Hiking with Your Dog: What You Need to Know

Before You Leave

Before leaving for your hike with your dog, it is important to plan and learn some hiking tips. First, make sure your pet has an updated identification tag complete with their name, your name, and phone number. Second, consider getting your pet micro-chipped. If they ever get lost and are found without their ID tag, a microchip can be essential in helping reunite you with your dog.

Remember to pack your pup a hiking pack. Bigger breeds can carry their dog hiking backpacks themselves, while smaller breeds will need you to carry their supplies.

What to Include in a Dog Hiking Backpack

  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Bowl
  4. Dog Pedialyte
  5. Towel
  6. Tweezers (to remove any thorns or foreign objects that may hurt their paws)
  7. Dog first aid kit
  8. Dog life vest (if you’re planning on going for a swim!)
  9. Retractable leash (many hikes require pets to be leashed and a retractable one is much easier to store)

Next, do some research on trails that will be a good fit for Fido. Take a look at the top 10 dog friendly hiking trails for a start! Finally, if this is your first time taking your furry friend on a hike, you should consider picking a beginner trail and outfitting them with their very own pair of dog hiking shoes to keep their pads protected. Before going on the hike, make sure to try on their new kicks a few times so they can get comfortable wearing them. You also need to be aware of the local surroundings on the trail so you can keep your pet away from any danger.

Risks of Hiking with Your Dog

  1. Burnt pads – Dogs can easily burn their pads on hot pavement or hurt them on rocky trails. Keep this in mind when selecting a trail and remember to bring their doggie booties.
  2. Dehydration – Dehydration affects our 4-legged friends too, so be sure to offer them water every 15-30 minutes, depending on the difficulty of the trail.
  3. Giardia – Never let your dog drink from an open stream as many lakes and ponds contain parasites. Symptoms (such as diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and gas) can take weeks to appear or may not appear at all, but your 4-legged friends can still pass this parasite on to you.
  4. Exhaustion – If your dog seems to have trouble breathing or cooling off, they may be overexerting themselves. If you notice them getting tired, consider calling it a day. You don’t want your furry friends to become too exhausted.
  5. Other animals – Don’t let your pets stray too far from the trail, they could easily run into a bear, rattlesnake or other dangerous animal. It may be a good idea to attach bear bells to your dog’s collar to ward off nearby animals.

Taking your dog on an outdoor hiking adventure can be a fun way to spend time with your pooch, but it isn’t without its drawbacks. Not only will you need to pick a trail that fits your dog’s athleticism, you will also need to watch out for any risks in your surroundings. The 4Paws family wants to help protect you and your pup no matter where the trail leads, so head to 4pawsins.com for a free quote today!