How Much Water Should I Bring For My Dog Hiking?

Dogs need water while hiking, especially in hot weather. How much water you bring depends on where you go, what you do, and how long you hike. You can either carry bottled water with you or give your dog filtered water.

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services marked with an *. The main purpose of this article is to provide you with hiking and safety tips. We will only provide links to truly great products we think our visitors would appreciate learning more about.


CLEAN WATER SOURCES

 

Don’t let your dog drink from a stream unless you treat it properly. Like humans, dogs are susceptible to water contaminants. Drinking salty water may lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

You’ll have to check with the area for known, reliable sources of water. If you are not sure about reliable water sources, bring your own water to be on the safe side. It also helps to store drinking water in your car for after your hike or for emergencies.


HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD YOU BRING?

 

As a general rule for a moderate 2 hour hike, plan to bring 32 oz. of water (16 oz per hour) for yourself and more for your dog. Considering that a dog needs about an ounce of water per pound weight per 2 hours, a 30 pound dog would need about the same amount as you. It never hurts to bring more water than you need, especially in hot or dry weather. Offer water to your dog frequently and let him take small sips

Every person and dog will differ in water needs. Use our guideline as a baseline, but it’s important to get a good estimate on how much you and your dog really need by going on a series of short hikes. Record how much water you and your dog consume every hour and under what conditions. By the time you go on a long hike or backpacking trip, you’ll have a good estimate for how much water you really need for you and your dog.

Be sure to read our articles regarding our top picks for water filters and water bottles that are suitable to use with your dog. Most will even fit in your dog’s backpack and can be shared with you. Or, you can always buy your dog his own filter or bottle!


HEALTH TIPS

 

We are not veterinarians or food nutritionists. We do provide some general tips that may apply universally, but every human and dog has different nutritional needs. Please consult your doctor and vet for information that pertains specifically to you and your dog.

Remember that dogs may actually ingest water if they are playing in water. Make sure play time is kept at about 15-30 minutes. Your dog may actually ingest a lot of water if they retrieve balls or sticks in the water. One way to reduce the amount of water your dog ingests during play is to toss him a flat toy instead a round toy which forces your dog to open their mouth more.

If your dog likes to play with the water hose, don’t spray water directly in your dog’s mouth. This can force your dog to guzzle up too much water.

Dehydration

It’s easy to tell if you are thirsty, but if your dog is not drinking enough water consistently on hikes, it could lead to diseases and serious health problems down the road. If your dog is sick or has a fever, he may also refuse to drink.

Signs of dehydration in dogs:

  • Pale, Dry Gums
  • Excessive Panting
  • Lethargy
  • Sunken Eyes
  • Loose Neck Skin That Doesn’t Retract Quickly After You Pinch It

 

Talk to your vet right away if your dog is dehydrated. You could wrap your dog up in a wet towel on your way to the vet. Consult your vet about giving your dog more water, as this could actually make him vomit.

Humans exhibit similar signs of dehydration as dogs. But a great indicator is dizziness, dry mouth, and sweating. You’ll also have darker urine if you are not drinking enough water.

Severe dehydration will result in low blood pressure, fever, delirium, and even loss of consciousness.

Water Intoxication

While you are out on the trail, don’t gulp down too much water all at once or this could lead to water intoxication, or when there’s too much water in the body and salt levels in your blood get dangerously and sometimes fatally low. One sure way to avoid water intoxication is to take small sips frequently instead of ingesting a lot of water all at once. Remember water play, as we mentioned above, can also make your dog ingest more water.

Signs for water intoxication for dogs:

  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Dilated Pupils or Glazed Eyes
  • Pale Gums
  • Drooling
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Seizing
  • Loss of Consciousness

 

If your dog has lost consciousness or is seizing call your vet immediately!

For humans, a sign of water intoxication is headaches, confusion, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. If you are experiencing leg cramping and have been sweating a lot, try adding salt in your water or eat something salty.

Marathon runners often carry salt packets with them. You could also take sports drinks, gels, or gummies that have electrolytes.

If you like gummy bears try Clif Shot Blocks*! They come in many different flavors and are compact enough to take with you on a run or outdoors. They also don’t taste grainy or sticky like other energy supplements. Each cube gives you a little boost of energy!

 

If you need to learn more about water intoxication in humans, Dr. Axe has a great article where you can learn more. One important tip they mention is that the risk of water intoxication increase is someone drinks more than  1.5 liters of water (over 50 ounces of water) in an hour.

Don’t give salt or electrolytes to your dog, without consulting your vet! Dogs don’t sweat out salt like us humans, but cool themselves off instead by panting and drinking water.


GETTING YOUR DOG TO DRINK MORE WATER

 

Water is important for everyone. If your dog is not drinking enough water on a consistent basis, check with your vet to rule out any diseases or maladies with your dog. These can be serious if not addressed.

