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4 Things to Consider When You’re Going Hiking With Your Dog

4 Things to Consider When You’re Going Hiking With Your Dog - AboutBoulder.com

Have you decided to go on a hiking adventure and bring your furry best friend along? Reports have shown that 30% of pets go camping with their family. Embarking on this adventure can surely be exciting. However, pet parents must go through careful planning to ensure a safe experience for their dog.

Before you hit the trails, you must consider various factors that might impact your dog’s well-being. Examples include canine heartworm infestations, wildlife risks, predisposed health conditions, etc. There are also a few things that you shouldn’t forget to pack.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss four things to consider to help you prioritize your dog’s safety and build lasting memories amidst nature’s beauty.

Keep Your Dog Safe From Heartworm Infestation - AboutBoulder.com

1. Keep Your Dog Safe From Heartworm Infestation

What’s every hiker’s worst enemy? That’ll be those buzzy little insects carrying dangerous diseases. The FDA reports that if your dog is bitten by a mosquito carrying heartworm larvae, it’ll lead to fatal parasite infections. Usually, it takes at least seven months for the larva to mature and lead your pet to develop heartworm disease.

While you cannot use mosquito repellents on your dog’s skin, you can instead buy preventive medications. Tri-Heart Plus can be a good choice. These beef-flavored chewable tablets can prevent fatal heartworm diseases and control gastrointestinal parasites. You only have to administer this medication once a month to keep your furball protected for the next thirty days.

According to PetCareRx, this medication contains proven active ingredients like Ivermectin and Pyrantel. Both of these parasiticides can kill internal parasites and paralyze them from harming your dog. But remember, this tablet isn’t effective against external parasites.

Vets advise pet parents to get their dogs tested before starting the preventive program. Once you’re back from the hike, take your pup to the vet to get them tested for any existing heartworm infection before you administer Tri-Heart Plus.

Ensure That Your Dog Is Fit Enough for the Hike - AboutBoulder.com

2. Ensure That Your Dog Is Fit Enough for the Hike

To keep your dog safe, you must assess their health before taking them out for a hike. It’ll help determine their fitness level and ability to walk or run multiple miles.

To ensure that the hiking adventure is enjoyable for your dog, you must follow these tips:

  • Go on regular walks and gradually increase the intensity to build your pet’s endurance.
  • Monitor any signs of fatigue that include excessive panting or lagging behind.
  • Consider your dog’s underlying heart health to determine appropriate trails and hiking locations.


Remember that the dog’s breed and age will also affect their stamina while climbing the hills. It’s best to consult with a vet to understand the appropriate exercise levels for your dog in preparation.

Getting your dog accustomed to the physical challenges of hiking will help reduce discomfort and the risk of injury. Let’s say your canine best friend has mobility issues or has never hiked before. In that case, you must pick a less challenging trail and take enough breaks to let your furball get some rest. Doing all these will help you and your companion experience a fulfilling hike.

Consider the Trail Regulations and Weather Conditions - AboutBoulder.com

3. Consider the Trail Regulations and Weather Conditions

It’s important to consider the weather conditions near the area and the trail regulations before embarking on the journey.

Researching the specific rules can help you plan the hike better when you’re with an animal. Some trails in America restrict bringing dogs. Examples include the Angels Landing Trail in Utah or the Skyline Loop in Washington. Similarly, the Royal Arch Trail in Colorado is the best pet-friendly trail for hikers and their dogs.

To get a better idea, you should go through the U.S. Forest Service page to understand the rules better. For instance, it’s prohibited to shortcut a switchback on trails, and you cannot use motor vehicles. Similarly, in some areas, it’s important to keep your dog on a leash. Violating these can lead to fines worth USD 5,000 or more.

Remember to familiarize yourself with any seasonal hazards, poisonous plants in the area, and other wildlife concerns. On top of that, you should check out the weather forecast for the duration of your hike. Don’t go on ‘dangerous’ adventures with your dog if there’s a possibility of adverse weather conditions or extreme temperatures. Choose routes and times that’ll be comfortable for your furry companion.

Keep Your Dog Hydrated While on the Trail - AboutBoulder.com

4. Keep Your Dog Hydrated While on the Trail

When climbing the trail at Grandeur Peak, a hiker and their dog suffered extreme dehydration. The Labrador eventually passed away after refusing to follow their parent. Older dogs and smaller breeds are more prone to dehydration.

Do you want to prevent this from happening? In that case, you must pack essential items. These include protective gear, first-aid supplies, and snacks. But most importantly, you shouldn’t forget to carry multiple water bottles, depending on the duration or intensity of the hike.

Remember to keep your dog hydrated while hiking to ensure they’re comfortable and healthy. Portable collapsible bowls and specialized pet-friendly water bottles can also come in handy when offering them a drink. Before the hike, encourage your dog to drink plenty of water and give them juicy fruits. While on the trail, you must take enough breaks to ensure your canine best friend has a stable core temperature.

Do monitor their hydration status and look for warning signs of dehydration. Examples include lethargy, panting, vomiting, etc. Also, you should avoid letting your furball drink contaminated water from still water sources to prevent illness.

Hiking With Your Pet can be Rewarding

For instance, you get to foster deeper connections with your furball if you both enjoy outdoor activities. However, it’s important to keep in mind the four considerations mentioned in this article.

Examples include administering flavored chewable tablets for potential heartworm disease after the hike. Moreover, you should check the trail regulations and weather conditions to ensure safety. Keeping your pet hydrated is also crucial, so don’t forget to bring proper pet supplies and water.

Consider fitness level, safety precautions required, and trail suitability before heading out. Remember to adhere to the regulations and prioritize your dog’s safety. With proper planning, you can be mindful about these things. Hiking can truly be an opportunity to bond with your pup.

John Mali Director of Media Relations

Director of Media Relations at AboutBoulder.com


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