There is nothing better than bringing your best friend hiking. If you are headed out on the trail this weekend, we’ve got a few tips for you. Be sure to do your homework as not all trails are dog-friendly, so double check that dogs are allowed before heading out. Be up date on all vaccines and prevention for heart-worm, flea, tick, etc. But perhaps the most important first step is making sure you have a collar with your name and phone number. Check out our Tampa Bay Embroidered Collar for a great option.
1. Check their paws
Keep your dog’s nails trimmed to a medium length for their comfort and safety when hiking, and to prevent the risk of their nails splitting. After the hike, look for any cracks or peeling on their paws and anything that might have become lodged between their toes.
2. Warm up and cool down
Dogs need to get warmed up too, so walk for a mile before you scramble. Certain breeds do not have the same energy level or endurance as others. Also, non active or overweight dogs will need to build up their athleticism before starting any intense activity. Be smart about your dog’s fitness to manage the trail you’ve chosen. As your hike is ending, be sure to have a cool-down period.
3. Bring supplies
Not sure if your pup needs more water? It’s always best to play it safe. Bring a bowl and plenty of liquid. Don’t leave the poop in the wild, you should pack out everything you bring in, including dog poop. If you are heading to the back country, grab a first aid kit. Make sure to include your dog’s veterinary information in case of emergency.
Need a pack that can carry it all? Check out our Saranac Pack.
If you are in Maryland, these are some of our favorite dog friendly hiking trails.
- Great Falls: Billy Goat Trail. Potomac, MD.
- Cromwell Valley Park. Baltimore, MD.
- Double Rock Park. Parkville, MD.
- Lake Roland Park. Baltimore, MD.
- Patuxent Branch Trail. Columbia, MD.
- Grist Mill Trail at Patapsco Valley State Park. Catonsville, MD.
Have fun out there!