Some tips to get your dog to drink more water:

    • Give your dog a reason to drink! Do some exercise and play with your dog.
    • Give your dog water every 15 minutes. Perhaps your constant nagging will remind him to drink!
    • Add chicken, beef, or bone broth to your dog’s water.
    • Always change out your dog’s water so it’s fresh and clean of bacteria or debris. Don’t forget to wash your dog bowl and get rid of any leftover residue and minerals.
    • Train your dog to drink water. You can say “drink” or “water” and give him treats and/or praise every time he takes a sip.
    • Sometimes dogs will try to drink less water if they can’t go outside to do their business. Take them out more to pee.
    • Elevate your bowl. This is a better option for large dogs so they don’t have to stoop down to drink.
    • Try changing dog bowls. Sometimes dogs just don’t like the container they are drinking from. We don’t have an exact answer to this. But it might work! Some dogs are just pickier than others.
  • Buy a water fountain. Your dog may just to drink from a running water source.

A great choice is the Dogit Design Fresh & Clear Pet Fountain*. It’s on sale now at Amazon as of May 2018!

Don’t forget to buy extra filters* that go with it, currently an Add-On item at 45% off. This is a really great deal so we couldn’t help but share! Better take advantage of it now!

 

Leave a comment if there are any other important tips for our dogs! Did you or your dog ever have water intoxication or dehydration? Can you share your story with us? Leave a comment!


Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


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Activities: Grooming, Health, Shopping, Hiking, Great Outdoors, Walking, Running, Biking, Outdoor Play

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Angeles National Forest

Spring 2018 Hiking Adventure Challenge

Hiking is an easy activity that can be done with minimal preparation. Most dogs simply love it and as soon as you get your gear out they know! So don’t leave your dog at home – get in the car already! Don’t forget water, poop bags, a leash, a first aid kit, and other appropriate gear. Do check that you are going to a dog-friendly area and read up on their regulations.

Pick a trail, pace, and distance that works for both you and your dog. Dogs love to sniff and explore so give your dog a chance to do this on the trail. Trails are shared and sometimes narrow so it’s best if your dog knows basic obedience and is well socialized with other dogs and humans (including runners and bikers).

A note on trail etiquette: Please let those without dogs go past first while your dog sits and waits on leash behind you. If you pass another dog, make sure that you stand between both dogs and pay attention to the body language from both dogs.  Above all, stay safe on the trails and have fun!

Take a photo or video of your dog on the trail. Where did you go? What specific trailhead? Any tips for other users or things you liked or disliked about the trail? How long did you hike? Are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced hiker?

THIS MONTHLY CHALLENGE ENDS JUNE 30, 2018.

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Hiking, Walking, Backpacking

Red Rock Canyon – Dog Friendly Outdoor Adventure Guide

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is located in the Mojave Desert. Many come here to hike, bike, camp, go rock climbing, or go off-roading within the park. Getting a nice workout in is all the better with a breathtaking view of red sandstone cliffs and serene, quiet beauty of the open air.

For those that want to get in the scenery from the car, there’s a 13-mile Scenic Drive with several overlook points and picnic areas.

Nearby is the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding Red Rock Canyon area where you can do some further adventuring and hiking with your dog! We cover trails here within the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.


See our full list of Dog Friendly Outdoor Adventure Guides made just for dog owners. We give you everything you need to plan your next adventure outing with your dog right at your fingertips. We also pick the best dog friendly trails for you!


WHEN TO GO

 

Fall and Spring is a great time to visit Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Otherwise, exercise caution when hiking with your dog in the summer or winter. You’ll want to avoid times with extreme heat or cold. The temperature in the desert can change very quickly. Summer temperatures can get well over 100 degrees – definitely too hot for your dog.

Daily entry into Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is by car. Busses and commercial vehicles must charge by car and by person. Annual or senior passes are per person. Most will pay a daily fee of $15 for their car. Other prices and camping fees are available from the Bureau of Land Management website. Prices have been revised as of Feburary 2018.

When you first get to Red Rock Canyon, we suggest you stop by the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center for paper maps and information on current conditions of roads and trails. Take note of the weather as there are flash floods in the area.

Dogs may not enter buildings but are allowed on leash anywhere in the park. Dogs must be attended by a person at all times. Read further for some important tips on desert safety. Don’t forget to pick up after your dog!


WHAT TO BRING

 

Bring a paper map with you with information on trails and the surrounding area. The Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas website has a great guide for visitors that includes a map and brief information about all 19 trails in the area.

You will want to bring a lot of water with, especially when temperatures are warm. The park actually recommends 1 gallon per person for a day long hike, with 1 more gallon waiting back for them in the car. Considering a 6 hour day, that’s about 128 ounces of water or about 21 ounces of water per hour. We usually recommend drinking 16 ounces per hour for a moderate hike. Your dog should drink about 1/2 an once of water per pound per hour. A 50 pound dog would need about 25 ounces of water per hour (perhaps more by park estimates). Actual results will vary, so it’s important to get a rough approximation for what works for you and your dog. It’s always a good idea to drink water before your hike to help stay hydrated.

Don’t forget to wear protective gear to protect yourself from the sun and to apply sunscreen. A cooling vest or banana will help your dog stay cool.

Too hot out? Consider driving on the 13 mile Scenic Drive of the area. It’s a one way loop around the area. Bring a picnic lunch and get out of the car to enjoy the scenery. Allow for about 45 minutes to drive, and more time if you want to stop. You’ll most likely travel along the Scenic Drive just to get to a trail. There are plenty of accessible parking lots and bathrooms around.


