Valuable Tips and Tricks for Hiking with Your Dog

Valuable Tips and Tricks for Hiking with Your Dog


Summer is upon us and adventure is on the horizon. It’s time for days on the lake, road trips to your favorite spots, and hikes to explore the world around you. Of course, you won’t be alone—you’ll have your dog with you—so, how do you go about fun summertime activities, especially hiking, while including your pup?

With just a few tips and trips (and plenty of preparation), you can hit the trails with your pup with confidence. Read on to set yourself up for a summer to remember with your canine companion!

Prepare Your Pup

While there is a gazillion of exciting things to consider—I mean, have you seen the little dog backpacks?!—but the most important considerations are a little less colorful and cute. You must ensure that your dog is ready for the trail.

This means checking with their vet to get them up to date on their vaccines, make sure there are no physical ailments that could be exasperated by hiking, and brushing up on your pup’s obedience. Even if your dog is in good physical health and is well-behaved, hiking can be overwhelming and unpredictable. There are many challenges, distractions, and so on that can lead to unforeseen behaviors and events.

Choose the Right Adventure

While we would all like to live in a world where dogs have equal rights, the reality is that pups are sometimes excluded from activities such as hiking. Often, there are actually good reasons for these limitations. For example, some trails may be too tight to facilitate hiking with a dog, or it may be dangerous for your canine companion to tag along due to local wildlife.

No matter what the reasoning behind trail restrictions, it’s important to research beforehand and choose a trail that is not only legal to hike with your dog, but also suitable to their level of fitness and experience. There are many resources online that can guide you to the perfect human plus pup trail, so sit down in advance and do a little research!

Gear Up

There are a few key things you should take with you when hiking with your dog, no matter how easy or short a trail may be. A few examples of necessary gear are a hike-worthy leash, food, water, a way to pack out waste, and first aid items.

There are several creative solutions to carrying all this extra gear. For example, collapsible bowls are a fantastic way to ensure your pup can eat and drink on the trail without spilling or potentially wasting valuable, limited food and water. You can even outfit your pup with a backpack made specifically for dogs, allowing them to carry their own supplies!

You may want to invest in other gear for your pup depending on your location, the season, and the hike. Booties are a great example of gear that can be vital on certain hikes, as they protect your pup’s paws from sharp objects and extreme temperatures.

Safety First

There are some basic safety measures you should take when hiking with your dog, including having current tags for your pup and carrying a picture of them to show other hikers should Fido runoff after a rabbit.

Then, there is a necessary awareness of the possible dangers associated with hiking. These can vary based on your location, the season, and other such factors. What type of wildlife and plant life inhabit the area? Could munching a leaf or gallivanting through a field be dangerous to your dog? Be aware of these potential dangers before starting your hike and check for ticks, burrs, and so forth during and after your adventure.

You should also keep an eye on your dog’s demeanor. Are they overdoing it or feeling overheated? While it can be difficult to ascertain these things (until science allows us to speak to our pups), taking account of your pup’s physical state can save them from physical harm.


Hiking with your dog can enhance your experience and give them a contagious joy. When you get out this summer and explore the trails, be sure to remember the tips and tricks shared above to make your adventure the best it can be. Now, get out there and enjoy some nature!