This week, Red Rover Camping is all about Fido. You’re read about the most dog friendly trails in the United States and the arguably best Instagram ever featuring a dog and his adventures. Read more to learn how to keep your dog safe on the trail.

This summer there have been numerous reports of dogs dying while hiking due to the heat. Every dog owner needs to know these hiking basics before you hit the trail, no matter the weather.

Before the Hike

  1. Reflect. Is your dog really fit enough to handle this hike? If yes, ask yourself if your dog is well-behaved enough to cooperate throughout the hike and share the trail with others.
  2. Find the right trail. Not all trails welcome dogs. Here’s a list of National Parks that allow dogs. Avoid trails shared with mountain bikers and horses.
  3. Know how much your dog can carry. Rule of thumb is that dogs that are young and healthy can carry about 25% of their weight. Check with your vet to see what’s appropriate for your dog.

During the Hike

  1. Keep your dog leashed. This is controversial in the camping community. Bottom line: be considerate of others. Plus, you never know exactly what you’ll run into in backcountry.
  2. Watch what your dog drinks. Your dog is just as susceptible to water-borne diseases as you are, so you must filter your dog’s water. Dehydration can kill, especially in hot weather. To avoid dehydration, mix Pedialyte with your dog’s water. Check in with your vet on your next visit to see how much is healthy for your dog. Keep more than enough water with you at all times and be sure to train your dog to only drink water from their bowl.
  3. Invest in the right gear. If it’s cold, make sure your dog can either snuggle up in their own sleeping bag or share yours. If you’re hiking on rocky terrain or in snow, make sure they wear dog booties – even if they don’t like it!
  4. Dispose of waste. Your dog is your responsibility. Clean up after your dog so dogs can continue using this trail. Either carry it with you or bury the waste 20-feet away from the trail, water sources, and campsites.
  5. Consider tying a bell to their collar or glow stick necklace around their neck at night so you can keep tabs on them in the dark.

After the Hike

  1. Look for ticks, burrs, or anything else that may have fixed onto your dog’s fur or skin.
  2. Give your dog a bath to get rid of anything else.

Be sure to share this infographic to all of your dog loving friends!

FINAL_hiking-with-dogs-01