Preventative Care@3x

10 Tips for Hiking With Your Dog

Oct 18, 2021 | Dog, Pet Safety

Dog With Backpack On Mountain Summit

It’s Almost Time! Learn How to Hike With Your Dog Safely.

Hiking with your dog on Arizona trails is not permitted just yet, but that time of the year is right around the corner, so we want to make sure you’re absolutely prepared! That’s why we’re bringing you tips and tricks on how to hike with your dog safely, what to bring along, and sharing some of the state’s best places to go hiking with your dog

How to Hike With Your Dog 

In 2016, the City of Phoenix implemented a ban that forbids residents from hiking with pets on Phoenix trails in any temperatures that exceed 100 degrees. The penalties for violating this rule include a Class 1 misdemeanor and are punishable with a fine of up to $2,500 and six months in jail. 

As temperatures begin to decline and we head into the winter months, we understand pet parents are eager to get their pooches back out and active. However, it’s important to remember that although you’re ready, the weather doesn’t move quite as fast! What feels like 90 degrees in the air can still feel scalding hot on the feet. So, as long as the air temps remain questionable, we ask that you continue the 7-second rule: touch the ground with a flat hand; if you’re unable to keep your hand down for 7 seconds, it’s still too hot. 

Some other tips for safely hiking with your dog include:

  1. Bring lots of water for both you and your pet
  2. Go as early or late as possible as temperatures are still declining
  3. Cut your routine in half as it may still be warm and your pet has been out of practice
  4. Be aware of overheating in short-nosed or excessively hairy breeds on trails
  5. Be cognizant of wildlife and consider rattlesnake avoidance training as snakes are most active between 70-85 degree temperatures
  6. Cool down occasionally by gradually putting cool (not cold) water in your pups armpits or on the pads of their feet
  7. Ensure your pet is up to date on all vaccines and preventative medicines
  8. Yield to other hikers, bikers, or horses
  9. Consider protective booties to save your pet’s paws from cuts, bites, or burns
  10. Bring sunscreen! Shorthaired pets can get sunburns, too!

Safely taking your dog hiking for the first time since summer hit also means ensuring you’re prepared for any weather conditions and bringing along some necessary supplies, such as:

  • Poop bags
  • Collapsible water bowl/water
  • Light snack
  • ID tag/microchip
  • Canine first aid kit
  • Reflective gear (jacket, collar, leash) or small light

Best Places to Go Hiking With Your Dog

When we get out of the hot summer months, Arizona is home to some of the best places to go hiking with your dog. Whether you’re looking to stay in town or hit the road for a short drive up north, we’ve got it. 

Check out some of these top dog-friendly hiking trails Pawfect shared:

  1. Phoenix Mountain Preserve
  2. McDowell Mountain Regional Park
  3. McDowell Sonoran Preserve
  4. South Mountain Preserve
  5. Thunderbird Conservation Park
  6. White Tank Mountain Regional Park
  7. Dreamy Draw & Echo Canyon Recreation Area
  8. Cave Creek Regional Park
  9. Papago Park

Additionally, apps like AllTrails allow you to search for trails according to your area and filter for things like dog-friendly status and difficulty level. 

For questions regarding hiking with your dog and your pet’s safety or to schedule a check-up before hitting the trails, contact any one of our 21 AZPetVet locations today!

Disclaimer: Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.