Want to take your four-legged friend hiking? Before you start your adventure, you should think about a few things, especially with regard to your dog’s fitness and the required equipment.
Dogs make great hiking companions, every healthy dog should be able to join you on a hike – provided that the route is chosen according to the dog's fitness and physical capabilities. If you are planning a longer route, it may make sense to have the dog checked by a veterinarian in advance.
In addition, you should train your dog for the upcoming challenge and strengthen the dog's stamina gradually.
When planning, you should choose your route very carefully and research the area. Especially in alpine terrain you may suddenly find yourself in front of an iron ladder or vertical rock face and struggle to take your dog any further.
Although your dog may be a strong runner and skillful on narrow paths, you should take extra care in introducing more challenging terrain with which the dog is unfamiliar. It is best to approach more challenging terrain gradually and pay attention to how the dog behaves on unfamiliar terrain types during shorter hikes first.
It may sound a little extreme, but dog paws can be very sensitive and dog shoes are an important piece of equipment – especially if routes lead through snow and ice as well as on rough, sharp terrain.
Leash and harness
When hiking in alpine terrain, a dog harness is recommended. Collars are dangerous because there is a risk of strangulation if the dog should slip or fall. Even whilst hiking on flat terrain, a leash can easily get tangled, and the dog can get hurt trying to free itself.
Using a long leash is not recommended on demanding hikes. In forests or steep terrain, it is better to keep your dog as close as possible.
If your dog is injured during a hike, a first aid kit provides some basic medical care. You should always carry this in your backpack, in case of an emergency. It should contain at least gauze bandages, scissors, sterile saline solution and tick tweezers.
Food and water
It is also important that the dog has a good supply of food and water. It is essential to take along an adequate amount of water to avoid dehydration as well as some supplementary food.
To make it easier for the dog to eat and drink during the hike, foldable water and food bowls are a great, practical choice!
Protective clothing can be life-saving for dogs. In extreme weather conditions, protection from wind, rain and snow is a must.
Good to know
You can use the filter in our Route Finder to display dog-friendly routes. To do so, open the filter and scroll down to the 'Special features' section, here you can select 'Dog-friendly' to add the filter to your search.
If you have planned a dog-friendly route yourself, you can mark it as being dog-friendly. To do so, select 'Edit' on your Route or Plan and under 'Details' → 'Classifications' you can check 'Dog-friendly'.