DOG-FRIENDLY HIKING TRAILS

 

There are 19 different hiking trails within Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area. Don’t forget to print or pick up a map at the visitor center.

If you want to find water along the trail, you’ll see the most just after winter. A few trails offer waterfalls and streams but these often dry up towards the summer months. The park does not recommend drinking or wading through natural water sources.

No need to go through all 19 trails. We picked the best dog friendly trails for you! Most trails in the area are about 2-5 miles.

Lost Creek – Children’s Discovery Trail
If you have kids with you, this out and back trail is perfect. It’s only 0.75 miles and features cultural sites, pictographs and other fun, shady places to explore. A section of the trail is on boardwalk, but the rest is not suitable for a stroller and is rocky or sandy. You can usually see a waterfall at the end of the trail during December – April months.

Moenkopi Trail
The Moenkopi Trail is an easy 2 mile trail loop starts just west of the visitor center where you will park your car. You’ll see sweeping views of Calico Hills, Spring Mountains, and La Madre Mountains. La Madre Mountains will be the highest peak you see in the area at 8,150 feet. Be sure to go when it’s not sunny since there is no shade.

Calico Tanks Trail
The Calico Tanks Trail is popular among tourists. It’s a moderate to strenuous 2.5 mile hike that starts at the Sandstone Quarry parking lot and ends with a natural tank and great views. Many make the mistake of passing the parking lot along the Scenic Drive. Watch your footing on this trail as some areas are slippery. Bring water as the trail gets very sunny and hot, but well worth it just to get to see all the beautiful rock formations around the area. You’ll feel like you really saw Red Rock Canyon with this trail. There are several rocks so if your dog isn’t great on rough terrain and scrambling over rocks, you may opt for a different trail.

Ice Box Canyon Trail
The Ice Box Canyon Trail is a 2.6 mile moderate trail that features several waterfalls and shady areas once you cross a bit of open desert to get there. You’ll see them during the months of December through April. It’s a fun place for your dog to explore and climb some large boulders. The trail isn’t well marked so pay attention to where you are at all times.

Keystone Thrust
Keystone Thrust is a popular geological spot in the park where the Pacific and North American continental plates collided 65 million years ago. You can access this popular 2.2 mile moderate trail via the White Rock parking lot.

White Rock / La Madre Spring Loop
Need a trail that’s a bit less crowded and that just goes in a loop? The White Rock / La Madre Spring Loop is a moderate 6 mile trail accessible from the Upper White Rock parking lot, Los Creek Trail parking lot, and Willow Spring Picnic Area. The White Rock Rail connects to the La Madre Spring Loop. This is a great place if you go trail running during winter months. Prepare to see an abundance of colors and one of the best westside views of the park. You’ll even see bighorn sheep in the area!

Looking or more water along the trail? Consider Pine Creek, Oak Creek Canyon, First Creek and Willow Springs Trails.


DESERT SAFETY

 

Most dogs are unfamiliar with desert creatures. They’ve never seen one, nor know quite how to react to something they’ve never seen before. Rattlesnakes and other dangerous animals and insects are in the area. Always have an eye on your dog and never let him per into small dark spaces. You’ll want to do the same, especially to avoid poisonous snakes and insects. If your dog is bitten by a poisonous snake or insect, keep your dog calm and the wound below the heart. Call a nearby vet immediately for more instructions.

Weather is another concern. Temperatures in the Mojave Desert get really cold in the winter or shade and well over 100 degrees in the summer. Summer hiking should be done in the early mornings. Bring water, a cooling vest or bandana for your dog, and perhaps an emergency shade tent.

There is risk of flash floods and summer lightning in the area, so make sure you check for closures or other information prior to heading out. If you are caught in the rain, be alert for flash floods, and move to higher ground if necessary. If there is lightening in the area, seek shelter immediately.

Last of all, there are hazards from desert flora. Don’t forget to bring tweezers if you need to pull out any cacti from your dog’s paws.


CAMPING

 

If you want to go camping, read our listing for Red Rock Canyon – Camping at Red Rock Canyon Campground.

Camping at Red Rock Campground is closed during summer months. Peak months are March and October. Reservations are available at Recreation.gov.

Backcountry camping is allowed with a permit by calling 702-515-5050. Sites must be set up above 5,000 feet and 200 feet away from water sources. Dogs are allowed but must be leashed.

If you are out camping, be sure to watch the sunrise and sunset at Red Rock Overlook and Highpoint Overlook!


BIKING

 

Road biking is allowed along State Route 159 and Scenic Drive. Mountain biking are only allowed in two areas: Cottonwood/Late Night Trailheads off State Route 160 and Mile Marker 12 on Kyle Canyon Road / State Route 157 (Twilight Zone Trails). Mountain biking is not allowed on hiking trails.

 

How was your trip? What trail or campground did you go to? Do you have any tips that you want to pass on to fellow dog owners? 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


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Related Pawtivities / Events: Red Rock Canyon Hiking, Red Rock Canyon Camping, Trail Running, Biking
Location: Las Vegas, NV | Nevada
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Camping, Backpacking, Biking, Running, Trail Running

Best Energy Bars For Dogs – Pawtivity Picks

We love learning about the latest doggy stuff out there because we all want the best for our furry friends! Each week we cover the fun, novel, essential, and new products for dogs in our Pawtivity Picks Series.

