With Park Plaza Apartments being so close to many exciting hiking trails, it’s hard to imagine not hitting the trails every so often. Bringing your dog with you can make for a fun adventure, but it requires a little bit of planning to have a safe hiking trip with your dog.

Follow these four safety tips to ensure your venture into the wilderness is safe and fulfilling for you and your four-legged companion.

1. Stay hydrated.

Checking your dog’s nose is the best way to determine if it’s hydrated. If the nose is dry, then you’re under-hydrating your dog,” say experts at REI.com. Larger dogs might drink 0.5 to 1.0 ounces of water per pound per day. Dogs 20 pounds and lighter will be closer to 1.5 ounces per pound per day.” Bring a portable dish and an extra bottle of water for your pup—it’ll appreciate it.

2. Watch for hazardous terrain.

The best way to have a safe hiking trip with your dog is to stay alert to potential hazards. While you get to wear heavy-duty hiking books, your dog is more than likely trekking along barefoot. Sure, you could buy some boots for your canine companion, but the best way to avoid injuring their feet is to walk trails that are void of sharp objects like broken glass and rocks.

3. Watch for wildlife, both on the trail and off. 

Keep an eye out for wildlife. Interactions between your dog and wild animals are always unpredictable, so it’s safest to keep your dog leashed and away from danger. You can also use a bell or whistle to alert wildlife to your presence, giving them a chance to flee before an encounter. If you do come across an animal while hiking, stay calm and move away from it quickly. 

4. Check for critters.

Give your dog’s coat a quick glance over when you finish your hike. Taking a few minutes to do this will allow you to quickly identify wounds or unsightly surprise passengers. Ticks and other bugs are known to hitch rides on dogs only to become a problem in your home.  Be sure to give your pet’s fur, ears, eyes, and legs a thorough check. If your dog walked through plants and dried brush on the trail, a good bath is a great way to eliminate the risk of infection from poisonous plants or bug bites. 

Right now is a great time for you and your pup to enjoy the great outdoors, but make sure you plan a safe hiking trip with your dog. Following these tips will help you ensure safety for you and fido. Happy hiking!