Hiking With Your Dog

Hike DogThe Best Hikes with Dogs series of books is awesome dog hikers whether you are new at hiking or an old hand. I like these books, even though they don’t have a good guide for my area yet (although I know a few places anyway). There is a lot of good information about hiking with a dog in general.

There are More Places to go with Your Dog Than you Think

My friends were surprised at the number or places they could take their dog. One of them had never even thought about taking their dog in the woods. And if you haven’t, you should! Hiking is a great experience, for people and dogs. The colors, the life, the paths – you always see something interesting. So will your dog. Michigan has some glorious colors in the autumn and I always make sure the kids, the dog and I take a trek in the leaves before winter.

Be Prepared

Keep in mind, a hike, however, can be a little more than just a simple walk – there are some things you want to consider or prep first.

  • Know which hiking areas prohibit dogs on backcountry trails.
  • Know the rules about dogs in other public recreation area – when dogs are allowed.
  • Try for areas that are sheltered by trees (so dogs won’t get overheated no matter how warm it is).
  • Match the challenge of the hike to your dog’s abilities. Your Chihuahua may have a lot of heart, but it’s also got little legs that may tire on a long tramp.
  • Determine a good length to start with but one that is not too challenging. Two to four miles roundtrip is a good length for many dogs.
  • Bring a collapsible water bowl and water for your dog! Seriously! A dog should never drink out of a stream or creek any more than you should; dogs can pick up parasites just as easily.

Your dog would love a hike. Think about it. They get to see new things, smell new things, hear new things, work off a few extra pounds – a smorgasbord if you will. And it doesn’t matter what season you go hike, your dog will probably love the new experience. Get them out of the house or out of the neighborhood. Take a hike!