This week we looked for energy bars to take out on the trail with our dogs. Energy bars are a compact, portable, and slim source of food for your dog. They are much easier to carry around than kibble and bowl. No more crushed or wet kibble! An unopened bar package won’t get spoiled and wet if you are on a trail near water or doing water sports.

Products Covered: Energy Bars

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services marked with an *. The main purpose of this article is to provide you with hiking and safety tips. We will only provide links to truly great products we think our visitors would appreciate learning more about.


WHAT ARE ENERGY BARS FOR DOGS?

 

Energy bars for dogs are short-term energy boosters or meal replacement solutions designed specifically for active dogs. Bars are high in calories so it’s not something you want to give your dog if he’s not active. Bars are also idea for travel rather than the main source of your dog’s daily meal.

Ask your vet for their opinion on which energy bars are best for your dog and activity level. You should also ask them about any known allergies. We can’t recommend a best energy bar for your specific dog. It just depends on his activity level, health, nutritional needs, and calorie requirement.

With all food, give your dog a small sample to try first before heading outdoors. If your dog gets an upset stomach or other adverse reaction from the energy bar, at least you’ll know in advance and be able to consult further with your vet. Don’t forget to try different flavors to keep meal time more interesting for your dog!

Even the best food manufacturers announce food recalls. Always check the FDA’s list for recalls periodically to make sure you are not giving your dog something from the list. Another great source for dog food is Dog Food Advisor.


ENERGY BARS FOR DOGS

 

TurboPUP Complete K9 Meal Bar

TurboPUP Complete K9 Meal Bar* is a popular choice among hikers and backpackers. It’s a complete meal for your dog, meaning, you can give your dog one of these bars in place of his meal! Depending on how much your dog eats, it means not having to carry around kibble and a bowl! And dogs really do love the taste of these. They just do! Flavors come in bacon and peanut butter.

Each bar is 2.2 oz, 250 calories and made from US sourced, human grade, all-natural grain-free ingredients. Bars also come in multipacks for a total of 4.4 oz and 500 calories. Bars can be kept for up to 2 years or up to the ‘best by’ date on the package.

Food is suitable for sensitive stomachs and approved by a lot of picky eaters. Bars are scored and can be broken into pieces easily by hand or given throughout the day as a treat.

If you look at the Nutritional Analysis, bars contain 18% crude protein and 20% crude fat to help sustain energy. Top 5 ingredients are all natural: chickpea flour, whey protein isolate, oil blend (safflower, coconut) organic tapioca solids, and proprietary vitamin and mineral blend.

According to Embrace Pet Insurance, dogs need about 25-30 calories per pound to maintain their weight. For a 50 pound dog, this is roughly 1250 daily calories or 625 per meal twice a day. That means as a meal replacement you may need to give your dog a 4.4 oz package for each meal and perhaps top it off with something else, such as peanut butter. This is important to keep in mind as it’s a very rough estimate of how much food you have to bring for your dog.

WHY WE LOVE: We love this because dogs love this! We also love how this can be used as a ultra-light, compact meal for your dog, perfect for that backpacking and day hiking trip.

Take me to the TurboPUP Complete K9 Meal Bar*now.

 

Zuke’s Power Bones

Zuke’s Power Bones* are a favorite among day hikers. Zuke’s already carries a wide array of treats, that dogs simply love.

With real meat listed as the #1 ingredient and the fact that dog’s love the taste of these treats, getting these treats is a no-brainer. Power Bones comes in 4 flavors; Beef, Chicken, Chicken & Rice, and Peanut Butter.

Power Bones contains about 12% crude protein and 7% crude fat. The top 5 ingredients are meat, ground oats, ground barley, ground rice, and maple syrup. Other ingredients are all natural and include a combination of fruits, vegetables, spices, and preservatives. These treats come in chewy, bite sized chunks about an inch long.

WHY WE LOVE: Zuke’s Power Bones are the prefect little treat for a day hike. We love giving tiny doses of energy (and love) to our dogs while out on the trail.

Amazon currently has an add-on special* on the beef flavor for $5.44 as of May 2018. That’s a really good price. Better take advantage of the awesome deal!!

Take me to Zuke’s Power Bones* now.

 

Lakse Kronch Pemmikan Energy Bar

We look to hunters for advice on energy bars. The Lakse Kronch Pemmikan Energy Bar* is new to us, but a staple for many hunting, sporting, and guard dogs. It’s compact and packaged for ultimate portability at any outdoor event, show, or during intense training exercises.

This 400g bar can be broken up into 8 smaller pieces. According to the manufacturer, 100-200g (2-4 small pieces) is enough for a 55 pound dog! That’s a small dose of energy! It will take about 30 minutes to 1.5 hours for the energy bar to take effect.
 

 

The Lakse Kronch Pemmikan Energy Bar contains 25% crude protein and 59% crude fat. The top 5 ingredients are fish meal, lard, vegetable fat, grape sugar, and corn. Additional vitamins and minerals have been added to the bar.

A bonus in these treats is that these bars don’t freeze. You can use them in the winter without getting a hard block to give your dog! It’s also packaged so no need to package your own food.

