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4 Amazing Upsides Of Hiking With A Dog (Plus Easy Tips)

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One of the biggest differences between owning a dog and owning a cat is that dogs force you to exercise. While cats are more than happy to endlessly lounge about your apartment, most dogs tend to get restless if not walked regularly.

Even if you give them a whole yard to play in, they will still feel the urge to go to open space. It seems that dogs were made to enjoy open areas and nature, which is one of the reasons hiking with a dog is such a great experience.

Why Hiking With A Dog Is One Of The Best Things To Do?

There are many reasons hiking is one of the best things you can do. Not only is it a great way to exercise and get your muscles working. But, it is also scientifically proven to have tremendous emotional benefits.

hiking with a dog

Hiking with a dog is tremendously beneficial to both your body and mind

So, how does a dog fit in with this picture? Well, that would be like asking how does bacon fit with this burger. The answer is that not only does it make it many times better, but it makes every aspect much more enjoyable. So, trust us when we tell you that hiking with a dog is one thing you absolutely need to do.

Healthy Exercise 

Being out in the open with your fellow K9 is one of the best things you can do for your health. The clean air, the sunshine, the joy of hiking all play a big role in making you healthy. You will do wonders for your immune system if you simply commit to a couple of hours of walking with your furry friend.

Especially if you pick a hiking trail that goes deep into a mountain where the air is thinner. The more you look into it the more you realize that there are few exercises out there that are as healthy as hiking.

Connecting With Your Dog

Hiking with your dog gives you the opportunity to connect with it better than you ever could by staying at home. After all, this is its natural habitat. Even though we have domesticated dogs thousands of years ago, the animal in them still remains.

a woman with a dog

There are few things that dogs love as much as open space.

You can easily see this if you simply let them loose in a field. Even if they have a large backyard to play in, they will still only let loose if they are in an open field. So, if you truly want to connect with your dog, you need to spend time with it in its natural environment.

And, as it turns out, hiking is the best way to do so. Not only will you walk in open nature, but you will also explore things together and enjoy each other's company.

A Good Training Regiment

If you stop and think about it, hiking is a pretty broad term. Hiking can range from taking a weekly walk on a nice even track to daily climbs up a local mountain.

a dog on a trail

Hiking is an awesome exercise for both you and your dog.

So, trust us when we say that hiking with a dog can be quite a workout if you go at it with the necessary intensity. A couple of months of intense daily hiking will put you in good shape.

Especially if you choose to run during your walks. Just remember to keep track of your dog and not to push them too hard. Don't be surprised if after a while, you are able to run more than your dog.

Mental Benefits

We mentioned before that there are numerous benefits to hiking as it is. So, does having a dog nearby change that? It does, and almost always for the better. Hiking with your dog will prove to be quite helpful for stress and animals tend to have a calming effect.

You will even feel emotional support from your dog as you will start connecting. Plus, if you run into another hiker with a dog you will have an easy way of making friends.

How To Properly Hike With A Dog

In order to experience all the benefits we've mentioned so far, you need to know how to properly hike with your dog. Simply hopping in your car and heading to the nearest track can be ok.

But only if you limit yourself to short hikes in nice weather. Anything else will require you to have the proper gear and to deal with certain preparations.

Preparations

If you plan on going on longer hikes, you first need to make sure that your dog is ready for it. Just like when you prepare your dog for the relocation. Visit your local vet to ensure the dog's health and immune system.

dog in a backpack

If your dog is small and it gets tired, you will need an appropriate backpack.

After that, do some basic obedience training. If you plan on keeping your dog off the leash which is the main point of hiking with it, you need to know that your dog will listen to your commands.

After that, you need to research the trail you are heading to. Check online for tips and advice on how to prepare and how to plan your hike. If you want to spend multiple days on your hike, make sure that you plan your trip properly and you keep your pup in mind. Remember, safety first.

Proper Gear

Your trails will dictate the gear you will need. Some trails require little to no gear, while others basically require survival equipment and food storage. So, before you head to yours, make sure to gear up properly.

The more you start enjoying hiking with your dog, the more you will realize just how many pieces of gear there are. From special bags that your dog can carry to necessary sleeping gear both for you and your dog.

Just remember to keep yourself and your dog healthy and safe, and we are sure that you will have a swell time. In addition, you can check out this resourceful list of activities you and your dog both could enjoy. 

Conclusion

Hitting the trails with your dog is a wonderful experience and everyone who has done it would confirm it. Not only is it good for both of you in terms of healthy exercising, but it straightens your friendship in a pleasant way.

Of course, it requires some planning and proper preparation, but you will easily get used to it and the rewards are plentiful.


Do you have some tips that you want to share? Leave a comment below!

  • Updated March 24, 2020
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Cynthia - January 13, 2020

Great article! Dogs do make the best hiking buddies; company without complaint. Now if it could just warm up, I’m ready for a hike!

Reply
Cynthia - January 13, 2020

This is a great article! I took my dog everywhere and she certainly likes the social aspects of being around people (and all the attention that goes with it!) but she loved, loved, loved being out in nature. Whether we were walking the beach by the ocean or in the woods, I could feel her excitement with all the different smells, sights and tastes (because, apparently, sticks taste better out in the “wild”).

I read somewhere that dogs like to go places because they get bored doing the same thing everyday, just like people, and I believe it’s true!

This made me a bit sad because I miss my old girl but it also made me smile to remember 14 great years together!

Reply
    Asen - January 13, 2020

    Hi Cynthia,

    I am so sorry about the loss of your dog.
    Dogs are human’s best friends and you can feel that especially when going on a nature adventure with your pal.

    Reply
      Asen - January 13, 2020

      Hi,

      Don’t wait to warm up. There’s no bad weather, just bad clothing. So get your dog (if you have one) and go hike with it.

      Reply

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