Proper Trail Etiquette
Hiking with your dog can be a great way to bond and get exercise, but it's essential to follow proper trail etiquette to ensure the safety of your pooch, other hikers, and the environment. The Golden Rule of hiking etiquette is to have common sense and courtesy. Here are some tips for practicing good trail etiquette:
Keep Your Dog on a Leash
Most trails require canines to be on a leash, and for good reason. A leashed dog is easier to control and less likely to chase after wildlife or other hikers. Be sure to use a sturdy leash and keep it short enough to maintain control of Sadie. If your dog is under voice command that means she will come back to you immediately when called and not bark at other dogs, wildlife, or people.
Consider a Backpack
A brightly colored, reflective pack for your dog will lighten your load and make her more visible. Even better, she can carry some of her own supplies (water, treats, & poopy bags).
Clean Up After Your Dog
Always bring bags to pick up your dog's waste and dispose of it properly in a trash bin or carry it out with you. Leaving waste on the trail is not only unsightly, but it can also spread disease and pollute the environment.
Yield to Other Hikers
When encountering other hikers on the trail, yield to them and move to the side with Sadie to let them pass. This is especially important when encountering horses, as dogs can spook them and cause a dangerous situation.
Don't let your dog chase after wildlife; this can disrupt their natural behavior and cause stress or injury. Keep your pooch on a leash and give our outdoor friends plenty of space.
Stay on Designated Trails
Stay on designated trails to avoid harming the environment and disturbing wildlife. Avoid cutting switchbacks or creating new paths, as this can cause erosion and damage the trail system.
Bring plenty of water and snacks for both you and Sadie, and be prepared for changes in weather or trail conditions. Carry a first-aid kit and know basic pet first aid in case of an emergency.
Hiking with your dog can be a fun and rewarding experience; these tips will help you with proper trail etiquette to ensure the safety of your dog, other hikers, and the environment.