Best practices for hiking with dogs
Bring along your best friend
Fall is one of the most popular hiking seasons, and for good reason. As you head out to enjoy the incredible foliage, you may be tempted to bring along your four legged best friend. Hiking with your pooch can be a great activity for both of you, but there are a few tips to keep in mind before you hit the trail.
Check the rules
Different trails have different regulations when it comes to dogs. On many trails dogs are allowed if they are leashed, but there are some trails they are prohibited. Hiking on a prohibited trail with your dog could result in an expensive fine. Before you drive an hour for a hike, make sure your dog is allowed.
Keep your dog leashed
Regardless of posted rules, it’s always smart to keep your dog leashed. This will help ensure other hikers will feel comfortable around you when they encounter you on the trail. Some people have had bad experiences with dogs and get very nervous around them. Even if you own the friendliest dog on the planet, keep him leashed as a courtesy. In addition, this will keep your dog safe from wildlife he may encounter or be tempted to go chasing after.
Just as you never leave for a hike without water and snacks, you need to plan ahead for provisions for your pooch. Pack enough water for the two of you, and look for collapsible dog bowls that are easy to throw in your pack. Some treats to encourage good behavior are always a good idea as well. Since you will be out in nature, it’s wise to also have your dog up to date on flea and tick medications.
Yes, there might be other poop you encounter in the wild from animals that live there, but that doesn’t mean you can leave your dog’s poo behind. Either carry along a small spade and bury the waste or pack it out with you in plastic bags. Dog waste contains fecal coliform bacteria, which can cause disease and pollution.