Happy couple hiking with dog.

If you’ve got an adventurous dog who’s ready to hit the hiking trails with you, our team at Bowman Veterinary Hospital has some helpful hints to make your outdoor explorations safe and fun for you and your canine companion.  

Before You Go

If you’re planning to trek through some trails with your pet, it’s important to make sure he is healthy enough for new adventures and prepared for what lies ahead. 

  • Make sure your dog is up-to-date on vaccines (including the rattlesnake vaccine) and parasite protection. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitos go hand in hand with hiking and camping, and you want your pet to be protected from these little pests and the diseases they spread.
  • Consider having your dog microchipped if he isn’t already. 
  • Check the temps. Snub-nosed breeds like pugs and bulldogs have a harder time breathing when the mercury rises. 
  • Do you have an older pet with arthritis? Stick to the short trails tagged “easy.” Likewise for pets that are relatively sedentary most of the time. 
  • If you have doubts about your pet’s physical fitness, schedule a comprehensive examination before any activity that could seem taxing for your pet.

Pet Hiking Tips and Etiquette

It’s important to be polite to fellow hikers, so be mindful of these hiking etiquette hints:

  • Keep your dog under control (and follow the leash laws) at all times.
  • Step aside on trails to allow hikers without dogs plenty of room to pass.
  • Do not allow your dog to approach other people or pets.
  • Properly dispose of your pet’s waste.
  • Do not allow your dog to harm plants or wildlife.

Dog Hiking Safety

For your dog’s health and safety, pack appropriate supplies and be aware of your surroundings at all times. 

Be sure to bring the following:

  • Fixed-length leash (do NOT use retractable leashes) and collar with accurate ID tags
  • First aid supplies
  • Dog food and snacks
  • Clean water and water bowl
  • Dog waste bags

Additional trail safety tips:

  • Keep food items and trash tightly sealed to avoid attracting wildlife.
  • Be on the lookout for drop-offs along trails.
  • Discourage your dog from drinking from rivers or other natural water sources, as he could contract a waterborne illness.

Hiking in Auburn, California

Auburn is home to hundreds of miles of hiking trails, many of which are dog friendly, including trails in the 35,000-acre Auburn State Recreation Area and the Hidden Falls Regional Park. Wherever you choose to hike or backpack with your pooch, it’s best to double check the pet policies, including the following:

  • Confirm that dogs are permitted in the campground/trails
  • Understand the leash laws for trails and campsites
  • Find out if you are required to provide documentation for your pet

We want you and your pets to have fun, safe outdoor adventures. Before embarking on your next hiking or backpacking trip with your dog, contact us for a checkup or if you have any questions.