This product is made by Henne Pet Food of Denmark and originally designed for dogsled teams.

WHY WE LOVE: This bar is one small, mighty compact dose of energy for your active dog!

As of May 2018, there is an extra 5% coupon*.

Take me to the Lakse Kronch Pemmikan Energy Bar* now.

 

Out Bar

The Out Bar is handcrafted in batches by The Great Outdogs. It’s a compact meal replacement for dogs that need a good boost of energy. The bar comes in three flavors; herring, lamb and turkey.

Each piece can be broken up into 4 smaller pieces. A 50 pound dog will need about 3.5 bars per day.

The Out Bar contains 23-28% crude protein and 16-23% crude fat. The top 5 ingredients are animal protein (herring, lamb / lamb liver, turkey / turkey liver), buckwheat flour, green lentils, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas. This may vary slightly based on flavor of the bar. Bars are grain-free, do not contain artificial preservatives, and have added vitamins and minerals. Ingredients are source from North America.

WHY WE LOVE: We love that this bar is handcrafted with quality ingredients.

Take me to the Out Bar now.

 

What energy bars do you get for your dog? For what activity?


Leave a comment if there are any other products you think are worth letting everyone know about! Please let us know why you like it, how you use the product, and how long you have been using it for.

 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


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Sign up TODAY!

Activities: Shopping, Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Great Outdoors, Running, Food, Biking, Sports – Water, Sports – Winter

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: The owner of Pawtivity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  

Kootenai National Forest, MT

The Kootenai National Forest sits in Montana and Idaho. Scenic views will leave your breathless as you hike near cliffs, giant cedars, and large fields. The most popular areas in Kootenai are Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, Ten Lakes Scenic Area known for its carved glacier basins, Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway, and Ross Creek Scenic Byway.

Dogs must be on leash or restrained in developed recreation areas. We recommend that dogs be well behaved and obey commands well as there are bears, wolves, and other wildlife that roam the area. Dogs are not allowed in swimming areas and on some beaches near water.

With over 1,400 miles of trails, there are a lot of options to consider! Some trails to consider: Ross Creek Cedar Area, Trout Creek National Recreation Trail at 19.8 miles, Kootenai Falls Trail, and Big Therriault Lake Loop Trail. In the summer only, head on to Little Spar Lake and take an 8 mile hike around the lake with your dog. Trails and maps can be found on the USDA website.

Mountain biking and road biking are allowed in the area. Check out mountain biking in the Libby area in the spring where there are over 132 different species of wildflowers. You’ll also want to head down the trails past Kootenai Falls. Check out the Sheldon Mountain bike course or Kootenai Trail.

There are several camping options in the area from standard campsites, to dispersed and RV camping. Most campsites are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Popular campgrounds to consider include Rexford Bench Campground, Loon Lake Campground, Big Therriault Lake Campground, or Timberland Campground. Spar Lake Campground has hiking, biking and a lake in the immediate area. Consider Yaak River Campground if you want to go road biking or be near the Kootenai River.

Large groups or families can consider McGillivray Campground. For cabins, go to Big Creek Baldy Lookout for a great view near Lake Koocanusa. Cabins and campgrounds are listed on the USDA website. Backpackers can refer to camping options here.

If you have a water dog or love fishing for salmon and trout, head over to the Lake Koocanusa area near Libby Dam. Large watercraft and sailing is allowed in the area. There are also campgrounds around the lake.

We hear there are morel mushrooms (non-toxic) in the area – but make sure your dog doesn’t eat a ton of them! Regular mushrooms are toxic to dogs. Some dogs love to hunt morel mushrooms, but you’ll need a permit to collect them.

For winter, go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing with your dog or consider cutting down your own christmas tree.


 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Libby, MT | Lincoln County | Montana
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Biking, Tracking, NoseWork, Fishing, Swimming, Camping, Winter-Sports, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Social, Running

William B. Umstead State Park, NC

William B. Umstead State Park (Raleigh, NC) is a huge 5,439-acre urban park with a creek and lake. Visitors go here to go hiking, biking, running, boating, and paddle boarding. It’s a great local weekend park for those that love to workout with their dogs.

Trails here are easy to moderate. Some trail favorites include 1) Reedy Creek Multiuse Trail – This trail is used by hikers, bikers and runners. 2) Sal’s Branch Trail – This trail is a 2.7 mile wilderness adventure. 3) Some others to check out: Company Mill Trail (rocky, more challenging 5.8 miles), Loblolly Trail (running), Graylyn Multiuse Trail (hikers, bikers, and horses) and Sycamore Trail (one of the longest at 7.2 miles). Dogs must be on leash.

If you are interested in camping, there are 2 primitive campgrounds that must be reserved in advance or by calling 877-722-6762.  camping is open from March 15 to December 15, available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are 3 large group campsites for youth groups and non-profits. Dogs are not allowed on boats, in buildings, or at group campsites.


 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Raleigh, NC | Wake County | North Carolina
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Paddle Boarding, Sports – Water, Running, Biking

Red Bud Island Peninsula, TX

Red Bud Island Peninsula is a 13 acre off-leash dog park on it’s own island! Take your dogs here from some walking and off leash play. Some say this is the best spot to take your dog!

