Tips for Hiking with Your Dog

Father, son and their dog walking in a summer forest
Father, son and their dog walking in a summer forest

Summer is in full swing, meaning more daylight and time spent enjoying the beautiful weather. Hiking is a great summer activity for you and your dog to get some exercise and bond with each other in nature.

Here are a few tips for a safe and enjoyable hike with your furry friend!

Keep Your Dog Leashed

Always verify that dogs are allowed on a hiking trail before departing. You should know that many national parks do not allow dogs!

When mapping out your hike, research online or contact the managing agency and ask if their trails are dog friendly. Even if dogs aren’t required by law to be on a leash, it’s a good idea to keep them leashed for their protection and the protection of plants and wildlife.

Ensure Your Dog Is Healthy

Not all dogs make suitable hiking companions when you consider factors like breed, size, personality, and age. Hiking is a strenuous activity, and dogs that can’t handle rigorous activity should not participate. Steep and uneven terrain can be difficult and dangerous for some pets to navigate. Use good judgment and don’t bring pets along that aren’t fit for hiking to avoid injury or exhaustion.

If you decide your dog is fit to be your hiking partner, keep them safe from fleas and ticks while they make their way through heavily wooded areas and long grassy patches. Check your dog’s fur thoroughly after a hike and remove any pesky ticks with a tick key to ensure they are safe from tick-borne diseases (be sure to check yourself as well).

Let Your Dog Take Breaks

Make sure to stop frequently along the trail to offer your dog water and occasional treats. Remember that dogs can be at risk for heatstroke on hot days. Do not feed your dog immediately before or after hiking because they could get sick. Feed them at least one hour before or 30 minutes after exercise. 

Don’t allow your dog to swim in or drink from unsafe water because they can become ill due to harmful parasites or algae in the water. If you hike in remote areas and don’t have access to safe, clean water, pack plenty of bottled water or bring along a portable water purifier! 

Pick Up After Your Dog

Respect the environment and your fellow hikers by picking up after your dog along hiking trails. Use pet waste bags and throw them away in trash cans or safely bury pet waste away from trails, water sources and campsites. Some hiking trails provide biodegradable dog waste bags, but purchasing them at a pet supply store might be easier and more efficient.

At Copper Canyon Labradoodles, we raise exceptional Australian Labradoodles who make excellent hiking partners! Contact us today to learn about the adoption process and fill out a puppy adoption application to be considered!