level of exertion, and your destination.

If your hike is through a shady forest, your dog will likely have more endurance than if the hike offers no shade.

For your dog’s comfort and protection, try to schedule your hikes for mornings or late afternoons so you can avoid the sun when it’s at its brightest.

Carry Plenty of Water 

It’s always important to carry water to ensure your dog doesn’t become dehydrated. Dehydration can be a severe and even life-threatening condition for dogs, so don’t risk it. Make sure to pack water and a collapsible water dish for your pup in your daypack. Take frequent water breaks throughout your hike to keep yourself and your dog well-hydrated.

Know Your Dog’s Limits 

As you hike, keep an eye on your dog to ensure they don’t over-exert themselves as it could lead to dehydration or strain on your dog’s joints and muscles.

It is especially important to be mindful of senior dogs or dogs with hip or joint issues. Exercise helps maintain mobility and muscle-tone, but too much of it can do more harm than good.

If you notice your dog struggling to keep up or experiencing stiffness or discomfort, they may be reaching his limit.

Additional signs of over-exertion include overheating, excessive panting or drooling, collapse, and even seizures. To avoid reaching this point, slow your pace and turn back if your dog’s energy is starting to fade.

Dispose of Pet Waste Responsibly 

Respecting the environment is an important part of outdoor recreation and that includes picking up after pets. You might wonder, “Pet waste is natural, can’t I just leave it here?”

In order to avoid disturbing the natural ecology, we must pick up after our pets.

Be sure to pack poop bags or an air-tight container so you can easily port your pet’s waste out and dispose of it in a trash can after your hike. This will protect the environment and keep the trails clean for everyone to use.

A Final Word

Hiking with your dog is a fantastic way to squeeze in some exercise and engage in some bonding time.

Since hiking can be strenuous, ensure you’re aware of your dog’s physical limitations. If they have known joint issues a CBD product like Purity Preferred’s Hip & Joint Oil helps maintain joint mobility. Speak to your vet about the possible benefits of administering a product like this.

As long as you are aware of your dog’s physical limits, you are mindful of the heat and you pack appropriately for the adventure, you are sure to have a lovely hike. Happy trails!

Janine DeVault is a freelance pet writer, animal rescue advocate and former celebrity dog walker. She has worked with a variety of pet-industry clients and specializes in writing pet lifestyle content. Janine lives in Mexico with her three rescue pets, Maia, Fosi, and Kesi.

References:

  1. https://www.thesprucepets.com/what-is-too-hot-for-dogs
  2. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/dog-first-aid-kit-essentials/
  3. https://www.vettedpetcare.com/vetted-blog/dos-donts-working-dog
  4. https://www.adirondackcouncil.org/page/blog-139/news/10-leave-no-trace-tips-for-dog-owners-in-the-adirondacks
  5. https://longhaultrekkers.com/dispose-of-dog-poop/

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