Taking your dog for a hike is a great way for both of you to get exercise, enjoy natural scenery, and have fun together. To ensure a safe, enjoyable experience, it’s important to be prepared before going on any trails. Take a few minutes to review The Dog Lover's Towel's top five dog hiking tips.
Choose a dog-friendly trail
Review any dog-specific rules for the trail(s) you plan to hike. Some trails require things like keeping your dog on a leash at all times or keeping them off certain parts of the trail. To protect your dog and show courtesy to fellow hikers, abide by these trail rules.
When you find a dog-friendly trail, make sure it’s safe for your pup. Avoid trails with rocky terrain or steep hills, as these can cause your dog unnecessary physical strain.
Assess your dog’s health
Before hopping on a trail with your furry friend, make sure he’s up for the task. Just because a trail is dog-friendly doesn’t mean it’s safe for your pup. Since every dog is different, consider these factors to determine your dog’s hiking abilities.
- Age: Puppies and senior dogs are more prone to injuries and heat exhaustion. Take them on trails that are relatively short and flat.
- Size: Smaller dogs take longer to cover the same distance as medium to large-sized dogs. Choose shorter trails for them so they don’t overexert themselves on a longer trail.
- Training level: Have you taken your dog on hiking trails before? Is your dog in good enough shape to hike a particular trail?
- Health conditions: Does your dog have any health conditions or breed-related hindrances that would adversely affect her ability to complete a trail hike safely?
If you’re not sure what trails your dog can handle, start small and gradually work your way up. This will protect you and your dog and help build endurance.
Check the forecast
To avoid poor weather conditions while hiking with your dog, check the weather forecast before heading out on the trails. This will protect you and your dog from potentially dangerous weather conditions and keep you from taking a muddy dog home.
Pack the essentials
Check out our beginner’s guide to know what to bring the next time you hike with your dog.
Must-Have Dog Hiking Gear
- Water and water bowl
- Food and snacks
- Poop bags
- Updated ID tags
- Dog first aid kit
- Cleaning supplies
- Dog booties
- Insulated or cooling outerwear
- Extra leash
- Dog saddle
Leave no waste behind
Pick up after yourself and your dog. After hiking a trail, it should be as clean as—if not cleaner than—how you found it. This includes properly disposing of any trash and dog waste along the way.
Shop The Absorber® Dog Lover’s Towel
Bathing your dog is the first thing you should do after returning home from a hike. For an easy dog bathing experience, you need a super-absorbent, quick-drying dog towel. By picking up 50% more water on contact than competing products, The Absorber® is the market’s #1 dog drying towel. Take the dread out of drying with The Absorber® Dog Lover’s Towel.