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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hiking – Tips For a Great Hike With Your Dog

Most dogs love going for a walk and they will love hiking as well. Dogs are an important part of your family so why not bring them along on your next hike too.

There are some tips to consider when hiking with your dog:

• First, start taking your dog on longer and ever longer walks in your neighbour and local parks. Some dogs may be a little overweight and will take a little conditioning prior to the first hike and to toughen up the paws.

• For your first hike consider the terrain (how rugged the trail is), distance along the trail. During the hike keep a steady and not overly fast pace.

• Bring along a toy, ball or something familiar to the dog which can provide comfort. While some dogs like the new scents they will discover during the hike others can become nervous.

• Your dog will need to be trained how to behave in the outdoors. No jumping on the other hikers or barking at whoever you meet along the trail.

• Bring along a leash, it may be required or recommended in some rugged, busy sections.

• Be aware of any plants and wildlife you may encounter along the hiking trail. You do not want the dog running through a patch of poison ivy as the oil can stick or chasing a fox or bear.

• Your dog must respond to your voice commands for the dogs safety.

• A good idea is to dress your dog in a brightly coloured coat so they can easily be seen in the woods

• Make sure their rabies inoculations are up to date.

• Be sure to pack some plastic bags and scoop up after your dog keeping the trail clean.

• Also in your pack carry water and food for the dog, they need energy for the hike too. Do not permit your dog to drink water from the streams and lakes along the way as the water may contain microscopic contaminants.

• In your first aid kit carry items for cuts and other emergencies that may arise.

Finally, respect that many other hikers are looking for a wilderness experience so carefully consider which trails for your hike. Hiking with your dog is best on trails located near populated areas. Respect any “no dogs allowed” signs you see along the hiking trail.

Have a fun time with your dog during your next hike!

Tom Oxby loves to play outdoors. A former travel agent he now leads bicycle tours and hikes across Europe and North America. He has found that proper planning is essential to get the most from your trip.

For more information about hiking and walking holidays visit his website at

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