Your dog is both a friend as well as your family. It’s a beautiful idea when you think of going out on hiking with your dog and spend some pleasant time enjoying the beauty of nature
It’s great to have your four-legged friend with you on a trip. However, there is a great deal of planning that must be done before thinking of doing so. By following a specific trail etiquette, preparing in- advance and applying some common sense, you can make your hiking with your dog, a pleasant memory.
Opting the Correct Trail
Not all the trails are suitable for hiking with your pet dog. There are some points which need to be considered before choosing the right trail:
First of all, it should be kept in mind that the trail you are choosing should not be a narrow one. A narrow trail will not allow other people to pass through comfortably as not everyone is comfortable around dogs. You know that you can easily control your dog from hopping on anyone else, but you can’t control the other person’s reaction when they are near your dog.
It is also recommended that you should choose a trail where water sources are near as it is not possible for you to take your dog’s water bowl everywhere while hiking.
The next point that must be considered is the surface on which you are going to hike. You should know that dogs usually prefer to walk on a natural surface rather than hiking on some concrete path. Dog consumes much water during hiking and sometimes wants to squat on his hind two legs for which your friend will need a warm grassy surface which will not be available on a paved trail.
Another point of consideration is choosing a rocky path or one with many roots. Most of the time you will have to pay attention that your friend stays around you, so choose accordingly.
It is always better to Google search in-advance, the best dog-friendly trails on which your dog feels comfortable.
Things to Carry Along
Hiking with your dog is not an easy task as it may look. You have to take care of each, and everything of your dog like you takes care of a child. You will have to pack up all the necessary supplies for your friend, which will increase the carry load.
When you are hiking with your dog, then you should be well-prepared for all types of contingencies. You should always have a proper first aid kit consisting of supplies for both humans as well as dogs, to be on a safe side in case of an unwanted scenario.
It is not possible that you always find some water source on your water trail. In that case, you should carry drinking water along with you for both you and your friend. Another thing is, if you find a water source too, you don’t know what is there in that water, and it may not be nutritious for your dog. So, do carry drinking water with you.
Your dog may be very much excited when he is out there in nature and when he sees new animals. So, it is better to take along a strong leash and collar to get a good hold on him when he tries to take a break.
A rabies tag should also be carried in case of any contingencies. Think of a situation when someone, by mistake, is bitten by your dog. Then, in that case, it will be easy for you to prove, with the help of the rabies tag, that your dog is perfectly fine. It will be wise enough to carry current ID tags too, to be on a safe side.
The most important thing to carry along is dog food. Your dog will surely get hungry after walking so much and in that situation; you should have to the adequate amount of food to feed your four-legged friend. Carrying some extra food is better than falling short of it as we can always bring back home the excess food.
Things To Be Noted
Always make a note that while going on a hiking trip with your dog, you should keep your friend on the leash. At most of the hiking sites, it is not legal to off-leash your dog, and it is considered an offense which may attract some fines or penalties. Other than this, even though if it is allowed to off-leash the dog, you should know every corner of the place accurately so that you can find your friend when he goes off your sight.
When you unleash your dog, you know that your dog will not harm any other person. However, the thing you don’t know is how other people will react when they come close to your dog because of their fear. So, it would be best if you were not afraid of your dog’s reaction, the main thing to be scared of is the other people’s reaction.
In case, if you are willing to let your dog off the leash, then you should know that it is feasible to do so or not. It should not be the first time that you are doing so; you must have practiced it many times before also. You should know the reactions of your dog in various kinds of situations before off-leashing him.
It is better to think a lot before taking such a step because you should be capable enough to control your friend in every case. It is better to give your dog some obedience training before attempting to unleash him.
Things That Should Not be Left behind
Every person wants to leave a memorial behind to show the world that you were there. However, mark my words; the memento should not come out from your dog. To say, anything that comes out of your pet dog should not be left behind on the hiking site to show the people. This means that you should not forget to carry your dog’s poop bags. When you go on a hiking trip with your dog, then it becomes your responsibility to take care of all the mess done by him.
