Most dogs love hiking outdoors as much as humans. It's a great workout for both of you, but they also enjoy countless new smells they can sniff. It's important to be prepared for your hike so you have a safe, relaxing adventure with your pup.
- Get enough food and water for your dog.
Hiking can be strenuous. Pack enough food for energy and water to avoid dehydration.
- Check if the hike is suitable for your dog's fitness level
There are trails for every fitness level. If your pup is new to hiking, start with an easier trail and gradually move up to harder ones as he/she gains more experience.
- Pack essentials (leash, collar, ID tag, poop bags, first aid kit)
You should never leave the house without bringing all of the above items with you.
- Chose a trail that allows dog
Many trails in the United States are not dog-friendly. This doesn't mean that you have to struggle finding a hike. If you just plug in "dog friendly hiking trails near me" in your Google search, you should be able to find one in a few minutes.
- Pick up after your dog
Keeping the trails clean serves all of us. Although dog poop is bio degradable, it is not pleasant to look at while out enjoying nature. Bring poop bags or bury it.
- Leash your dog at all times
As much as you would love to let your dog roam around and explore, it is important for safety reasons to keep him close to you. You also need to consider that not everybody is crazy about pups like we are (unfortunately) and they might not appreciate your dog trying to say hi to them.
- Look for ticks and burrs
If you find one, the best thing to do is take your dog to the vet.
- Give your dog a bath
It pays off to wash off all the dirt and mud so you won't have to deal with cleaning your house after your dog.
Pro tip: if you are looking for a backpack for dogs read this article.
Enjoy the outdoors!