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Hiking With Dogs

August 1 2020

Do you enjoy hiking? If we could ask our canine patients that question, many of them would say yes! Fido can make a great trail buddy. However, you do have to take steps to keep him safe. Read on as a local Flat Rock, NC vet offers some tips on taking Fido hiking.

Preventative Care

Make sure that your pooch is current on his vaccinations and parasite control products. Fido should also be microchipped and wearing proper ID tags.

Fido’s Fitness Levels

Consult your vet before taking Fido hiking. Not all of our canine friends make suitable trail buddies! Small dogs, senior pooches, puppies, nursing mamas, and dogs with medical issues are all better off just staying home and taking a nap.


Even if you’re just planning a very short excursion, you’ll need to bring a few things along. Water is first and foremost on that list. You should also bring a pet first-aid kit, some treats, and waste baggies. Some pups can carry their own supplies in doggy backpacks.


Try not to let Fido slurp up water from ponds, lakes, or streams. The water may not be safe! Bring bottled water along. If you do get water from the trail, boil or treat it to make it safe for Fido, just as you would for yourself.


Dogs love to run and explore. Unfortunately, that sense of adventure can get Fido into trouble. We recommend keeping your canine companion leashed at all times. In many areas, you can use a retractable leash. However, these aren’t safe in all situations. You wouldn’t want to use them near dangerous spots, like around cliffs or riverbanks.


Hiking can be pretty strenuous activity. Build your pet’s endurance up on easy trails before trying anything more difficult. You’ll also need to keep an eye on your pooch, and watch for signs of fatigue, such as panting or lagging behind. If your furry buddy seems tired, take a water break, and then head for home.

Winding Down

Speaking of heading home, when you and Fido get back, you’ll want to do a thorough check of your furry friend. You definitely want to check for ticks. You’ll also want to watch for signs of injury, such as scrapes, abrasions, or bite marks.

As your Flat Rock, NC vet clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great veterinary care. Please contact us anytime!