Outward Hound: Tips for Hiking With Your Dog
If your idea of a good time is packing up the car and hitting the trails, then weekend hikes in the summer are a must. The only thing that could add to this perfection is bringing your best four-legged friend along for the adventure.
Hiking with your dog is a great option for exercise and bonding, but there are some precautions to keep in mind. Let the loving team at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital share some important safety tips for hiking with your dog.
Get Geared Up!
Are you and your dog a new hiking duo? No problem. There are some basics to invest in before heading out. We suggest the following gear for safety and comfort:
- A leash no longer than 6 feet (4 feet for small to medium-sized dogs)
- Well-fitting collar or harness with current tags
- Collapsible bowl
- Extra water bottle for your dog
- Snacks for the trail
- Brush or comb
- Disposable bags
- Pet first aid kit
If your dog is strong enough and is used to carrying their own weight, you can also invest in a dog-pack for all of their needs.
Trail Etiquette and Safety
Now that your dog is ready to start hiking, there are some basic rules to know before heading out into the backcountry.
- Keep your dog near you and on a leash at all times.
- If you encounter a wild animal, give it a wide berth – do not allow your dog to chase or investigate (even if it’s dead).
- Give other hikers the right-of-way.
- Make sure to pick up your dog’s waste, as it can spread disease and impact the local ecology.
- On rocky trails, make sure to outfit your dog with special booties to protect the paws and feet from injury.
- Prevent your dog from tromping over sensitive natural areas and plants to reduce impact on the environment.
- Keep your dog on a vaccine and parasite prevention schedule.
- Be aware of snakes. There are venomous species in our region, so research the ones you’re more likely to encounter.
Hiking With Your Dog: Local Trails
Now for the fun! There are several hiking trails within a day’s drive of Stroudsburg. Here are a few of our favorites:
Are you and Rover ready to take on the great outdoors? We’d love to hear about it, including your favorite pet-friendly trails!
Please give us a call for more information about hiking with your dog. Your pet’s safety is our number one concern. Happy trails!