How to plan for a summer hike with your dog

Before going on a hike with your pup, you need to plan ahead. In this article, the team at Chico gives you some tips that should help ensure that both you and your four-legged friend have an enjoyable experience in the great outdoors.

Find out which hiking spots accept dogs and familiarize yourself with their rules

Make sure you have all the information you need about the spots you plan to visit. Since May 17, 2019, dogs are allowed in Quebec’s national parks (Sépaq), but only under certain conditions (for example, they have to be kept on a leash and have to be well-behaved). Dogs are also generally allowed in federal parks (Parks Canada), but there are strict rules that you need to abide by. For instance, you can’t allow your pet to chase after wild animals, even if it’s just for fun.

Before choosing your hike, assess your dog’s physical health

Hiking isn’t for every dog. Does your pet have good stamina? Do they like long walks? If your dog is small, overweight, arthritic, very old or very young, then hiking may be too much of a strain. It won’t be fun for them, nor will it be fun for you. You might have to carry your pet, take frequent breaks or cut your hike short. Choose a hike that’s suited to your dog’s physical capabilities, not just your own.

Take along all the proper gear and supplies

Before you and your dog head into the great outdoors, make sure you’re well stocked. You need to have appropriate shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, water, snacks and a first-aid kit. And your dog needs to be just as well provided for. Some essentials include a leash, harness, tick control products, fresh water and food. Take more than your pet’s regular ration and feed them more often than usual, with smaller quantities.

Note that while water from some streams and other natural sources is safe to drink, you should always bring your own. That way, there’s no risk of your dog getting sick. During your hike, let your dog drink every 15 to 30 minutes. Use a foldable bowl or a bottle designed specifically for dogs.

To stock up on quality pet products for your hike, stop by to see us at Chico, your neighbourhood pet shop!