Hiking With Dogs Tips – Trail Etiquette

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3 Hiking with Dogs Tips for you and your furry friend

Hiking with dogs can be such fun! It’s an amazing way to experience nature, get some exercise, and bond with your beloved pet. If you are just getting started, read a few tips about hiking with your dog first.

Once you are ready to go, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to trail etiquette. To ensure that trails remain safe, clean, and dog-friendly, you need to know proper trail etiquette tips for hiking with dogs. 

1. It’s Your Responsibility to Keep Your Dog Calm & Under Control

The best way to keep tabs on your dog while hiking is to keep them on a leash. While it’s great to see your pup running wild and free, it’s against the rules in many parks and it has the potential to cause harm to your pet, other people’s pets, and the environment. Worst of all, your dog could get lost and injured. Even the most well-trained dogs can get distracted and “forget” to come when called. 

Woman hiking with her dog on a leash

Even when your pet is leashed, you need to make sure they are calm when other people, bicyclists, horseback riders, or dogs pass by. You don’t want your dog barking and frightening people, and you don’t want to get into a dangerous situation with other dogs or wildlife. Training is a must for good trail etiquette! If your dog is not yet well-trained, try to stick to more remote areas where there are fewer distractions while your pup learns.

2. Be Mindful of the Environment and Other Hikers When Hiking with Dogs

Hiking with dogs, tip #2 is the one that many forget. It probably goes without saying, but never take your dog to a park or trail where dogs aren’t allowed. Also, make sure to follow the rules of the place where you’re hiking. Stick to the trails as much as possible and don’t litter or take anything that you’re not supposed to. Try not to disturb any wildlife or wild plants, and don’t let your curious dog stick their nose into anything they shouldn’t.

Man walking a dog on a leash

Be friendly and courteous to other hikers. Yield to anyone who is riding bicycles or horses, as it’s easier for hikers to yield than it is for bicyclists or horseback riders. Just practice common sense and courtesy in everything you do. This way, you and your dog can be great ambassadors on the trail!

Remember, trail etiquette 101 is to practice common sense and courtesy.

3. Yes, You Do Need to Clean Up Your Dog’s Messes When Hiking with Dogs

Not only do you need to carry plenty of dog poop bags with you, but you need to pick up the poop and dispose of it properly in the trash. Dog poop can pollute water, harm plants, and even spread diseases. Plus, it smells and it isn’t fair to the others who use the trail. 

Even if your dog poops off the trail in the grass or bushes, you still need to pick it up and carry it to a trash can. (Carrying along a gallon zip lock bag is a great way to keep the dog poo contained until the end of your hike). We know it’s not fun, but unfortunately, picking up poo is just part of having a dog! 

With these hiking-with-dogs tips, you can maintain harmony between yourself, your dog, other hikers, and the environment.

Happy hiking! 

By OutdoorZ.Life Staff

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