Many use the island as a launch point for kayaking and canoeing. Parking at the park is very limited. Swimming is not allowed at the park.


 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Austin, TX | Travis County | Hill Country | Texas
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Sports – Water, Kayaking, Canoeing

Little Long Pond, Maine - Pawtivity

Little Long Pond, ME

Little Long Pond is private lands managed by the Rockefeller family, but shared with the public. Dogs can swim in the area off leash. The pond is a little wonderful oasis where you and your dog can unwind and spend an afternoon.

Parking area is one mile west of Seal Beach on Peabody Drive (Route 3). You can access the pond through Acadia National Park from the north. To the north you can also see Jordan Pond House.

There are several small hiking trails (0.5 – 2 miles) that go around the pond. On the west side of the pond is Harbor Brooke Trail and David and Neva’s Trail. The Friend’s trail goes from the carriage roads to the southern end of the lake. The Jordan Stream Trail goes to the Acadia National Park. Maps of Acadia National Park are located here.


 

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Location: Seal Harbor, ME | Hancock County | Maine
GPS Coordinates: 44.293426, -68.254536 Map 
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Swimming

How To Choose The Best Hiking Dog For You

So what makes a good trail dog? We broke these down into personality / traits, training, and physical / health requirements.

Choose the right hiking dog for you! Be sure to read our article The Top 24 Best Hiking Dogs next!

While there may be good traits for a hiking dog, it’s still important to socialize and train whatever dog you end up getting.

You also need to consider what kind of hiking you will be doing and what will be most suitable for your dog.
 

 

 


PERSONALITY / TRAITS

 

Short Hair – Bonus points go to short-haired dogs. Twigs and branches don’t get stuck in their fur so there is less maintenance involved on the trail. Short hair also dries faster and it’s much easier to spot ticks on your dog.

Agile – The more agile your dog is, the more likely he is able to navigate across rough or challenging terrain. Your dog will be able to bound more easily across large boulders or uneven terrain without fear. They may even take on jumping and climbing up small surfaces and be as nimble as a mountain goat.

Reliability Off Leash – Love the thought of having a dog off leash while on a hike off? First off, it’s important to follow area leash policies for dogs. They are up for a reason and there to protect the general population. Some dogs are more reliable off leash and will come back to you when called or have a natural disposition to go back to their owner. Others may have high prey drive, an independent streak, or prone to run away. Some may not be able to navigate their way back to you by sight and smell as well as others. If you do have your dog off leash, it’s always good practice to have your dog within your sight and hearing at all times. You must have command of your dog and excellent recall.

Working Dog – This isn’t the only criteria of a great hiking partner, but working dogs are always looking for something to do. They were bred to do a job and assist humans. Give your dog a backpack to carry! Most working dogs are highly intelligent and love the bond they have with their humans.

Endurance & Strength – In itself, hiking builds endurance and strength. Some dogs, however, are naturally very strong and bred to carry large loads or run long distances for a purpose. These dogs are great if you want to go on a longer hike, without the need to carry them back home or stop for breaks all the time. They can hold their own!

Barking – Barking can sometimes annoy bears, so it’s best to have a dog that you can train to stay quiet if needed. A dog that barks too much may also bother many people or frighten them. They may not be the best dog to take out on certain trails deep in the backcountry or trails that are too crowded.


TRAINING & TRAIL ETIQUETTE

 

No matter what type of breed of dog you have, you need to give him basic training to be trail ready. Skills such as sit, stay, come / touch, and leave it can go as far as saving you and your dog’s life. Recall is absolutely essential for an off leash dog.

You need to commit the time early on to teach and socialize your dog while they are young. You’ll only make it easier to go on more adventures later and negate aggressive or fearful tendencies. Smart dogs are generally easy to train, but it’s also important to get a dog that is eager to please and not too independent. Otherwise, more training may be required.

Good trail etiquette involved passing people on the right with your dog at your right side. If a horse or bike go by, or you are on a single-track trail, step to the side with your dog and have him sit until the other party passes by.

Not all dogs may be friendly, so don’t assume that another dog is. Always stay calm on the trail so your dog is calm. Dogs can pick up on your senses fast. Keep control of your dog at all times.

You should also carry poop bags or bring a trowel with you to clean up after your dog and dispose properly. Many trails follow a leave no trace policy.


PHYSICAL / HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

 

Please consult your vet prior to hiking with your dog. Dogs should be fully mature before their first real hike. Puppies need time to develop a mature, strong skeletal system before heading out.

Your dog should have current vaccinations, rabies, and licenses. Most dogs also take preventative medicine for fleas, ticks, and heartworm. Consult your vet if you need special vaccinations or your dog requires special care while on the trail.


MORE ARTICLES OF INTEREST

 

Need more information about hiking with your dog? We have a few articles that will get you started.

Top 24 Best Hiking Dogs

The Beginner’s Guide To Hiking

Winter Paw Care and Treatment For The Outdoor Dog

Tips For Hiking In The Rain: Staying Dry to Paw / Foot Care

Top 10 Safety Tips: Winter Hiking With Your Dog – Comprehensive Guide


Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


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Sign up TODAY!

