When the sun comes out, we all want to get outside and enjoy it–including your dog. What better way to explore the great outdoors than to go on a hike? It gets you away from the city and into nature, and your dog will love a change of scenery and new smells. Here are some tips to make it enjoyable for both of you.
1. Pick the right hike
You want to pick a route that’s right for both your and your dog’s skill level. If you’ve never been hiking before with your dog, pick a shorter, less advanced route. That way it will be a positive experience for everyone and you will want to go back. Conversely, if you’ve hiked extensively with your dog and they have the endurance, you could try for a longer hike. And this should go without saying, but make sure the route you pick is dog friendly.
2. Follow the rules of the trail
As tempting as it is to let your dogs off leash while hiking, you never know what (or who) is around the next bend. It’s always safer to keep them leashed up to avoid other dogs who might be out on the trail and not so friendly, people who don’t like dogs, wildlife, and other things in nature like cliffs. And always clean up after your dog if they go to the bathroom: no one likes stepping in dog poop!
3. Rehydrate and refuel
Just like you, dogs need to rehydrate and refuel when they are out on the trail. Pack a portable dog bowl and water bottle and some tasty treats to give to your dog when you stop for a break. This will ensure they maintain enough energy to finish strong and have fun while doing it.
4. Be mindful of the weather
If it’s supposed to be a hot day, consider going early in the morning to beat the heat. Or if it’s cold, pack a sweater in case your dog needs it. Bottom line: check weather before you go and be prepared!
5. Enjoy it!
Have fun being in nature with your dog. You will see a whole new side to them as they are happily exploring and smelling new things. You will both get a great workout and will develop a greater bond while you’re at it.
Following these tips will mean a fun time hiking for you and for your dog. So no matter the season, find a route! It’s time to get out there and explore the trails.
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