With the weather heating up and restrictions easing, many families with furry family members are getting back into nature and taking their dogs out with them. This raises the question of how to safely take your dog on a hike.

Plan ahead

Taking your dog on a hike shouldn’t be a spur of the moment decision. There are a few things that need to be prepared in order for your pet to have an enjoyable time while staying safe. Before you decide on a hiking spot, make sure to check whether it is pet friendly.

Assess if your dog is up for it

Not all dogs are made for long walks. Dogs that are too young or old lack the strength and stamina needed to accompany you on a hike. Brachycephalic breeds such as pugs do not cope well in heat or with strenuous exercise and should stick to shorter walks and trails.

Obeying commands

Believe it or not, there are rules and etiquette around bringing your dog on a hike. At the bare minimum, your dog should be able to listen to and obey commands such as sit and come even when they are faced with new and exciting stimuli.

Work up to it

If you have never taken your dog out on a trail before, start small and work your way up to assess whether they have the appropriate stamina and if they are obeying commands or if they need some further training.

What to pack

If you’ve done your research, assessed all the variables and your dog is trained and ready, here is a list of things to take along with you for the hike:

  • Small serving of dry food
  • Water and a collapsible bowl
  • Doggy first aid kit
  • Poop bags
  • Foot care
  • Towel
  • Brush

You should also make sure their ID tag on their collar is up to date in case they get lost on the hike.

If you’re unsure if it’s okay to take your pet for a hike, please consult your local Veterinarian.