 

Related Pawtivity / Event: Hiking
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Backpacking, Biking, Running

The Top 24 Best Hiking Dogs By Category

Are you considering getting a dog that can go hiking with you? We give you a rundown of the most active dogs that also make a good hiking buddies!

We grouped dogs into categories that should help you find the best type of hiking dog that matches your lifestyle and hiking preferences.

This guide should help you narrow down which hiking dog to get.

Have kids? Get a dog for active families. Do a lot of backcountry hiking? You’ll need a dog that is reliable off-leash and can adventure with you off the beaten path. Go on a lot of challenging, rough terrain, want a smaller companion, or live in a cold area? We have dog recommendations for you too.

Here is our list for the best hiking and trail dogs.

Choose a dog that matches your own hiking preferences. How long do you hike and at what level? In what weather and terrain conditions? With whom?


FOR ACTIVE FAMILIES

 

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers love to be with a family and are great with kids. They will be happiest walking with the family and in an area where they can play near the water. Golden retrievers have strong retrieval instincts, so bring along a toy for them to fetch on your outing. These dogs are obedient and have great agility. Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia when they get older which will severely limit how much they can hike.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs were bred as a farm dog in Switzerland. They are large and gentle dogs that need a lot of space to roam. As a mountain dog, they are comfortable on rough rocky terrain but hikes should be shorter. Otherwise, take frequent breaks as these dogs may not have high endurance. The Bernese Mountain Dog loves to be social and make friends so they are great in an area with a lot of families and smaller children. Lessen your load by giving them a pack to carry. They can carry a lot!

Brittany Spaniel

Brittany Spaniels are actually one of the smallest bred hunting dogs, so they are a great off-leash dog that love to work with humans. Socialized Brittany Spaniels are well mannered even with strangers, kids and other dogs. These dogs don’t need a commanding owner. Just guide them along and they’ll be eager to follow you wherever you go. Don’t confuse compliance with being mellow. Brittany Spaniels need exercise and are very athletic. Otherwise, they are prone to separation anxiety and hyperactivity. They can keep up with you and your active family easily, even on a run.

Dalmation

Dalmations have superb endurance. They used to protect horses that pulled stagecoaches, so they make great biking companions who can keep up with you for a long distance. You’ll need to take a Dalmation out pretty regularly, otherwise they will become destructive. This is probably not the dog for a first time owner as they need a firm hand. Dalmations can be stubborn without proper guidance and exercise. At the same time, these dogs can be very loving and playful to their family members.

Weimaraner

Weimaraners are another affectionate dog who is great for the active family. They are a great companion dog for short or long walks in any type of terrain. A short coat makes them easy to care for on the trail. It’s easy to train these dogs, but they do need an owner that can be committed to training them and giving them attention. They also need constant exercise. Otherwise, Weimaraners can become stubborn and disobedient.


ADD WATER PLEASE

 

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers love to swim in water. They make a great companion for any family with young kids that likes to camp and hike. They will be anyone’s best pal since. Labs are friendly towards anyone, even strangers, and other dogs. It’s no wonder that these dogs are consistently rated one of America’s most popular dogs. Labradors do need constant exercise, or will become overweight. Like golden retrievers, they are prone to hip dysplasia so that may limit how much hiking they can do in senior years.

Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog actually has webbed feet, so they make great swimmers that love to play in the water. They are tireless in any outdoor adventure and great off-leash on a long walk as they like to be near their owner. Portuguese Water Dogs need constant exercise or can become independent and strong-willed. Those with allergies should consider this dog as they are hypoallergenic with a curly to wavy coat.

Poodle

Poodles are extremely smart, obedient dogs that can do well off-leash on a long hike. They are highly trainable, loyal, and just love to play. Being sociable, poodles are highly tolerant with kids. Compared to the Portuguese Water Dog, Poodles are leggier, graceful and have tight, curly hair. Poodles do need constant companionship or attention, otherwise become prone to separation anxiety. They also bark a lot to demand attention, so perhaps not the best dog for standard campsites or in the backcountry.


SMALL AND COMPACT

 

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a small to medium sized dog that just loves to play, a perfect fit for an active owner with kids. Corgis are natural herders and bark a lot. You will do well on a long, flat trail as these dogs have short leg but can keep up with you. Corgis can hike a 5-6 miles with you without a problem, but will have to build up their endurance for day-long hikes.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are one of the most lively, high-strung dogs out there. Bred to hunt foxes, they are fast on a run and can tear it up on the trail. They are also jokesters and will always make you laugh. Jack Russells are highly trainable so they are good as a trick dog and will do well in sports such a flyball or agility. These dogs need constant activity and love to chew, bark, and chase so they need an owner who can keep up with that. These dogs are great for those that like to run or bike on the trail where they always need to keep up with you. Otherwise, they need to be on leash as they have high prey drive. Early socialization is key to reduce aggression towards other dogs.

Patterdale Terrier

Since Carmella is honorary pup of Pawtivity, we couldn’t help but not list the Patterdale Terrier! Patterdales are very active, smart, and strong willed dogs that are fiercely loyal and affectionate to their family. They love to smell and explore, so need an owner who loves the outdoors or has a large field to play in. Patterdales have high prey drive and were bred to hunt foxes, rabbits and rats. They are best kept hiking on leash. Unlike Jack Russells, Patterdales don’t bark much which make them a great companion camping or backcountry hiking. Early socialization and training is key as Patterdales can be intense and perceived as aggressive to other dogs.

