A Guide to Hiking in the Redwoods With Your Dog

Planning a trip with your pet requires adequate preparation to ensure a fun experience. Most dogs love being outdoors, so you need to be well prepared. If you plan to hike with your dog, ensure you and your pet are safe. Choose the right location and pack everything you need for the hike. With proper planning, you can enjoy nature with your pet.


Protection From Pests and Diseases

Before your hike, ensure your pet is protected and up-to-date on vaccinations. Spending time outdoors can leave your dog vulnerable to pests like fleas and ticks. Make sure you use parasite preventatives to keep your dog safe.

Before you explore dog-friendly public trails, ensure your dog receives vaccinations for various diseases. Essential vaccinations include rabies, distemper, parvovirus, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis.


Packing Pet Essentials 

Pack hiking essentials for your dog, including enough food and water. Prepare for any emergency. Some vital items you need include identification tags or a microchip, a leash, a harness, and a rope.

Most hiking trails require a leash, even for well-behaved dogs. You also need collapsible bowls and travel mats. When hiking, carry a first-aid kit with bandages, sunscreen, and essential medicines. Dog boots will protect your dog’s paws during the summer.


Avoid Tall Grasses and Brushes

When hiking along the trails, avoid areas with tall grass and brushes. Parasites such as ticks thrive in areas with tall brushes. Keep your dog away from flowers or plants that could be poisonous.

Common harmful plants include rhododendrons, buttercups, Angelica trees, chrysanthemums, garlic, coffee trees, and skunk cabbage. Check your dog for ticks immediately after your hike. Use a tick removal tool or tweezers to remove ticks and clean the area carefully.


Think About Your Dog’s Health

Consider your pet’s overall health when planning your hiking trip. You need to ensure your pet is in good health before the trip. Schedule a visit to the vet at Animal Hospital of Soquel for an exam and to find out the best way to ensure your pet is happy and healthy.

Consider your pet’s health before attempting difficult trails. Stay away from substances that may trigger allergies. If your dog has existing health conditions, such as arthritis or heart disease, a hike might not be the best idea.


Adhere to Hiking Guidelines

Every pet-friendly park or hiking trail has set rules and guidelines. Ensure you follow the rules, which include keeping your dog on a leash. Be mindful of other pets
and leave plenty of space for other hikers to use the trail.

Ensure you bag your dog’s waste and dispose of it in the designated areas. Avoid harming or harassing wildlife by approaching them or making sounds. Practice obedience and use treats to keep your dog focused and well-mannered.

Pay attention to the weather before you embark on your hike. Take note of the temperatures so you know how to pack. Avoid hiking during severe weather. Ensure you find shaded or cool areas for your dog to rest during warm days. Always read trailhead signage before hiking. Use your senses and ensure you are observant while on the trails. Remember, wildlife may be present on some trails.

For more on hiking in the redwoods with your dog, visit Animal Hospital of Soquel at our office in Santa Cruz, California. Call (831) 475-0432 to book an appointment today.