Planning a Hike with Your Dog

Fall is a wonderful time in Atlanta and an even better time to get outdoors as the weather starts to cool down a bit from the sweltering summer heat.  Planning a short or even longer hike with your dog can be a fun activity and help you both get in some exercise. 

If you are planning on going hiking and taking your dog with you, keep in mind that the hike has to be just as safe for your dog as it does for you.

Dog Essentials

Packing the essentials for your furry friend is an important part of planning for your hike. Before you embark on your journey make sure you have the following items handy:

  • Water/Water Dish
  • Pet First Aid Kit & App
  • Short Leash
  • Poop Bags

Fresh and Clean Drinking Water

One thing you have to be careful about when hiking with your dog is the water they drink. This is why it is important that you bring clean water and a bowl for them to drink it out of. The last thing you want is for your dog to drink contaminated water.  It’s supposed to be a fun time out, not one to worry about a sick pup.

You’ve probably heard about blue-green algae that can be found in some lakes, streams and ponds across the US.  It is toxic to dogs and cats and even a few gulps or a short swim can be fatal for your pet.  Find out more about how to look out for this harmful blue-green algae from the Pet Poison Helpline and the CDC.

Never let your pet drink from any source where the water might not be clean. Keep them hydrated and safe by packing their own water.

beautiful husky dog in fall weather in atlanta

Pet First Aid Kit

When it comes time to put together a pet first aid kit, there is a lot of information online for you to gather up the essentials. Go ahead and get together a kit and have it in your car for your hikes and other outings. Did you know that the Red Cross has a Pet First Aid App? It’s a great idea to go ahead and install it and get familiar with it before you head out.

Training Your Dog For A Hike

Before you even embark on your hike, make sure your dog is physically trained for it. The best way to do this is by regularly taking them on walks, starting out with short fifteen-minute walks and then progressing up to one hour. This will help strengthen their paw pads so that when you go hiking they won’t be as tender.

When walking your dog, start with easy walks and work your way up to higher elevations and different terrains. Be sure to encourage your dog throughout the training process by offering positive reinforcement.  Yes, treats work well for this, just not too many!


It is possible that when hiking with your dog you might encounter dangerous wildlife and/or toxic plants. This is why you’ll want to have your dog on a short leash so that you have full control over them at all times. 

Check with your veterinarian and ensure that your dog has all the proper vaccinations completed before your hike begins. Keep in mind that they may be exposed to outdoor diseases and parasites. Some of the most common include fleas and ticks, so you should also check with your veterinarian and take steps to make sure your dog has everything they need for a safe and happy hike.

Although you are out in nature, be considerate of others hiking and pick up after your pooch.  Having extra poop bags on your hike is an essential. You want everyone to enjoy the beautiful trails in Kennesaw.

You and your dog will surely have lots of fun, but if they get a little extra dirty from rolling in the leaves and dirt and you need to schedule a grooming appointment, give us a call!

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