Dachshund

Daschunds are a little dog with big personality. They have high stamina and can go a long distance despite their short, muscular legs. This loyal dog loves to play with his family and do everything with them. If something is amiss they will alert you with a loud bark. Watch out if your Daschund is off-leash as they love to sniff around. It’s part of their breed instincts for sniffing out badgers. Just make sure they are not poking their noses in the wrong place! Daschunds are prone to disk problems so it may not do so well on stairs or steep climbs.

Norwegian Lundehund

The Norwegian Lundehund was bred to hunt puffin eggs and live puffins on cliffs, so they are a small dog that is nimble and surefooted on their paws. Having six toes on each paw helps! Take this dog on a mountain hike and they will be at ease navigating rocky terrain. They will also love swimming in a mountain stream. You may want to keep them on leash while on a hike as these dogs are curious by nature and love to explore small passageways. Early socialization will help reduce shyness.

Source: Lundtola – Rosa – Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.


BACKCOUNTRY HIKERS

 

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are known for being service dogs to the police and military. They are highly trainable and excel at obedience. A trained German Shepherd would be a great dog to take with you for some off leash hiking or backpacking. They are also protective when needed and can navigate through rough terrain. You’ll find a loyal sidekick with this dog, but without adequate exercise and attention you’ll have one destructive pup instead.

Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is an extremely intelligent and easy to train dog. They are agile and make a great hiking partner for long hikes in tough terrain. You won’t ever find yourself having to carry or motivate an Australian Shepherd as these dogs are always ready to go. These dogs are devoted to their owner and you won’t have to worry about them straying too far. They will bark to alert you of any pending danger and protect their family. Bring a brush on your walk since debris is likely to get in their fur.

German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is known for having a great nose. They were trained to find and retrieve waterfowl. German Shorthaired Pointers are highly trainable and sure footed for rough terrain. They have a flat water-resistant coat that helps the regular temperature and repel dirt. Webbed feet make them great swimmers. Don’t worry about losing track of this dog. He will likely find you and hates being away from people. German Shorthaired Pointers can be reserved with strangers and will bark if they come across anyone or anything unfamiliar to them.


CAN HANDLE THE HEAT

 

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred to hunt lions in Africa, so they are naturally comfortable in hot temperatures and have high endurance to get through a lot. If you live in a hot area or a desert area, this dog will be comfortable adventuring by your side. Rhodesian Ridgebacks have very high prey drive, so probably not a dog to leave off-leash. They are affectionate with their family, but can be guarded with strangers. You’ll need to give them firm, consistent training and early socialization.

Vizsla

The Vizsla is known to be a fast dog that can run long distances. Their short, thin coat make them a great dog for hot weather. They never like to stray too far from their owner, so are a great off-leash companion as well. Vizslas are gentle and affectionate but always ready to go. Don’t get a Vizsla if you will be away a lot and can’t give them at least 2 hours of daily exercise. They are prone to separation anxiety and can become destructive.

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terrier family. Their coats are wiry. When temperatures rise, just strip down their coats. These dogs are smart, easy to train and outgoing. They are also playful which make them such a fun dog to have around on any adventure, especially with kids. The Airedale Terrier is an independent dog, so you’ll have to provide consistent training and playtime.


COLD WINTER TROOPERS

 

Siberian Husky

Known for dog sled racing, Siberian Huskies were made to run and hike in the snow. Their warm double coat protects them from the cold. Combined with endurance, power, and speed these dogs will challenge you in any winter outing. Siberian Huskies are very friendly dogs with a pack mentality so make sure you include them in family gatherings. These dogs are not the easiest to train, so not a great candidate for a first time dog owner. You’ll want to keep your dog on leash.

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute also has a double coat that protects them from the cold. They are much larger and stronger than a Siberian Husky, but have the same friendly demeanor. Good training is a must with this dog as they can be stubborn, independent and hard to control due to their size. If you live in a cold area, this dog will feel right at home.


THE ALL-AROUND HIKING BUDDY

 

Border Collie

There is little wonder why you see Border Collie excel in so many dog sports, including agility and disc dog. They are one of the most intelligent dog breeds which make them very trainable. They also follow directions well and have a good tireless and positive temperament. Border Collies don’t have high prey drive so this makes them better for off leash outdoor activities. These dogs are active, so owners need to be able to commit to giving them enough exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy.

Australian Cattle Dog

Another all-around adventurer is the Australian Cattle Dog, also known as the Queensland, Blue, or Red Heeler. These dogs are great for backpackers and 14er hikers as they can navigate through any terrain. They also are a loyal companions that will make you smile while on the trail. Being highly trainable, they are reliable off leash and will take direction from you easily.

Mixed Breed

You know your dog best. Mixed dogs often have the best traits from multiple breeds. Sometimes, shelter dogs become the most loyal and loving companion as they truly appreciate the bond they have with their owner.


Let us know what type of dog you end up choosing! What hiking adventures do you go on?

 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!

 

Related Pawtivity / Event: Hiking
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Backpacking, Biking, Running