Are you an avid hiker and nature lover? There are tons of trails that lead to beautiful scenery and off the beaten paths to enjoy. Did you know there are trails that allow dogs? Many people already enjoy walking their dogs at some point during the day, but they can accompany you on dog-friendly trails too.
A little research will need to be done before your pooch can go with you. Some trails specifically forbid animals. But, with so many dog owners out there, there are lots of alternate options for those who want to hike with their furry buddy. Keep in mind that most trails are open to the public and the dog will have to be kept on a leash. Explore the area or hop online to see what suitable dog-friendly trails there are in your area.
Appropriate Health Level
Your dog should be able to hike with you. If you’re thinking of taking your 15-year-old golden retriever out for the first time on a hike, it isn’t a good idea. You can increase your dog’s stamina by taking long walks and getting them used to different kinds of terrain, but slowly at first. You can always ask your vet if your dog is physically fit enough to accompany you. Start with flat ground and work your way up to more difficult landscapes to help your dog get used to hiking as well.
Trail etiquette is a key element when hiking. Slower hikers should move aside to let others pass as a courtesy. Your pet shouldn’t lunge or jump at people as they pass. So now is the time to brush-up on some training. Basic commands should be able to be followed and a decent pace should be kept to prevent them from running away. You can practice by taking walks in the park or doing a few shorter trails at first.
If you and your dog are avid hikers or even if you only hike once in a long while, there are some items to consider. Reflective dog vests are a good item, especially during hunting season. Harnesses are also a good investment because they fit more comfortably and won’t get caught as easily on shrubbery as collars can. A good leash is also a must because on most trails, dogs have to be kept on a leash. For those that to hike often, there are dog boots to help protect their paw pads as well as many other neat hiking items for dogs.
The length and difficulty of your hike can determine whether you bring supplies with you or not. Many people wait until they get back to their vehicle to get their supplies. However, would you hike without water? If the answer is no, then you should consider bringing water for your pet too. There are collapsible water dishes that you can use, and a bottle or two of water can suffice to keep your pet hydrated along your beautiful hike. If the weather gets really hot you can invest in a cooling vest to keep your pet cool.
Hiking with a furry companion only amplifies the enjoyment of the walk. Many larger breeds of dogs love to explore and love the outside world, just about as much as their owners do. Exploring new and exciting places together keeps you both physically and mentally active and happy.
A little pre-planning is all you need to enjoy a hiking trip with your fuzzy buddy. With some practice, your dog can become an expert trail dog. Hiking is not only healthy, it opens our eyes and broadens our horizons to pretty places and new observances, and now your furry trail buddy can enjoy it along with you.
Written by Sarah Jones
Sarah has always lived an active lifestyle and so do her pets. On Crazy Pet Guy, you will find out how to help your pet stay active and how to take care of them too!