A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking With Your Dog

Canada is a country that offers plenty of great hiking trails. If you are in Canada, you may want to share this experience with your dog. 

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone, as there are nearly eight million beloved dogs in the country. 

Do you want to go hiking with your dog? Here is what you should think about before you do so. 

Research the Trail 

The first thing you should do is research the trail before you take your dog on it. If you have done the trail by yourself before, this is even better. 

What researching the trail does is it gives you an idea of how long it is going to take and how difficult it is. Once you know that information, you will have a better idea of what you are getting your dog into. 

For example, you could just want to do a flat trail by the lake with no elevation that will take less than an hour. Or, you could end up doing a trail up in the mountains that may have over 1,000 feet of elevation and it could take several hours to finish. 

From there, you can decide what you want to expose your dog to. 

Respect the Trail Rules 

Some trails may have certain rules about bringing pets on the trail. It is your job to research these rules before you bring your dog on an unfamiliar trail. 

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Are dogs even allowed on the trail? Can you take your dog on the trail without a leash? Is it limited to certain days or times? What about size restrictions for dogs? 

These are questions that you need to answer because you may be violating the trail rules if you do not do your homework. 

Know Your Dog 

Let’s just say that there are no restrictions on what you can do with your dog on a trail. If this is the case, you may still want to be careful about letting your dog wander freely on the trail. 

There are still factors that you have to consider such as if the dog can handle a longer trail. If you are hiking a steep trail in the middle of the summer, there is a chance that your dog could suffer from heat exhaustion and be too tired to finish the trail on their own. 

In that situation, if you have a small enough dog, you can bring something such as a dog backpack Canada that allows you to carry your dog in it for a portion of the journey. Or, you could decide to carry your dog throughout the entire journey. 

Other things you need to consider are how good your dog is with other people. Are they likely to bite strangers? If so, you either need to put them on a leash or not bring them on the trail at all. 

Then, you have to consider how likely the dog is to wander off into the woods. A concern here could be that the dog could run away and you can lose track of the dog. Or, the dog could wander off and get exposed to wild animals along with their diseases. 

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It is your job to know how your dog might behave on the trail. From there, you need to take the proper precautions to prepare for certain behavioral traits. 

Clean Up After Your Dog 

If you are taking your dog outside for a walk, there is going to come a point where they have to go to the bathroom. You increase your chances of this if you take your dog on long hikes in the middle of the woods. 

Dogs may end up going to the bathroom at the first open spot available. There is a chance that this can happen right in the middle of the hiking trail. 

A general unwritten rule when it comes to hiking is that you are supposed to leave the trail as you found it. In other words, you are not supposed to leave your waste behind. 

A situation can develop with this if your dog decides to poop in the middle of the trail. You need to be prepared for this possibility and bring items to help clean up after your dog. This can be as simple as some paper towels and a bag. 

Bring Extra Water 

Bringing water on a hike is not just important for you. Depending on your dog’s health, the trail difficulty, and the weather conditions, they can easily get tired as well. 

You need to make sure that you keep your dog hydrated and give them water when they need it. 

Understandably, you may not want to share the same water bottle as your dog. What you can do here is bring a separate water bottle just for your dog or you can give your dog the rest of your water bottle when you decide that you are finished with it. 

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Regardless of how you go about this, you have to make sure that your dog stays hydrated during strenuous activity in the sun. 

Go Hiking With Your Dog 

Hiking with your dog can be a very memorable experience. However, you do need to prepare for this to make sure that you do this properly. 

This means making sure your dog is physically able to do the trail. If not, be prepared to carry the dog. When it comes to dog hiking, you may also need a leash to keep them out of trouble. Finally, make sure they are hydrated. 

Do you want more dog hiking tips? See our Pets & Animals section. 

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