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Hiking with your dog: the safe and fun way

Hiking with your dog is a great way to get a good workout for yourself (and your dog). Here are some tips to ensure that both of you enjoy the experience to the max.

In my last blog post, on the 2-memorial walk in the Sonian Forest, I mentioned the need for dog-owners to keep their dogs on a lead. This is not only the sensible and legal thing to do in the forest, but it avoids your dog disturbing sensitive wildlife such as deer.

It also prevents nasty accidents with cyclists. The Sonian Forest in particular has a number of great cycling trails, and the last thing a cyclist wants to experience is a stray dog running in front of them and causing a sudden swerve, or even worse, a crash. It won’t do your dog any good either.

Hiking safely with your dog
Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

Coincidentally, Arun from Riders Trail recently sent me a great infographic on this subject. You may recall that I’ve featured a couple of his useful infographics on Discovering Belgium in the past: 23 ways hiking makes you healthier, and fire safety while hiking.

Arun’s latest one is all about hiking safely with your dog. It contains a wealth of useful tips on subjects such as:

Hiking with your dog: tips

  • Why hike with dogs?
  • Is your dog suitable for hiking?
  • How to train your dog to hike
  • Choose dog-friendly locations to hike
  • How to prepare your dog for hiking
  • Bag carrying
  • River crossing
  • Trail etiquette for dogs and owners
  • Tips for dealing with dog poop
  • Taking or finding water and food
  • The most common dangers and threats to dogs while hiking
How to hike safely with your dog

I hope you find these tips useful. If you have other suggestions, just add them in the comments below.

For more detailed explanations of the points covered in this infographic, go to Arun’s specific post at Riderstrail, on hiking safely with dogs.

Click to pin on your Pinterest boards

13 thoughts on “Hiking with your dog: the safe and fun way”

  1. In places with dangerous wildlife (bears, wolves, etc.) it may be best to leave dogs at home, or at least pay attention to posted warnings about such animals in parks and make sure the dog is on a leash.

    1. Good comment Audrey, especially when you live in areas frequented by bears and wolves etc, which currently excludes Belgium, although one wolf has been sited here in the last couple of years. 🐺

  2. Great information in a fun format. I have to say though that there are many advantages to walking the dog off leash – for the dog and its owner – as long as he/she listens well, is friendly with other people and dogs, doesn’t disturb wildlife, and when it’s not a crowded trail. It’s better exercise for the dog, safer for dog and owner in rougher terrain, and more enjoyable for the entire hiking party. 🙂

  3. My family had a Labrador when I was growing up, a wonderful, friendly guy, who loved to swim – – but it was almost impossible to stop him drinking pond water, no matter how muddy or full of algae. I don’t think he ever drank anything that was actually toxic, but sometimes it definitely didn’t agree with him. On hot days, on hikes that weren’t near a stream, we’d bring a big water bottle & bowl for him, but he’d still insist on sampling whatever puddle he came across.

    1. Obviously keen on the local brew, Robert. We had a lovely Labrador too. Lovely apart from one unpleasant and antisocial trait: silently farting while sleeping in front of the fire or TV! You’d suddenly be hit by this disgusting smell. Embarrassing when a great aunt or the vicar were visiting! 😫😝😵

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