6 Tips For Hiking with Your Dog for the First Time

Hiking with your dog is a wonderful pastime for you to share. It’s a fantastic way to get some exercise while experiencing a new environment full of exciting stimuli! That said, dog hiking requires a little more preparation than your typical dog walk. You need to be aware of trail etiquette, bring the proper dog hiking gear and prepare for the weather and the terrain you’ll face in the great outdoors! These tips will help you, and your dog have a safe and successful hiking experience.

1. Research your trail

Before heading out on a dog hike, do some research to locate the perfect trail. Check local bylaws to ensure dogs are permitted on the trail, and make sure you know the leash policy. Will your dog be comfortable with other off-leash dogs if you encounter them? If not, look for a trail that stipulates dogs must remain on-leash.

Apps like All Trails and Gaia GPS make it easy to locate trail maps, read reviews of the hike, and gauge whether it will be a good fit for you and your dog. Pay attention to trail lengths and the hiking times other hikers reported since it won’t necessarily match what the app suggests. Depending on your dog and how often they like to stop and start, it may take you longer to complete the hike than it would for a solo hiker. Getting all the information allows you to be properly prepared for a dog hike.

2. Pack food and water

Keeping your dog hydrated is essential for maintaining their stamina and preventing heat stroke on a hike. Always pack water (even for short hikes!) so you can offer your pup a refreshment if they need one.



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