Safety and Etiquette Tips for Hiking With Your Dog

Dogs make great hiking companions. Before you hit the trails with your furry friend, however, there are a few things you should know about hiking with dogs to make sure you have a safe and fun trip.

7 Tips for Hiking With Your Dog

1. Visit Dog-Friendly Areas
When looking for potential hiking spots, be sure you choose one that allows dogs. While many nature areas welcome pets, others prohibit them due to conservation efforts. You don’t want your nice day out to end in a hefty fine.
2. Use a Leash and Get a GPS Tracker
No matter how strong your dog’s recall training is, you should always use a leash on trails. This not only makes other hikers feel safe, but it also protects the wildlife, ensuring your dog stays on the trail with you.
A GPS tracker can also add an additional level of security in locating your pet should they go off-leash and run away.
3. Leave No Trace
Always pack poop bags and pick them up as you bag your dog’s leavings.
4. Check the Weather
Make sure the weather isn’t going to be too hot, humid, or too cold for your pet. Dogs, especially certain breeds, are susceptible to heatstroke, which can be fatal.
5. Pack for Your Dog, Too
Make sure you bring dog treats, water, a collapsible bowl, and a first aid kit for your pet.
6. Make Sure Your Dog’s in Good Enough Shape
Whether you have a puppy, senior dog, or a dog that leads a mostly sedentary lifestyle, be sure you choose a trail that suits your pet’s fitness level. Start out slowly and gradually work your way up to more challenging terrain.
7. Prevent Parasites and Diseases
The outdoors is loaded with parasites like fleas, ticks, and heartworm-carrying mosquitoes. There’s also a greater risk for diseases like leptospirosis. Be sure your dog is adequately protected with a suitable parasite preventative and the proper core and non-core vaccinations designed to protect pets who are out in the wilderness.

Schedule a Pre-Hike Exam With Our Houston Veterinarians

Before you take to the wilderness with your pup, we recommend scheduling a veterinary checkup, vaccinations, and parasite prevention appointment to make sure your dog is healthy enough for hiking and protected from the dangers of the outdoors. To learn more or schedule an exam, we welcome you to contact TangleWilde Veterinary Clinic.