Most dogs, especially dogs from a shelter, love going on hikes to explore their world.  It’s good exercise for you and them.  Read on for tips on successful hiking with your dog.

  1. Do research about hiking options, and what you need while hiking. You can download apps such as AllTrails to locate dog-friendly trails in your area.  Look out for warnings about unsafe water (some bodies of water in the Austin area have had deadly pathogens detected).
  2. Keep your dog on a leash. This is required in most state and National parks, and it’s a courtesy to others whose dogs may not be friendly to other dogs, and people who are afraid of dogs.  Dogs can also wreak havoc with local wildlife if they are loose.
  3. Bring a water bowl and fresh water. Stay hydrated to avoid heat exhaustion and stroke. It’s also good to be careful about what your dog drinks in the natural environment, as some water-borne bacteria can make your dog sick.
  4. Carry a first aid kit, for yourself and your pup. Include an ice pack, hydrogen peroxide, adhesive tape, and non-stick gauze pads. The ASPCA has tips on creating a dog first aid kit.
  5. Clean up – “leave no trace”.  Bring a plastic bag to clean up your dog’s waste, and dispose of it in a designated trash can.