Hit that Trail with Fido!

Are you ready for your next outdoor excursion with your dog(s)?  Dogs are the perfect companions for jaunts through the wilderness, and often the perfect motivators to ensure that you keep up as you hit the trails! The trick is to tailor the trail to your dog’s capabilities rather than simply your own. Dixie, for instance has a bit more “go for it” than Opal, so we need to keep an eye on how comfortable and capable they are when we go on our adventures. We’re always prepared with a great, big water bottle, and we keep a close eye on their pants and body language, because we’re vigilant to protect them from heatstroke.

The website Hike With Your Dog has a list of over 2,000 Dog-Friendly Trails in the United States and Canada.  There is also a comprehensive list of campgrounds that welcome dogs.  With these resources, not only will you be able to enjoy everything the Great Outdoors has to offer, you can do so with your best friend in tow. 

Benefits of Hiking

There are numerous benefits associated with hiking.  Here are a few for you to consider:

  • Hiking is inexpensive and gratifying.
  • Hiking gets you out of the house, gives you a change of scenery, and relieves the stresses of everyday living.
  • Hiking accelerates weight loss and keeps your current weight in check if you’re already at a healthy weight.
  • Hiking decreases blood pressure.
  • Hiking relieves back pain.
  • Hiking gets your heart pumping in ways that the gym cannot.

 Safety Tips for You and Your Pooch

There are some precautions you must take before hitting the trail with your pet.  Get Hiking recommends bringing along plenty of water for both you and your dog.  Carry a lightweight, collapsible dish so that your pet will have easy access when he or she needs a drink.

Carry a basic First Aid kit in your backpack or knapsack.  Antiseptic wipes and gauze bandages can be lifesavers for both you and your dog if either of you gets injured while hiking.

Make sure that your dog’s tags and vaccinations are up-to-date.  If he or she were to wander away from you while on the trail, the chances of being reunited will be much greater (you may want to read my blog about recovering a lost pet).

Check your pet for ticks and fleas before getting into the car.  Carry some homemade flea spray with you to remove the pests from your dog’s body.

Hiking is an activity that has undisputed physical and mental health benefits.  It requires very little equipment and can be done from every corner of the world.  So many trails are dog-friendly these days, so what are you waiting for?  Grab that leash and hit that trail today!