Hitting the Trails with Man’s Best Friend: Safely

Adventure’s out there – but who wants adventure without your favorite sidekick? Taking your pup along requires a little extra preparation, so here’s a checklist of things to remember before you hit the trails. 

If you’ve never been hiking with your dog, it’s best to start on an easy trail. There will be a lot for them to take in – all sorts of new smells, textures, and critters – so it’s a good idea to get them used to the great outdoors before embarking on a 5-mile hike at a 45 degree angle. 

It’s also smart to start small to make sure your pup can handle it. Just gauge how you and your dog are feeling after a moderately difficult hike, and if you’re both up for more, then do another round or try something more adventurous the next time! 

Here’s a packing list of all the essentials.

  • A sturdy leash, a good collar, and maybe even a harness.
  • A name tag on your pooch with his or her name and a recent phone number.
  • A light backpack. 
  • Enough water for both of you. 
  • A collapsible dog bowl for your dog to drink out of. 
  • A small first aid kit, complete with bandages and alcohol. 
  • Your ID, and if you have one, your dog’s ID. 
  • Snacks for you and Fido. (We’re partial to Breedwise.)

While you’re taking in all the beautiful views, make sure to check on your dog every now and then. Foaming at the mouth is a sign of dehydration, which can be remedied with a short break and some extra water. 

Try to avoid hiking on a hot day. If you notice that your dog is breathing quickly, slowing down, or vomiting, they might be overheating. Make sure they’re properly hydrated before the trip, and take advantage of a cool day by exploring this big, beautiful world.