Top Tips for Hiking With Your Dog This Summer

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Ready to sip on sweet sunshine and savor adventure with your four-legged friend? Summertime is an ideal time of the year for an abundance of outdoor adventure and spontaneity. Dogs love to relish the sights, smells, and sounds of the great outdoors as much as humans do. That being said, your canine needs to be as ready to hit the trails as you are.

The blazing sun, heat, and varying weather conditions can create inopportune and strenuous conditions for you and your dog. Before you head out, consider these top tips for hiking with your dog this summer.

Keep a Sound Strategy in Mind

Hiking is undoubtedly one of the best dog-friendly weekend adventure trips you can take with your canine companion. Nonetheless, canines and the dog days of summer don’t always mix well together. Dogs are our weekend warriors—but even the heat can have a strong effect on those in good shape. Despite steady stamina and endurance, dogs are simply not able to cool themselves off as well as their human companions.

If the outdoor temperature is suitable for adventure, keep a strategy in mind when going out for a hike. Choose to hike in the early mornings or evenings to take full advantage of cooler air temperatures. To further protect your dog, choose a trail with adequate shade or water availability. Letting your dog cool off in a lake or pond mid-hike can do wonders for their physical condition.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Preparing for a hiking trip means considering all possible situations and scenarios that may occur. Read up on reviews about the hiking trail you intend to take and the leash laws or regulations a park may have. Know what kind of terrain to expect so you can be best prepared for what’s ahead.

For a trail-ready dog, don’t forget to stay a step ahead with vaccinations and tick preventions. Staying cautious about trail hazards is outdoor safety number one. Dogs cannot recognize the same hazards humans do, nor directly communicate a dangerous situation to their owners. Stick to an established path to best avoid encountering wild animals or poisonous plants that may lurk beyond the trail.

Pack the Essential Gear

Last but certainly not least, pack enough of the essentials to survive the entirety of the trip. Food and water planning is key, as our furry friends tend to view the outdoors as a giant playground or possibly a buffet. Pay attention to your dog’s appetite and bring more food and water than usual. Bear in mind that a vet is not handy on the trail, so bring along a stocked first-aid kit—and know the basics of how to use it if needed.

Be mindful of the fact that if you’re personally tired, hungry, or thirsty, chances are that your dog is as well. Out of all the top tips for hiking with your dog this summer, staying side by side and looking out for each other tops the list. Lace-up your shoes, put on sunscreen, and join in the adventure together!

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About Author

Kate Romeo is a writer living in the greater Chicagoland area with a passion for animals. When she's not writing you will likely find her trying out new recipes in the kitchen or cuddling on the sofa with her pets, likely watching a movie she's already seen 100 times.

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