What is Dog Hiking?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 17 May 2019
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Dog hiking is a fun outdoor activity that the whole family can participate in. When going dog hiking, one simply takes one's dog with them on the trip; though "dog hiking" is not a term that is commonly used, it is a very common activity. Hiking with dogs can be fun because it provides exercise, companionship, and the ability to get out of the house and do something a little different with one's time.

To go dog hiking, one will first need to find a hiking trail that allows dogs. Almost all trails in national parks and other locations do allow dogs, as long as the owners keep the dogs leashed and clean up after them. It is a good idea to check ahead of time and ensure that dogs will be allowed on the trail, however, to prevent needing to cancel at the last minute.

It is important to plan ahead while hiking, especially while hiking with dogs. Remember to wear good, supportive hiking shoes and comfortable clothing; it may be helpful to dress in layers in case the weather changes during the day. In a backpack, bring water and snacks. For the dog, one might choose to bring an extra leash just in case, as well as a collapsible water bowl. There are a number of different types of collapsible water bowls for dogs that are designed to dry quickly and not add extra weight to the backpack.


Bring bags to pick up any dog waste as well, and a trash bag to keep any garbage one creates from eating or drinking. Some people choose to bring a GPS device with them in order to find new hiking trails. One might also bring a flashlight or some first aid supplies just in case something goes wrong on the hike. It is important to always bring a cell phone while hiking as well in case of emergency.

When dog hiking, be sure to notice how the dog is doing and if he needs to stop and rest. Be sure to offer the dog plenty of breaks for water throughout the day, particularly if the day is hot, and allow time for stops to sit in the shade and recover. Hiking with dogs can be a great way to get some exercise and unwind from a stressful week, as well as a good way to give one's dogs some much needed exercise and fun outside.



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