It’s getting to be that time of year again: Hiking season! For those of us with dogs there’s no better opportunity to wear out your energetic ball of fur than to hit the trails in New England. However, before you step out into the wilderness, there are a few things you’ll need to do in order to get your dog ready for the trail.

  1. Schedule a vet visit. First things first, you’ll want to make sure to take your dog to the vet at least a month before hitting the trail. They will need to be up to date on all their vaccinations and you can even opt for allergy testing to determine if your dog is allergic to any types of trees or pollen. You can also request a flea and tick collar from your vet if the area you’re hiking in is prone to these types of insects.
  2. Read up on trail rules. Not all trails are created equal when it comes to allowing dogs to accompany their humans. If you plan on hiking in a national park, you will most likely not be allowed to bring your dog. However, state forests and parks are more lax and will allow dogs on a leash at all times.
  3. Brush up on obedience training. If your dog tends to get overwhelmed in a public setting, it’s probably a good idea to opt for training classes. At Canine College, our dog training facility provides group training classes or private training classes depending on your pup’s needs. We recommend exposing your dog to other dogs and humans in a group training setting in order to get them prepared for the sensory overload once on the trail.
  4. Leave no trace. Just as people practice a Leave No Trace mantra on the trail, dogs also need to abide by this rule. Be sure to come prepared with plastic bags with which to carry your dog’s waste in; you can dispose of this once you leave the trail or find the nearest trash bin. If you don’t have a plastic bag and you’re able to bury your dog’s waste, make sure it is buried within an 6-8 inch hole and covered completely.
  5. Start training. One of the major aspects of prepping for a hike is getting back into shape. Just as you would ease yourself into your training, you should also ease your dog into a training regimen. Start slowly with shorter walks and less of an incline, then work your way up to longer walks with steeper grades and varying terrain.

If you’re planning on taking your dog camping, hiking or backpacking this season, enroll for dog training classes so your dog can be well-behaved on the trail! Contact Canine College today to determine which course is best for you and your dog.

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