Tips for Hiking with Your Dog

Koa and I love to get out of the city and hit the trails during the warmer months.

Hiking with your dog can be an incredibly joyful and fulfilling adventure. Planning and preparing for a hike is crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience. Below are some tips for hiking with your dog.

Pre-hiking preparation:

  • Finding a dog-friendly trail: Hiking websites and apps are a great place to find dog-friendly parks and trails, I personally like AllTrails. AllTrails provides length, degree of difficulty, and reviews from other users, and the comment section has great advice. Some require dogs to be leashed and others allow off-leash if your dog is friendly and can follow voice commands
  • Check the weather: Over the past few years, we have had days of heat waves and warnings. Some trails have full sun exposure, the last thing you want is to have your pup experience heat exhaustion
  • Proper identification and vaccinations: Ensure your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations, as some trails have ticks carrying Lyme Disease. Don’t forget ID tags with your current contact information.
  • Food and water: Consider the amount of food and water your dog will need for the conditions of the hike. Bring more than you think they will eat or drink

My recommended gear:

  • Backpack: Pick the best size to carry enough food and water for both you and your pup. When we hike, it’s day trips normally approximately 6-10 miles. I use Camelbak, this brand’s backpacks are light and have a hydration bladder built-in the bag to keep your water cold and accessible. For my hikes, a 3L capacity is perfect for the two of us
  • Portable dog bowl: Collapsible dog bowl ( that can be used for both water and food. I recommend using one attached to the bag for easy access 
  • Sturdy non-retractable leash: I recommend carrying a sturdy non-retractable leash with a D-link clip. I like leashes made from sturdy and durable climbing ropes on hikes that have a waist belt or that can be attached to my hiking bag
  • Emergency kit: I recommend carrying an emergency kit, mine includes a pocket knife, an emergency whistle, Benadryl, and a first aid kit ( Accidents do happen even when you are careful. It’s always good to be prepared

These points are pre-hike tips are important, but there is much more to consider. What do you need to bring on your hike? Let us know what you think, comment below.

During the hike:

Trail rules

  • Many of the trails have leash law signs posted

Trail etiquette

  • Be respectful to other hikers and their pets. Keep in mind not all dogs are as friendly, nor all hikes love dogs
  • Don’t forget to pick up after your pet and pack out any waste
  • Discourage your dog from drinking water along the trail, dogs are susceptible to waterborne illnesses

Other tips

  • I stay on the trail to avoid poisonous plants, venomous snakes, or anything else that may be harmful
  • It’s important to remember that your dog can also get injured, and suffer from heat exhaustion, dehydration, fatigue, and altitude sickness just like any hiker. Dogs don’t sweat to cool themselves like humans. Their main way of regulating their body temperature is through panting, consumption of water, moving to shaded areas, and digging holes to lie down in. Look out for these signs! 


  • Be sure to check for ticks under your pup’s arms and legs, webbing and under the feed, and behind the legs

Happy hiking! 

We’d like to hear from you: What are your favorite hiking trails? Comment below.


*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published