Do's and Don'ts of Hiking the Trails with Your Dog


Sparky Steps - Do's and Don'ts of Hiking the Trails with Your Dog

Do's and Don'ts of Hiking the Trails with Your Dog

When someone tells you to take a hike...do you jump at the chance?

If you enjoy hitting the hiking trails whenever you can and would love the company of your canine sidekick, there are a few things you might need to think about before heading out. Of course, the first thing is: can your dog handle the rigors of a hike? If Barkley has spent the last several months on the couch, he's likely not ready to leap into action on the trail. Ease him into it. Take him for shorter walks and gradually increase the time and distance until he seems ready to take on the woods. It wouldn't even hurt to have a checkup at the vet to make sure everything is A-OK before you start Barkley on the hiking life. What's best to bring on your adventure? Check out the American Kennel Club recommendations for supplies like leashes, packs and portable bowls you should have with you for the day. Fortunately, the list of do's and don'ts when hiking with your dog is relatively short, but there might be one or two things you haven't considered, so it's worth taking a moment and reviewing what you should know before setting out on your long nature walk.

 

The Do's of Taking Your Dog Hiking

Mind fellow hikers. Give them space on the trail. Not everyone is a dog lover (believe it or not), and others may not want a greeting from Max. Chances are their out on a hike to relax and take in nature, but they might not appreciate nature coming up and giving them a wet sloppy kiss. If you own more than one dog, do just take one at a time hiking unless you have more than one hiker with you. It's best to have one person per dog; it's too easy to lose control if you bring more than one dog on the trail. Pick up after Piper! You might think it's not as important has having to pick up your dog's business on a sidewalk, but others are using this trail and might even wander off-trail sometimes. Be courteous and dispose of doggie waste just as you would when walking in your neighborhood. Finally, carry along a doggie first aid kit. While hiking can be fun for Duke, there are chances he could cut a paw or eat the wrong thing. Having emergency supplies on hand is important.

 

Don'ts: What NOT to Do When Hiking with Your Dog

Maybe the single biggest Don't when it comes to hiking with your dog is: don't let them off-leash all the time, especially if hiking is new to them. Always have a leash with your and use it when the need arises. Even the most well-trained pup can get distracted by all the sights/sounds that a hike affords, and it's too easy for them to go off and get lost. It's also best not to let them off the trail, so a leash is in order if your dog tends to wander into the foliage. Trampling the plants or disturbing the wildlife that some people are out to see just isn't cool. Stick to the path, and the best way to assure that might be to keep Sadie on her leash. Leashing your dog also gives you control if meet up with another hiker who is accompanied by his pooch. Your dog might be friendly, but some dogs simply don't do well with other canines. Don't push your dog to go beyond his/her limits. Keep checking your dog's energy level and behavior. If it seems like they're done, you'll need to hike back home.

If you found this information helpful please share it to your friends on social media. Be sure to tag us @sparkysteps and use the hashtag #sparkysteps! Stay healthy and get your hike on!

 

Written by Harrison Howe

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