The Essentials of Planning a Hike with your Dog

Arizona winters are spectacular because while everyone else is shoveling snow, we are
shoveling sunshine and enjoying the outdoors! One of the many fun activities we like to
do in the Arizona winter is to hike with our dogs and we know there are many of you
that do the same, so here are some tips for hiking with your furry friends.
1.Planning the Hike
It is important to pick a trail that is dog friendly and isn’t covered in dangerous
things like cacti or snakes. You can’t always avoid those in the Arizona desert, but
some trails are friendlier than others.
When selecting a trail, also take into account the age of your dog and their ability
to do physical exercise. If they are older or it’s their first hike, choose an easy to
moderate trail. Lastly, plan to bring lots of water for you and your pup. Despite
the cooler weather, dehydration is still a danger. When packing your bag, also
include a first aid kit, waste bags, some snacks (for both of you), and a cell phone
for emergencies.
2.During the Hike
It is always a good idea to be alert when hiking with your pet. They will likely be
excited with the new sights and smells, but keep in mind, they don’t always use
the best judgement! Be cognizant of things on the ground, cacti (particularly
jumping cholla), and other plants. Don’t allow your dog to drink from any lakes or
ponds, but do be sure to stop for water breaks frequently.
Also be sure to watch for behaviors in your dog like overheating, fatigue or
dehydration. Excessive panting and a slowed pace are indications they may need
rest or water. Lastly, are you both enjoying it? It should be a fun physical activity,
but hiking is not for every dog. Just like we have activities we love, and others we
prefer not to do – dogs are the same.
3.After the Hike
Once you’ve finished enjoying the outdoors with your pup there are a few
remaining checkpoints you’ll want to cross off the list. This will help ensure your
pal can go with you on many hikes in the future.
Do a quick scan of their body (don’t forget the paws and ears) for ticks, burrs, or
cacti. Encourage them to drink more water before getting into the car, and once
home be sure they have access to a full bowl of water so they can rehydrate and
Lastly, you may want to consider giving them a bath or wipe down, depending on
the conditions of the hike. If they got into any foliage or water, it is generally a
good idea just to remove any unwanted bacterial visitors.
Now that you know how to enjoy a safe hike with your furry friend, pick a trail, put your
pup on a leash and get hiking!

Posted in: Arizona

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