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tips for hiking with your dog two dogs with kirchifs

 

One thing is for sure, living in Colorado provides ample opportunities to get out and enjoy the outdoors with our pets. We are lucky in Colorado Springs to have so many options for parks and trails just a few steps from our front doors!

Whether it’s a relaxing walk through one of our wonderful open spaces or venturing a bit further for a hike in the woods, taking our four-legged companions can make the experience all the more enjoyable. Having a plan and being conscious of a few important points can help to ensure the experience is fun for everyone. Here are a few of our tips for hiking with your dog in Colorado Springs. 

 

1. Timing

 

If the goal is to get away and enjoy a bit of solitude, timing is important. Weekdays are usually less crowded, although not all of us have the luxury of getting out during the week. We all know the saying, “the early bird gets the worm.” If the weekends are the only option, the earlier the better.  Not only may mornings have less trail traffic, but during the summer, mornings are a great way to get out before the temperature rises! In addition, there is also an increased risk at higher altitudes in Colorado for violent thunderstorms after noon in the summer. In either circumstance, the further from the access point, the more the crowds start to thin out.

 

2. Be Prepared

 

It’s always a good idea to bring both snacks and water for you and your pooch! Finding a nice scenic spot to enjoy the view while enjoying a snack and some hydration is always a relaxing part of the hike!  There are all types of different collapsible water bowls for our pups to use. As you plan and embark on an adventure with your dog it is always important to pay attention to the physical limitations of both yourself and your furry friend. Are they a senior dog who can only handle a leisurely stroll on the trail? Or a highly energetic dog that could climb a 14er with you? We are advocates for our dog’s wellbeing, therefore, keeping in mind the terrain and exposure are important when planning any adventure. And lastly—poop bags—do not forget the poop bags! Pick it up and pack it out!  

 

3. Know the Rules and Follow Them

 

Most trails, open spaces, and other public land access have rules regarding pets, specifically, leash rules.  We all love letting our pets run and play, and if time off the leash is the goal then specifically search out those areas. It’s important to keep in mind that others are also out to enjoy themselves and some may not appreciate having loose dogs run up on them or their pets.  We are all out to enjoy ourselves.  

From personal experience, I had a dog who loved being outside but didn’t always enjoy interaction with other people or animals. She was honestly one of the absolute best and interesting dogs. However, I always had to be thoughtful of where I took her and when I could let her off-leash.  I knew crowded areas were not the best option, so I chose my hikes wisely when we went out together. I also had to take a proactive approach with others on the trail so they know she did not like to be handled or pet by strangers and could be leash aggressive. Nose to nose contact with other pups on leash was totally off-limits. It sounds less than ideal but honestly, we had a lot of great hikes together because we were mindful of other humans and dogs. 

 

Be Safe and Have Fun! 

 

At Animal Dental Care and Oral Surgery, many of the jaw fractures, luxated teeth and oral trauma we treat are the result of dog attacks. Dogs on leash and in unfamiliar environments can display different behavior or even act uncharacteristically aggressive compared to their normal selves. It is something to think about as we introduce our pets to other dogs on the trail.

We live in a great place with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors!  If you follow these tips for hiking with your dog and plan accordingly you’ll be able to stay safe and explore this wonderful place we live. 

 

Photo by Yuki Dog on Unsplash (10/20/2020)

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