Hiking with Fido can be a fun experience. Trekking through natural settings while watching your dog enjoy roaming about can be exhilarating. However, you and your dog need to be prepared and safe during the hiking trip.
That said, here are 9 tips to remember to make your hiking trip safe for you and your dog:
1. Train Your Dog First
“Before you plan a hiking trip with your dog, it’s important to get them ready for it,” says Jacob Winston, a lifestyle blogger at Elite Assignment Help and Oxessays review. “That means making sure that your dog is well socialized, meaning that they’re comfortable around new people, dogs, and experiences.
If you’d like, you and your dog can participate in a training class together. Also, make sure that they’re physically ready for the hike.”
2. Research Dog-Friendly Trails
While some trails allow dogs on the premises, others won’t. That’s why it's important to research trails that are dog-friendly. Keep in mind: Many National Parks (and even some State Parks) have their own rules on dogs. You can access a list of dog-friendly and dog-restricted parks at www.nps.gov, or head over to your State Park’s website for more information. It’s better to be well-informed than oblivious.
3. Know Leash Laws
While it’s fun to have your dog outdoors, it’s still important to keep them leashed. Why? There are many reasons why dogs should be on a leash when being taken through most trails:
- Some people are scared of dogs.
- Some dogs can get aggressive towards people and or other dogs.
- Some parks want their places free of debris, droppings, etc.
Therefore, make sure you do your research prior to making plans to hike on a trail. Not abiding by leash laws and regulations can result in fines. Also, keep in mind: Many parks and trails have their own rules; so, you’ll need the research.
4. Pack Food, Water, And Treats
Both you and your dog will need plenty of food, water, and treats to last you for the trip. Here’s how:
- For yourself, pack some snacks (i.e. granola bars, trail mix, etc.) and water.
- For your dog, bring a collapsible bowl for their food, and a separate water bottle from them to drink from. You may want to place their food and treats in ziplock bags to make them easy to carry on the trip.
5. Pick Up After Dog
Let’s face it: No one wants to walk on a park trail and see dog droppings on the ground.
That’s why it’s important to pick up after your dog and to place doggie bags in the designated trash bins. While most trails have their own dog stool bag stations, some don’t. So, be sure to bring doggie bags beforehand.
6. Have A First-Aid Kit For Your Dog
Like people, dogs can get hurt or sick at any time. So, be sure to keep a small first aid kit (pet-specific or regular) in your car, or in your backpack. For more severe injuries or illnesses, you’ll need to consult a vet.
7. Have Dog Carry A Pack
Depending on your dog’s size, age, and physicality, you can have them carry their gear in their own backpack. The good news is, dog packs can be bought at pet stores. Just be sure to find the right pack that fits.
Also, to prepare them for the trip, let your dog wear the pack around the house, so that you can watch for comfort or for any chaffing. Remember: Try not to overload the pack, so that they can carry it around easily.
8. Bring A Toy
“Dogs love to be entertained, even when they’re out and about,” says Jonathan Rigsby, a pet writer at UK Writings and State of writing. “On the hike, you can bring your dog’s favorite squeaky toy or ball, so that you offer them something to do whenever they get bored on the trip.”
9. Take Breaks
Finally, just as humans need to take breaks every so often, so do dogs.
Be sure to monitor your dog every so often when the two of you hike. If you see that your dog is limping, or looking tired, then let them have some food and water. And, if problems persist, then it’s time to end the trip.
Hiking can be fun when you take your dog. So, now that you know the 9 tips on hiking with Fido, it’s time to hit the trail the right way! Happy trails!