If you’re lucky enough to have access to a place where you can hike with your dogs, or if you’re just going on a long walk, remembering all the “must haves” can be tough! There’s a lot to remember, so we’ve created a list chock full of everything you need to know before, during, and after an outdoor adventure with your dog.

Happy Trails!
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BEFORE YOUR HIKE

  • Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are current and that he’s up to date with his heartworm and whichever flea/tick prevention you use.
  • Double check your dog’s identification tags! We advise having more than one way for your dog to be identified. That could be ID tags, a personalized ID collar and/or leash, a microchip, or ID information on his harness.
  • Make sure to have a Dog First Aid Kit packed and ready to go!

WHAT TO PACK

  • Make sure to bring enough water for your dog and a portable water bowl. DO NOT allow your dog to drink water from a lake or stream.
  • Bring a mini air horn (available on Amazon) in case you run into either an unfriendly off leash dog, or an animal you need to deter from coming any closer.
  • Your leash should be 6-10ft (no retractable leashes!!!). Use a carabiner to clip the leash to your belt loop or backpack if you want to be hands free.
  • Poop bags to clean up after your dog.
  • Tick Key to check your dog for ticks when you are done with the hike.
  • Bear Bells that can be attached to your shoes or dog’s pack if they wear one while hiking.
  • Bring your dog's treats or kibble for training on the trails!
  • Have an orange vest for your dog if hiking in an area where hunting is allowed.

ON THE TRAILS

  • Hikers without dogs always have the right of way. Step aside with your dog (practice your Sit Wait!) and allow them to pass
  • Stay on marked trails! You never know where there might be sharp rocks, broken glass, a steep drop off, or an unexpected and potentially unfriendly wild animal if you go off the trail!
  • Everyone’s idea of “my dog is friendly” is different and not something to be tested while out in the woods. Keep yourself and your dog safe by switching him to walk on the opposite side and try to avoid any interactions between strange dogs you don’t know while passing.