Spring is in the air, and it’s time to hit the hills with your pooch! Hiking the wilderness trails with your dog is a fun & healthy way to promote the bonding experience. Remember safety first! With a few trail etiquette do’s & don’ts tips you and your hiking buddy will be on the trails and exploring the great outdoors in no time.
Thanks to BullySticks for this great article on hiking with your best friend!
- Keep your dog on a tight leash so he or she does not wander into trouble. Hiking in the great outdoors is exhilarating but full of potential hazards for your dog, including rattlesnake bites and falls.
- Be a responsible dog owner & always pick up after your dog on the trails.
- Keep a watch on your dog at all time while he or she is exploring the trails since dogs have a tendency to chase after critters.
- Be polite! Make room for other hikers on the trails. Pull your dog to side when passing walkers and hikers without dogs.
- Respect the trail rules! Some hiking trails allow you to let your dog off leash while others require you to keep them on a six foot leash.
- Hike with your dog only on trails that are clearly well-marked and well-graded; avoid hiking on unmarked, over grown & poorly-maintained trails which can signal danger ahead.
- Pack enough food and water to sustain both you and your dog for the duration of your hike. A strenuous or lengthy hike can quickly deplete and dehydrate you and your dog.
- Bring a basic first aid kit with you when out hiking with your dog for those just in case moments. It is so easy for your rambunctious & excited hiking dog to get bite or cut on the hike.
- Don’t let your dog wander off from the pack and destroy vegetation or disturb the wildlife. The Okanagan is also home to a lot of ticks in the spring, so staying out of the bush will also protect your dog from these pests.
- Don’t be a push over on the trail. The trail is for everyone to enjoy so allow plenty of room for passerbyer’s.
- Don’t let your dog approach other dogs on the trail with an owners permissions. Safety first. As much as you want your pup to have fun, roam around, and meet & sniff nice people on the trail. Keep in mind that some people and dogs hiking may not want your dog greeting, jumping & sniffing them. Save that for the dog park or a future playdate.