Updated: Feb 12
For those that like to enjoy the outdoors with your dog a little hiking etiquette can go a long way in ensuring you and others both enjoy your time on the trails.
It takes only a couple of dog-related incidents or expensive rescues to invite more dog restrictions on our trails. A little common sense to optimize your outing and keep everybody safe makes for a better experience for everyone.
Give your dog a chance to drink water whenever you take a drink, frequency will depend on the difficulty of the hike and temperature. Discourage your dog from drinking stagnant water on the trail and look instead for clear, running water.
As a rule of thumb, try to stay on the trail. Some trails actually require dogs and people to stay on the trail.
1 to 1 is the best dog-to-human ratio for a hike.
2 is a good number of dogs to take on the trail with your group.
3 dogs make a pack and can intimidate other hikers/cyclists.
Cyclists and Hikers without dogs ALWAYS have the right-of-way. Restrain your dog, step aside, and allow them to pass.
If your dog is off-leash and another dog or person is coming, leash your dog until they pass. This is assuming your dog is off-leash trained, if not; then keep them on leash.
When the adventure ends, give your K9 a head to tail exam and remove any unwanted passengers on your dog. Once home, follow up with a good shampoo to rid their coat of oils from poisonous plants they may have picked up on the hike.
There is a lot of fun to be had on the trail; the more often you take your companion hiking and backpacking with you, the more seasoned and acclimated they’ll become to outdoor adventure and what the do’s and don’ts are. The more consistent you are in what you allow them to do the most consistent they will become for you!
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