Can I Take My Dog Hiking? (Solved & Explained!)

Can I Take My Dog Hiking

Can you take your dog hiking? Surprisingly, the answer is yes! Hiking with your pup can be a great way to bond and enjoy the outdoors together. Just make sure that you are prepared for any potential hazards that may arise on this adventure.

We’ll tell you what to do if there’s an emergency, how to keep your pup safe during the hike, and even share some of our favorite family-friendly hikes in Colorado Springs! 

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Is It Safe To Take My Dog On A Hike?

Dogs are great hiking companions. However, it would be best if you didn’t take your dog on a hike until he is at least eight weeks old and fully vaccinated. Also, it would help if you carry plenty of clean water on the trail so your pup doesn’t overheat.

As an added precaution, be sure to pack doggie bags so you can pick them up after him!

It’s also important to note that some breeds are more resilient than others regarding heat exposure and exercise. For example, smaller dogs tend to tire more quickly than larger dogs because they have less surface area in their bodies to dissipate heat.

If you choose one of these small breeds as your furry friend, look into picking up some canine booties before taking him on a hike that might include rough terrain.

How Many Miles Can A Dog Hike?

Most dogs can physically handle about 5 miles of hiking in a single day. Any more than that, and they’re likely to tire out, become dehydrated, or even suffer from heatstroke.

If your dog is young or smaller, he may need to rest for multiple days after exercising so much. This will not only give him time to heal, but it also prevents injuries from building up too quickly when your pup is still growing!

When Can I Take My Dog Hiking?

Your best bet is to take your dog hiking between October and May. During these cooler months, it’s easier for your dog to cool down during the hike if he becomes overheated. Just be sure to pack plenty of water!

You can also take your dog hiking in winter if you’re prepared. However, be aware that snow and ice may pose a risk for slipping or injuries, so exercise caution when hiking with your pup around these potential hazards. 

Can All Dogs Go Hiking?  

While most dogs enjoy hiking, not all dogs are well-suited for this type of physical activity. If your pup has any medical condition such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, or a respiratory disorder, it’s best to ask your vet before taking him on a hike.

Pregnant dogs should also avoid long walks or jogs until after they’ve given birth. 

What Do You Do With Dog Poop When Hiking?   

It’s always a good idea to pick up after your dog when you’re hiking. We recommend bringing enough bags to cover at least 5-10 poops back on the trail. If you plan on staying out overnight, pack twice as many bags.

Then, store them in an ice chest or ask someone else to hold on to them for safekeeping while you’re gone.  

Why Are Dogs Not Allowed On Some Hiking Trails?   

Many people are surprised to learn that dogs aren’t allowed on trails. However, it’s important to remember that these areas are protected habitats where wildlife also reside.

If anything were to happen between your pup and any local wildlife, it would be nearly impossible to determine which animal was at fault.

As a result, many of these areas ban dogs from eliminating this risk. If you plan on hiking with your dog is prohibited; make sure you keep them on a leash and under strict control throughout the entire hike.

Can Dogs Die From Hiking?   

It’s certainly not very common, but yes – dogs can die from hiking. The most common causes of death are heatstroke or heart attacks, often because they become overexerted during their hike.

To prevent your pup from experiencing either one of these tragedies, bring plenty of water for him to stay hydrated. Also, carry his booties just in case the terrain becomes too difficult as you continue on your hike.

Make sure to keep an eye on him throughout your entire journey to ensure he doesn’t tire out too quickly.

How Do I Know If My Dog Is Too Tired To Continue Hiking?  

If your dog is panting heavily, acting lethargic, or simply just showing signs of discomfort, it may be time for you both to turn around and head back home.

You can also use a Garmin GPS watch with a built-in activity tracker to monitor how much distance and exercise your pup gets during his hike.

This will help you find the right balance of exercise between rest days so that he’s not overworked!

Can Dogs Run On The Trail?     

It’s not recommended that your dog run during the hike. “Trail running” may be a good workout for you, but it can cause discomfort and injury to your pup.

This is because pups’ and human’s stride and gait differ entirely from one another – so you could be putting too much stress on their joints or ligaments if they were to run.

That said, many dogs enjoy hiking alongside their owners with ease!

Steps to Take Before Hiking with Your Dog

1. Make sure your pup is healthy enough for strenuous activity. A hike can be a pretty substantial physical undertaking for both you and your dog, so if your furry friend has been recently ill or has certain preexisting medical conditions, you might want to pass on this particular adventure.

If you’re not sure if they’re ready for a day on the trails, we recommend taking them to the vet first! Then, if everything checks out, move on to step 2.

Additionally, make sure that all of their shots are up-to-date and confirm that there aren’t any heartworms preventing them from participating in an active lifestyle. You can find more information on heartworms here.

2. Start training your pup early! You might not be able to prepare for every scenario that could happen on the trail, but there are some basic commands you can teach them well in advance of heading out on an adventure together. For example, teaching your dog to sit and stay is always a good idea!

Also, make sure to check with the park before you hit the trails about their leash rules (which we’ll talk more about below). If your dog isn’t familiar with or responding to these commands, it may be best to practice at home before taking them hiking.

Another factor to consider is whether or not your canine companion will enjoy this experience. Any dog owner has experienced the struggle of trying to get Rover to pose for a family photo or come when they call.

Don’t force your pup to come hiking with you if they’d rather stay home, but if their tail is wagging throughout the entire process, then it’s probably safe to say that they’ll enjoy themselves!

Also, make sure that everyone in the family (including many children) is okay with having an extra four-legged friend on this adventure. Everyone needs to be on the same page before taking off towards the trailhead!

3. Figure out how far you want to hike and where you would like to go. The distance of your hike will vary depending on whether or not you plan on camping overnight (in which case we recommend at least a two-night trip) or simply exploring the trails in the area.

If you’re unsure where to start, check out our blog post on Colorado Springs Hiking Trails!