Hiking With Your Dog

Dr. Ragen T.S. McGowan, PhD
By Dr. Ragen T.S. McGowan, PhD
Updated: 5/10/20242-4 minutes
Person hiking with their dog

Ready to Share a Dog Adventure? Hit the Trail With Confidence.

Hiking is a great way to work out with your dog. With a bit of planning, you can both enjoy the benefits of getting active, in the beauty of nature.  

Before You Go

Whether you are day hiking or planning a longer excursion, make sure your pet is fit, vaccinated and has a microchip and ID tag with up-to-date information. 

Make Sure Your Dog Is Welcome

Call in advance to see if the trail you are planning to hike will allow dogs. This is a good way to ensure you can make the most of your day. The last thing you want is to get to the trailhead and then learn that dogs are not allowed. 

Keep Your Dog Hydrated 

Higher altitudes can increase your dog’s dehydration rate.   

Be sure to carry enough water for your dog as well as yourself, along with a bowl that allows your dog to get a good drink when they need it. A lightweight fabric bowl or a collapsible silicone bowl are easy to pack and use.  

Bring Along Food to Refuel 

Even if you’re only planning on a short hike, bring a small amount of food to help your dog refuel if needed. 

If you’re researching the best dry dog food for active dogs to take along on your hike, Pro Plan Sport formulas are a great choice. They’re made with high-quality sources of carbohydrates for sustained energy, and amino acids to nourish muscles, including during the crucial recovery time after exercise.  

If you train your dog to wear a light pack, having them carry their own Pro Plan Sport kibble can add to the day’s exercise.  

Be Prepared for Dog First Aid

Common injuries such as cuts and bites can happen on hikes, to both people and pets. Make sure you bring along a first aid kit that includes: 

  • A tensor (ACE®) bandage, gauze bandage and sponges 
  • Adhesive tape 
  • Tweezers (for ticks) 
  • Small nail scissors and a razor 
  • A SAMTM splint 
  • Hydrogen peroxide 
  • Styptic powder 
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) 
  • Sterile eye wash 
  • Antibiotic ointment 
  • A muzzle (if needed) 

Keep Your Dog on a Leash and Out of Trouble

Don’t let your dog’s enthusiasm and sense of adventure get them into trouble. Keeping them on a leash will help keep them safe, and prevent them from interfering with wildlife, other dogs, or people.  

Stay in Touch

One last way to help you and your dog stay safe is to stay connected. Always carry a cell phone, or a telephone-equipped radio.  

Following these tips will help make hiking with your dog a great way to enjoy an active day together.

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