Hiking is a great way to get out in nature and experience the beauty of Fall! As the Fall colors are at their peak, you can see the Fall Foliage up close with one of these "Dog Friendly" hikes in the U.S.
One of our favorite spots in Maryland is Sugarloaf Mountain (see photo of Charlie below), but All Trails is a great resource for locations all over the U.S.
Remember to always be prepared when going out for a hike, for you and your dog. It can be very useful to have your dog help carry their hiking supplies by having them wear a dog backpack. Not all dogs should wear a backpack though — check with your veterinarian to make sure your dog can physically handle and has the right body type for the extra weight of a pack.
Our BAYDOG Saranac Pack is a great choice for a hike with your dog. It is form-fitting and the placement of the saddlebags are great for helping your pup keep their balance. Here are some supplies to pack no matter the length and difficulty of your hike:
- Water and Portable Water Bowl: Make sure you bring plenty of water for your dog to drink, along with a collapsible water bowl or water bottle so they have a way to drink it. Plan for at least one quart of water for every three miles of hiking. Never allow your dog to drink from streams, rivers, or standing water which can transmit waterborne pathogens. If you plan on a long hike and cannot carry the required amount of water for your pup, bring along a portable water filter or water purifying tablets.
- Dog Food or Snacks: Dry dog food or treats are easiest to pack and carry while on a hike. Just like you might need to replenish your energy with a protein bar, your dog needs to as well. Stash a few treats or a bit of kibble in your backpack so they can refuel. Our Frisco Bay Treat Pouch is a great option to carry treats and even has a side holder for poop bags!
- Poop Bags: Remember — always pick up your dog’s poop and pack it out. Bring along plenty of poop bags and a larger plastic ziploc or other sealable container to store used poop bags until you can dispose of them properly.
- Dog First Aid Supplies: Pack a first aid kit especially for your dog or add some dog-specific supplies. You can purchase a travel-size pet first aid kit, or you can make your own. You want one that includes a pet first aid guide, saline solution, an antiseptic, antihistamines, gauze, heavy-duty stretchy bandages, antibiotic ointment, multi-tool with tweezers, tick removal tool (also useful for any ticks you find on yourself!), blood clotting powder, and cotton swabs.
- Extra leash: Bring an extra leash along in case your regular leash breaks, or you need to tether your dog with some extra leash length. Our Hudson Bay Leash and Pensacola Bay Leash are both great for tethering, with built in d-rings.
- Dog Harness: A dog harness is good to use when taking your dog on a hike. Our Chesapeake Harness features a padded breast plate with a lightweight mesh lining and soft padding that eliminates chafing, which means comfort for your canine companion.
- Towel: Bring a dog towel along to dry your dog off if they get wet on your hike, and as a tool to cool down your dog if they are suffering from heat stroke.
- Dog Brush/Comb: Having a dog comb on hand is a great way to remove burrs and other debri, and to help you check for any ticks on your dog throughout the hike and before returning home.
- Outerwear: Packing a jacket or outer layer for your dog is always a good idea if you will be out for a longer hike. Our Glacier Bay Coat and Saginaw Bay Fleece are perfect to throw in your dog's pack!
Always consider the physical conditions of your Dog. First, consider whether or not your dog is right for trail hiking. You don't want to take a puppy or adolescent dog on too strenuous of a hike until they've finished growing. Too much strain on a young dog’s growing bones can lead to pain and future issues with regular development. (Most of the "growth plates" in puppy bones close by about one year of age, but every dog and every bone can be different.) Talk to your vet before starting any serious hiking or running program with your dog.
Happy Adventuring! #happyadventuring #baydog