Hiking with your dog is a great way to give her physical and mental exercise. It gives her the chance to get her feet dirty, smell new things, and see something different than her neighborhood. It’s also great for dogs with mobility issues. It requires them to tackle uneven surfaces, maneuver over tree trunks, stones, and other obstacles, and walk up and down inclines. And hiking with dogs is a great way to get out into nature and disconnect from your cell phone!
Considerations for Hiking with Dogs
When hiking with dogs there are a few considerations including the difficulty of the trail, the walking surface, and the amount of shade. You might also want to know if there is a porta-potty, any restrictions, and where to park. Regardless, you should always bring several poop bags and water and snacks for both you and your dog. You may also want to bring a cooling jacket or other means of keeping your dog cool and sneakers to protect her feet and/or give her more traction. Also, unless your dog has perfect recall, you should keep her on a leash. Regardless of how friendly she is, not all dogs react well to an unleashed dog approaching them.
If your dog is not used to hiking or going for long walks, you need to start with a short hike and increase the distance over time. The first time you go running you wouldn’t try to run a marathon. Don’t expect your dog, who has only taken short walks, to go for a five mile hike the first time.
Depending on where you are hiking you may need to watch out for snakes and other wildlife. This is another good reason to keep your dog on a leash. You may also need to check for ticks and other critters after the hike.
Hiking with Karlie
Karlie and I hiked nearly every week, even after her geriatric onset laryngeal paralysis polyneuropathy (GOLPP) diagnosis. I used google and google maps to identify interesting places to hike in San Diego County, California and Monroe County, Indiana. There are also a variety of facebook pages dedicated to hiking, hiking with dogs, and things to do in different areas. I kept a list of the places we visited and documented the pros and cons to help me remember which ones to revisit.
Hiking was one of the things that Karlie and I looked forward to doing. We explored so many different areas and it kept both of us active and moving. Although we took Karlie for daily walks, she was happier to get out in the woods, beaches, and canyons instead of walking on sidewalks. It’s also a great way to learn more about the area where you live, so get out there and go hiking! And check out all the posts on different places to go hiking in San Diego and Monroe counties – Hiking.