You should know that one of the biggest reasons for water pollution is dog feces. Dog poop is different from the humans, it does not age pretty well as compared to what the humans do, and hence, the harmful toxins from it can deteriorate the quality of the soil. Therefore, do make a point to clean up whatever dirt is spread by your pet.
Places Which Are Dog-Friendly To Hike
Are you looking for a place to hike with your dog? Moreover, want to make some lifetime memories with your pet? Well, there are some national parts which grant the permission to take your dog with you on some or almost all the trails.
National parks are a good option for hiking as they can fill you with a lot of pleasant memories because of their natural beauty and large area. You can easily enjoy with your pet dog in such a wide space, and it will give your pet plenty of room to roam around. These national parks are an excellent source to spend a pleasant time with your favorite pet-friend.
Here is a list of some of the dog-friendly parks:
- Yosemite National Park
- Acadia National Park
- Cuyahoga National Park
- Shenandoah National Park
- Grand Canyon National Park
Not only these parks are dog-friendly, but many other parks also allow dogs, but there you have to take care of the rules and regulations made for the dogs. Some of the park’s area can be restricted for dogs, so you should be aware of such an area and should follow the rules as specified there. It is better to choose a site for hiking which is away from wildlife when hiking with your dog.
Best Way To Hike When You Are With Your Dog
When you are hiking with your dog, do not force your dog to hurry or rush, just let your dog enjoy the site and move as he is comfortable.
If you are pressurizing your dog to move then what good is bringing him to the trip to enjoy, take special care of your pet when it’s hot weather out there and let your dog move freely as he pleases, although he should be leashed adequately as discussed earlier.
Care To Be Taken
Many things are out there when you are on a hiking trip with your dog, that can be troublesome for you and you should be careful from. One of such things is the ticks which are present everywhere waiting to bite you and your dog. It is useful if you check your dog properly during the hike and also after it.
Not only the dog, but you should also check yourself for the tick bites as it can be perilous and can cause you Lyme disease. This disease can also be caused to your dog too.
Poison ivy is another thing that you should be careful from. You should know that not only humans get affected by the poison ivy but also the dogs can get affected too. It is advisable that you should walk on the trail rather than moving out of track and take due care when coming too close to the trees.
During hot weather, don’t be too harsh on your dog as heat strokes are something that can happen to both humans as well as the dogs. It is not possible for you to tell when your dog is feeling too hot as dogs sweat differently from that of humans, and obviously, your dog cannot know by himself that he has heatstroke. So, be polite and understand your dog.
Other things that can be taken care of are the pointy rocks, roots, and other harmful elements. It would be best if you always kept an eye downward on the trail so that you and your friend can easily dodge the upcoming obstacle on the path. You can make your dog wear dog hiking boots or can apply paw cream to protect your dog from getting hurt.
Positive Effects Hiking On The Dog
Hiking trips are healthy for your dog as he can get much exercise through this. We usually take our dog out on a walk, not just to answer nature’s call, but also to maintain the fitness level of our dog. What else can be better than hiking to maintain the fitness of your dog? Hiking will have a lot of positive effects on your dog’s level of energy along with his immune system.
Points To Check After Hiking
When you are done with your hiking and have reached back home, then do check the following:
- Check that you have brought back all your things and nothing is left behind.
- Give your dog a proper bath to remove the dirt and check his body for any ticks.
- Check for any cuts and injuries on your dog’s body.
Through this article, you have known almost everything that you must know when going on a hiking trip with your dog. By taking care of all the things that we have discussed, your trip will become a treasure that you’ll keep in your memories throughout your life.
Although, this article may look like you are preparing for a war or something. However, the main essence of this article is to make you aware of the hurdles that can ruin your whole adventurous trip. So, remember these things and have a great time with your pet friend.