Does your dog always have to be doing something? If so, then you probably have an active dog. When not sleeping or lying down in their cozy dog bed, your beloved pooch is running, sniffing, jumping, playing, and exploring. Some dog breeds are super active and need a lot of time and space to burn off their excess energy. Other dogs simply have active personalities and, like humans, don’t know how to sit still.
If this sounds like your dog, then you are probably always looking for new and fun ways to spent quality time with your fur baby while also giving them ways to let off some steam. Active dogs can also be a handful, so making sure that they have ample opportunity to stretch their legs and run is important for their well-being and yours too!
One of the best ways to spend quality time with your pooch while letting them run wild and burn energy is to take them hiking. Dogs love hiking just as much as their humans. Being able to run, sniff, and explore is a sure way to let them stretch their legs and come home tired and ready to relax. There are a few things to think about when planning to take your active dog on a hike. First, be sure that dogs are allowed. Some parks and land do not allow dogs. Second, take note of leash rules. If your dog has to stay on a leash the whole time, chances are he won’t be burning off all that energy. Third, be sure it’s safe for your pooch. Some parks and public lands are rife with animals that might hurt or attack your dog, so be clear on what you’re getting yourself into before you hit the trail. Fourth, bring along poop bags. Most places require you to clean up after your dog, so bring some just in case. And last, check the temperatures. If your dog gets cold or you'll be hiking in cooler weather, then perhaps plan to bring along a dog coat for your pup just in case. Just like with human hiking, planning is always best for a successful and safe hiking adventure.
Active dogs are bound to be running a lot when you take them hiking. Like for humans, it’s important that your dog stays hydrated the whole time while out hiking. Dogs don’t sweat. Instead, they rely on other mechanisms for keeping cool, like panting. Making sure your dog has ample water is important for keeping him hydrated and cool all hike long. Bring along a portable doggy bowl in your backpack just in case, but also plan to hike somewhere where there is water on the way. Hiking near some body of water, whether a lake, river, or stream, is a great way for your dog to find water and also jump in for a quick swim to cool down. You'll just want to check to make sure the water is safe for your dog to drink and play around in first. Also, check that the water isn’t in a conservation area. That way, your dog can enjoy splashing around without disturbing any wildlife or ecosystems.
Nothing will wear you and your pup out like a good uphill climb. Take your active dog on a challenging hike on uneven terrain and uphill trails. For an active dog who has a lot of energy to burn, keeping them engaged and challenged with a tricky trail can be a great way to bond and also let them burn off some of that energy. When choosing a tough trail, just be sure that it is safe for you and your dog and doesn’t have many cliffs or uneven spots that could be dangerous. If you are passing over steep areas, then put your pooch on the leash. They will still be getting a good workout just from climbing up the mountain. Like for any challenging or advanced hike, be sure you bring the right gear and safety equipment to ensure you and your active dog have a fun and safe adventure together.
If your dog loves to run wild, then be sure to give them plenty of space and opportunity to do so. Unless your dog is well trained and is familiar with the area, letting them run free on hiking trails in wooded spaces can make them more prone to getting lost or you not being able to see them. For an active dog who loves to run ahead, choose trails that have some openness and views so you can see your dog and they can see you too. When hiking on flatter and more open land, opt for longer trails so that you and your pup get the amount of activity you need.
Hiking in the snow is challenging but fun — especially for a dog that loves the snow. Take your super active dog hiking on some snowy trails to really get them moving and exploring. If the snow is deep, wear snowshoes over your women’s snow boots to make moving through the snow a little easier. You'll just want to make sure that the weather isn’t too cold for them and their paws. If they need it, bring along a dog jacket or snow booties to keep them warm as they play in the snow.
Hiking with your dog is a wonderful way to get active and bond with your best four-legged friend. Plus, if you happen to have an active dog, hiking provides them with the opportunity to stretch their legs and get the exercise they need to stay happy and healthy.