- Follow the rules of the trail! Do not take your dog on a trail where dogs are forbidden, or take him off-leash when the rules call for on-leash dogs only.
Carry enough clean water for you and your dog. Drinking out of mountain streams can give your dog (and you) some nasty parasites. Purchase a soft, collapsible dog bowl that is light weight and convenient for hikes.
Make sure your dog is fit enough for the length of hike, and the type of trail you are planning to tackle. Remember that your dog needs to train for very long hikes, just as you do.
- Always clean up after your dog. Bring plenty of potty bags in case of more than one clean up event.
- Make sure you bring basic first aid materials for humans and canines alike. Also bring an emergency number in case of an injury that leaves you or your dog immobile. It is best to hike in groups, and always carry a cell phone.
- Move to the right of the trail when passing another hiker, and restrain your dog. Not everyone wants to meet and greet your four-legged buddy!
- Teach your dog to pay attention to you when passing other hikers or animals. Bring a toy or treats to gain your dog’s attention while passing another dog or person. Soon, every time a person or dog passes your dog will look to you out of habit and ignore the other person, dog, squirrel or biker. After a time the toy and treats can be left at home.
- Use the right equipment. If you know your dog pulls while walking, switch to a harness or “Gentle Leader”. Pulling is no fun for dog or owner!