Hiking with dogs isn’t seen as much as it used to, many hiking sites, national parks prohibited dogs in the past years and decades. However, many hikers decide to bring their dogs anyway, breaking the law even though the risk of consequences is very low. We do not recommend you to bring dogs to national parks or other protected sites, their contact with wild animals can be dangerous. Hiking accompanied by a dog isn’t the same as urban walking, there are some major differences.
First, you need to choose a trail and prepare for the day or the afternoon, whatever suits your plan best to have a great day. The fallowing depends on how well your dog has been trained, and how well he responds to critters and unfamiliar places and other hikers. If he is well trained, there shouldn’t be any problem to let him walk without a leash once on the trails where there are very few people. It also is a joy too see your pet, scout ahead, smell the new odours, walk and run happily ahead then check back to see if you are this in his line of sight. It is certain that he will make your day even better and make you smile a few times by his actions and reactions.
Nowadays, it is estimated that 25-40% of dogs in the United States are obese; They lack of exercise and are overfed. Hiking is perfect to keep them in shape, while you fallow the steadily the trail, your dog will run up and down, and will spend a lot more energy then you will because he will make more movements. A dog can easily do three times your distance, just by running back and forth and discovering his surroundings.
You also need to focus on your dog needs and take some precautions, dogs get dehydrated a lot faster than humans do, and not every trail has water points and streams crossing them. You need to make sure to bring water for your dog, because he may overheat and it his very dangerous for their health since their internal cooling system is linked to water consumption. Do not worry about your dog drinking in creeks or natural water spots, their immune system will keep them healthy. They may catch some bacteria’s, but it is very rare.
Despite how fun it is to have your dog wander with you in the woods, in high traffic areas, places where there are cars and other vehicle or trails with horses. Regardless if the law says you can have your dog run loose , it is a better idea to keep him on leash, he might get injured or others might.
There are other outdoor activities close to hiking where your dog can come along. Hunting is well known to bound man and dogs. The chasing of wildlife by dogs keeps him active, and incites to train him very well. If your dog is protective and not a small dog, it feels reassuring to have him fallow you where there can be bears or cougars, you turn into a pack and are less likely to be targeted as an easy prey. It is always better to bring your canine friend instead of going solo!