Traveling & Activities with Dogs

Hiking with Dogs—Five Tips from a Vet

A black Labrador Retriever sitting in a field of tall yellow grasses

Dr. Madeline Fellin is a small-animal veterinarian in Butte, Montana.

Hitting the trail with your canine companion always elevates the hiking experience! Before you head out, it’s important to know how to keep you and your dog safe and healthy along the way.

Here are five quick tips to remember when hiking with your dog:

A dog drinking out of a travel bowl from the camo chuckwagon.

1. Pack Food & Water

Be sure to pack and carry plenty of water on your hike for both you and your dog. Depending on the duration of your hike, you may want to pack some food and snacks to keep your energy fueled.

Two dogs in colorful collars sitting in a tall field of grass.

2. Tick Prevention

Hiking trails usually have grassy and wooded areas where ticks live. Be sure your dog is up to date on tick prevention.

Madeline holding a dog first aid kit standing by the trunk of a car

3. Carry a First Aid Kit

Accidents can happen while out on the trail. Pack and carry a first aid kit—you can make your own or buy one.

Madeline sitting by a lake with a black lab looking back at the camera

4. Rest Often & Offer Water

Take plenty of breaks and offer water to avoid overheating or heatstroke.

A brown and white dog laying on a truck bed while a man checks its neck.

5. Tailgate Check

When you’re finished with your hike, give your dog a tailgate check to look for any cuts, injuries, debris, ticks, etc. before you load up and head home.

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