Hiking With a Dog in Houston
Hiking with man’s best friend is one of the great pleasures of the outdoors. While most parks require dogs be on a 6 ft. leash, you and your dog can still enjoy the time together. Make sure you hike on a shady trail with a soft surface (leaf or needle-covered) and stay away from hot surfaces, trails with sharp rocks, and steep drops.
Try to hike on trails that are meant exclusively for hiking and not for hiking, biking, and riding. Horses and bikes can be dangerous for the dog, as well as, for the cyclist and rider.
If you plan on hiking for more than an hour, bring plenty of water for both you and your dog; and let your dog carry his own water. Dog packs can be purchased to hold Fido’s water, snacks and even a few items you may not want to carry. Make sure the pack fits snugly but does not chafe. There should be two fingers room under the pack and be sure to load both sides equally. Totally load should not exceed one-third of the dog’s weight. A 35 lb. dog should carry a pack with no more than 10-12 pounds weight.
If your dog has not hiked before or is not on a regular walking program, then start them slowly. Take them on a series of shorter hikes and then build up to longer and longer hikes as they get in shape. Check their paws to make sure they are not getting chaffed too much. As you take your dog out, their paws will toughen and they will be able to take longer hikes.
Besides water, bring along dog snacks and a few first-aid items such as bandages, tweezers, and antiseptic. The only other items to bring are a collar (with full identification information and shot history) and a leash.