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hiking with dogs

General Rules

Keep Dogs on a Leash when required                     

  • Short, non retractable leashes between 4-6' are best. Stay on the trail, this protects the environment and keeps your dog safe from wildlife.

Clean up Waste

  • Dogs are not wild animals, so their poop is not natural. It can cause problems for local creatures and impact the water supply                                                        

Don't Assume Everyone Will Like Your Dog           

  • Yield to other hikers, step aside and allow them to pass. Greet others when doing this to help show that  your dog is friendly. 

Don't Try to Manage More Than One Dog             

  • Bring another person if you have 2 dogs.  No matter how many people on the hike, don't bring more than 2 dogs per party. Three or more dogs become a pack.

Before You Hike

Check if Dogs are Allowed on the Trail                   

  • Not all trails allow dogs. You also want to avoid areas  that allow hunting. Check out these websites for more information on where your dog is allowed: and

Check with Your Vet

  • Make sure your dog is in good health and up to date with vaccinations and flea & tick treatments. 

Make Sure Your Dog Has Basic Obedience Skills 

  • Dogs that aren't properly trained are a danger to themselves, other hikers and wildlife.  They should know basic commands like: come-sit-stay-leave it-quiet.

Locate the Nearest Emergency Vet

  • You will want to have this information on hand if your dog becomes injured, bitten by a snake or ingests something poisonous. 

Keep Your Dog Safe

Train Them on Small, Short Hikes in the Beginning     

  • Then increase distance and difficulty.  

Stop Frequently and Offer Water Throughout                         

  • A dry nose means it's time to drink more water.

Don't Feed Your Dog a Large Meal Before the Hike         

  • Feed them only a portion and then supplement with treats. 

Avoid Hiking During the Hottest Part of the Day           

  • Dogs are more susceptible to excess heat than we are. 

Watch for Signs of Overexertion

  • This can include excessive panting, drooling, weakness, foaming at the mouth, bright red gums and lying down. 

Keep an Eye Out for Anything Your Dog may Ingest

  • Don't allow them to drink from standing puddles, lakes or    streams.  They can  contain bacteria, parasites or algae.  Salt water should be avoided as well, this can cause dehydration or diarrhea.  

  • Certain plants can be harmful. If they eat anything along      the way takes some with you or snap a picture, you may need to show a vet later. 

What to Bring Along

  • Well fitting collar or harness-ID tags-short leash-orange bandana or vest

  • Water and collapsible bowl

  • Food and treats

  • Poop bags 

  • towel- to clean them off if they get dirty

  • blanket to lay down on

  • dog booties- for hot or cold weather and rough terrain

  • jacket if hiking in cold weather

  • first aid kit: gauze-heavy duty bandages-pet friendly antiseptic-antibiotic ointment-tweezers-pet insect repellant-round tip scissors to trim hair around wounds 

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