A dog wearing a harness vest, with his tongue out, while on a hike.

Tips for dog friendly hikes

Team Walmart Pets

May 28, 2021


min read

With spring and summer upon us (sunscreen, anyone?) many pet parents are yearning to hit the trail from some dog-friendly hikes. While hiking is a great way to exercise and explore the great outdoors with our pets, it’s important to keep an eye out for potential dangers while walking your dog along the trail. 

Be on the lookout 

Venomous critters

Snakes and scorpions can be a real concern when out hiking in certain parts of the country, especially if you’re doing an off-leash dog hike. Be sure to keep your pet close to you, whether you have them on-leash or not. Always be aware of the natural habitat’s hazards, and pay special attention to the possible hazards in your immediate vicinity.

If you suspect that your pet has been bitten or stung, the best course of action is to get veterinary attention immediately. Do not tourniquet the limb or try to suck out the poison — prompt medical attention has to be your #1 priority.

Foxtails, spines, and thorns

Some dogs seem to have a special skill at finding cacti or foxtails, which is why it’s important to pack a basic first-aid kit. If this happens on your hike, remove any offending objects as best you can, clean the area with an antiseptic (e.g. a “weak tea”-appearing solution of iodine/betadine and water) and apply an antibiotic ointment. If you can’t remove something easily, see your veterinarian.

Sharp stones and rocks

If you’re hiking through rocky terrain, it’s common to find cut paws and pads after your pet has been scrambling around. To avoid infection, clean any wounds with an antiseptic, apply an antibiotic and patch them up with some gauze wrapped by some bandages. Deep cuts may not stop bleeding after this simple treatment and may need to be stitched or bandaged by your vet.

Dog-friendly hiking

When done safely, hiking with your dog is a great way to exercise, relieve boredom and stress, as well as experience the great outdoors together. Follow the tips we shared and you’ll be backpacking with your best friend for many years to come.

Pet Safety

Pet Health


Photo by Wade Austin Ellis on Unsplash