Researchers at Michigan State University found that dog owners are 34% more likely to fit in 150 minutes of walking per week than non-dog owners. The study also found that owning a dog promotes health and fitness and can increase your leisure-time physical activity by 69%. Including your dog in your daily physical activities is not only a great way to get a workout, but it’s also a great way to include your pup in the activities as well. Whether you've got a high-energy dog that needs to burn off some steam in the great outdoors, or you simply want to include your furry friend in an activity you love to do, hiking is a great way for the whole family to get fresh air while bonding and creating lasting memories.
Locate a dog-friendly outdoor adventure spot
If you're staying close to home, you probably already know where the best pet-friendly trails and parks are. However, if you're planning an adventure that's further than a hop and a skip away, then you'll likely want to plan ahead to ensure they'll be able to stay with you and take full advantage of the trip. If the trip will require an overnight stay that's not out in the woods, you'll do best by searching for the best pet-friendly hotels across the country. Then, when you've got your accommodation all sorted, try searching for the best outdoor adventures nearby that Fido can enjoy too. Places like San Diego, Austin, and Asheville are known not only for their stunning, interactive outdoor experiences and local hikes but for their pet-friendly environments and places to visit.
What to pack on a hiking trip with your pet
Enjoying the great outdoors with a dog is essentially no different than hiking with humans, but you'll want to ensure your dog is physically fit enough to handle the trail and adventure you're about to embark on. You'll also need to bring along extra food and water, as well as a dog towel that can clean off any excess water or mud from your pup's paws. If it's hot outside, a cooling collar is a great option to prevent any overheating. If it's cold, try a sweater or dog coat. From products spanning the apparel, gear, food and energy, skin care, and emergency categories, be sure to stock up on everything you need for your next hiking adventure with your dog for both your safety and theirs.
Enjoy the experience
Don't overestimate your dog's capabilities, even if they regularly accompany you on walks. Go at a pace that is suitable for everybody to ensure that you and your dog are enjoying the adventure. Allow for breaks to enjoy a snack, some water and maybe even a few photos to remember the experience. Let your dog play and explore to burn energy and you'll be heading home with one tired but very pleased pup.