Tips for Hiking with Dogs
With all the negative news that was surrounding us at every turn this weekend, it was hard to remain positive. I’m so saddened and disgusted by the hate on display in Charlottesville and throughout this country. We took the opportunity to bring some good news and good vibes into the world and got together with some friends and friend’s dogs & headed out for a little hike and swim session!
We went to a small trail located right in Finksburg, MD near a little stream called Middle Run, which seems to be off of Liberty Reservoir. This is just one of the many spots we’ve taken Mahoney (and Murph’s first big trip!). If you live in the area and get a chance to explore, Maryland has a ton of amazing parks and non-park trails to explore! Gunpowder Falls, Patapsco, Rocky Gap and more!
If you are planning to take your pup with you on your next hike, there’s definitely some planning you need to do. It’s so much fun to have them with you, but you want to make sure you’ll be safe too! Check out my tips below for hiking with dogs:
TIPS FOR HIKING WITH DOGS:
- Always bring towels: At least one per dog! Even if you don’t go into water, there’s often mud on trails and you want to make sure you keep them clean when you’re finished!
- Keep them on a leash and/or close by: To respect the local fauna and for the dogs’ safety, keep your pups close!
- Be aware of local bugs/wildlife: Don’t forget, there are lots of living things out there! Research where you’re going to see if there’s any species you need to be looking for. And, if your dog is prone to bug bites, check out some natural sprays at your local pet store.
- Plan a few trail distances before you go: Sometimes dogs can go all day. Sometimes they’re done after a single trail. Have a few trails in mind before setting out and gauge your pup’s enthusiasm and capability after each one to see if they’re able to do more.
- Pack snacks AND FRESH WATER: Your pup (and you!) will be thirsty along the way. Make sure you’re also ready for any quick food needs – for energy and motivation! Depending on how long you’re out or what time of day, also plan to bring any meals your dog would normally have.
- Confirm your dog’s microchip & tag: This is only a precaution – hopefully all will go well on the hike! But, if you get separated from your furry friend, you want to make sure that anyone who finds them is able to immediately contact you.
- Wear comfortable but ok-to-get-dirty shoes: If you’re dogs are loving the hike, which they probably will, they’ll pull you in every direction to find new smells – through mud, streams, etc. Bring an extra pair of shoes or sandals to change into when you get back to your car!
Looking for more? Check out this Hiking with Dogs website – they have a great state-by-state list of pup-friendly parks and other resources.
And STAY POSITIVE. We are in a dark moment. But the only way for love, light and positivity to prevail is to keep spreading it. Get out in the world and do good. Spread good with friends and strangers. Share love and acceptance. Be kind to one another, friends. xo