With a trail full of new scents and sights, hiking is even better with your dog by your side. Whether you are headed to see the waterfall down Holy Jim’s trail or exploring among the redwoods in Stout Grove, you have probably made sure you have the right gear and know-how for your California hiking adventure. But, do you have the right hiking gear for your dog and do you know what it takes to keep your canine companion safe on the trail?
Staying hydrated while hiking is a top priority for both you and Fido. But, your dog probably won’t be able to get a sip from that stainless steel canteen you have tucked into your backpack. A collapsible dog bowl tucks easily in with your gear and is the perfect way to give your pooch a mid-hike drink.
You should also watch out for standing water. While your dog will love splashing in a slow-moving creek, they should never be allowed to drink from standing water. Rain puddles or water-filled ditches may look tempting, but they can also contain parasites and disease-carrying germs.
If you have an energy bar stowed in your pack, be sure to bring treats and food for your dog as well. Even if you don’t plan on hiking far enough to require a snack, bring along a bit for both of you, just in case the plans change.
Leash and harness
From other hikers to unfamiliar wildlife, there are plenty of things your dog may want to chase after. Keep your furry friend on a leash and by your side at all times. Not only is off-leash hiking risky, it’s not legal in most area. A six-foot leash will keep you in control while still allowing your dog plenty of room to explore. Using a harness, rather than a neck collar, is also more comfortable and helps to prevent tugging and pulling.
Tags and microchip
If all goes well, you and your dog will wind up at the end of the trail, ready for a nap and a snack. But, just in case something does go wrong, it’s important that your dog is wearing their vaccine and license tags. It’s also a good idea to have your dog microchipped, and to ensure that chip is updated with your correct address and phone number.