Summer Fun: Hiking with Your Dog
Ah, summer. The warm weather is perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities. Perhaps the best part of the season is being able to enjoy the sunshine with your furry family members. There are tons of fun outdoor summer activities to enjoy with your dog. One activity that is pretty much guaranteed your dog will love is hiking. Going on a hike in the woods, whether it’s a real trek or an easy stroll, will get you and your pup some well-deserved fresh air and exercise. Your dog will love the new smells, and you can enjoy the beautiful summer scenery. If this sounds like something you want to try this season, check out our tips for safe hiking with your pet.

Leash Up
There are tons of parks and hiking trails that allow dogs, but most of them do require that your dog be on a leash. This is for the safety of you, your dog, the wildlife, and other hikers. Even if a park allows off-leash dogs, it’s best that you keep your furry friend leashed up at all times, no matter how well-behaved they are. There can be all kinds of new smells and sights on a hike, from the scent of other dogs to small (or large) animals roaming the woods nearby. It’s better to have a firm grip on your dog just in case then need to worry about them chasing something off the path and getting lost or hurt.

Water, Water, Water
Hiking is hard work, for both you and your dog. No matter what hike you’re going on, whether it’s a short, easy path or a long uphill climb, bring water for both you and your pup. Remember, water from streams and rivers may not always be safe for your dog to access or drink. It’s best to just bring water in a bottle that you and your dog can drink. There are many convenient “pop-up” containers that you can use to pour some water for your pet while you are on-the-go. Offer water often, especially on those really hot summer days.

Your Dog’s Physical Ability
Many people get excited to go hiking and forget to consider the physical ability of their dog. They end up halfway through a trail and their dog is tired, panting, and refusing to go any further. This is dangerous for you and your furry friend. If you push your dog too much, they can become seriously injured or ill, and this could be fatal. Before you go on a hike, make sure you take into account your dog’s physical ability. Never force elderly dogs, smaller dogs, or out-of-shape dogs to go past their limit. If you want to go on a long hike with a dog who isn’t very athletic, either be prepared to carry your pup or leave them at home.

Hiking can be a great way to celebrate the great outdoors with your pet. If you remember to be prepared before you head out to the trail, hiking can be an activity that becomes a beloved summer pastime for you and your dog. Have fun, stay safe, and enjoy exploring!