Hiking With Dogs: The 10 Essentials


Hi, my name is Sally Manikian. I’m the Backcountry Resource Manager for the Appalachian Mountain Club. I am also an avid dog lover and dog musher.
There are 10 key items that I regularly bring with me into the woods when I’m hiking with dogs. One item is a leash I like my leashes not more than 6 feet in length.
One modification that I make to all of my leashes is that I add a strong, sturdy carabiner. This makes it easy to snap my
onto my pack when I need to be hands-free while the dog is on the leash.
An additional item is another section of rope. What this is handy for is if you do need to anchor the dog around a tree or tie it off to an eyebolt on a platform while you’re camping, if the first leash fails you have a backup. Another item that may seem obvious is a
collar with your dog’s rabies tag, you dog license, as well as another tag that has the dog’s name and your phone number on it. Those identifying tags will be very important
should you and your dog be separated during your hike. The dog’s collar should be tight enough
that the dog can’t slip out of it. Another item that I rely on is dog brush or comb. The general approach to brushing any dog is a firm but gentle
stroke from front to back, while holding onto the dog’s collar or head.
If you encounter any burrs or knot, remove them gently. Don’t try to pull them or snag them. A small pair of scissors may become handy when removing those tougher parts. Just like you, your dog is always at risk of
dehydration. It is a good idea to carry about a quart of
water for your dog over the course of a day hike.
I always carry a water dish with me. My preferred kind of water dish is
a Tupperware container. It’s lightweight, I usually have a bunch of them
around the house, and also with the lid on you can have the dog’s food inside and it’s all in one spot and you know where everything is.
Going out during the day I usually don’t bring a lot of dog food, maybe just a few treats in my pocket. When I’m going overnight I usually bring slightly
more than what I would normally feed them due to the increased amount of activity.
When you are camping
overnight, be aware that your dog is out of their routine and out of their element, so they may not want to eat when you offer them food. That’s totally normal. Just try feeding them a few hours later when they may have calmed down and settled into their surroundings. There are two reasons why I booty a dog’s feet. The first is because of injury to the dog’s pad, the dog’s toe, or the dog’s toenail. The other is because of conditions: new snow, heavy rocks, ice. There are certain conditions that really require covering your dog’s feet. It make sense to have multiple little
bags rather than one big bag for when your dog does their business, because they will do their business. And always have them ready and at-hand and easily accessible. Many of the items in your personal first aid
kit can transfer to a first aid kit for dogs. The items that can
transfer and be used on dogs include povidone iodine, it includes a lot of first-aid oinments, and adhesive tape, gauze—the same stuff can be used in case of a dog injury. Footcare is of utmost importance, keeping their toenails short. Always check your dog’s toenails before
and after a hike to make sure that their feet are OK. An additional lotion is Desitin, which is high in zinc which is good for their feet and also
repels water so it’s good in snow and prevents snowballs. Those are the key I carry with me into the woods when I’m hiking with a dog. For more information on hiking with dogs, visit AMC’s website outdoors.org.

63 thoughts on “Hiking With Dogs: The 10 Essentials

  1. i neglect to put lotion on my own feet…lucky dog.

    i heard chocolate was poisonous for dogs. my golden ate my x;s five pound box of german chocolate. my x almost kill my farting dog.

    walking my dog by the shoreline she scarfed down seagull skeleton before i could reach her then washed it down with seawater. that's when i stopped buying her the expensive food. oh yeah…cat poopsicles in winter…her favorite. yum…

  2. I was also curious about the zinc as it's a poison if ingested, even to humans.

    I also don't restrict my dogs water intake unless advised by a vet or heart condition. I let her drink all she wants as they know if their thirsty or not.

    I also take glow sticks for night time and use an orange vest, so no hunter mistaken her as predator or wolf.

    I always remember dogs count on their human counter part to watch out for them.

  3. I use chest harnesses/w a hand grab instead of just collars for the leash.  it allows me to pick up my dogs, hold onto them, lower them through steep inclines and assist them in steep climbs without putting stress on their little airways. I make leg loops and attach them to the harness. this way they can't back away from me to get out of the harness. one has a bigger neck than his head and the other has lots of hair…slippery little shits:)  I acclimated them to harness packs and they love them.  it makes them feel like they are really helping the "pack". they walk a tad prouder in them:)

  4. dog booties???  for real?  Humans love to humanize everything we interact with….IT"S A DOG NOT A TODDLER . dogs have roamed the earth since the dawn of time …w/ out little nylon booties and, they've made out out fine . i have had weimeriners and mastiffs as well as an 90 LB mixed breed lab/ pitbull never saw a need for silly stuff like this …their feet are naturally designed for walking in the woods

  5. Tiago : maybe you can open your mind and take care of their dogs and care your children if you have one…more than 17,000 humans think that "maybe" is important to do..

  6. Nice tips. Good comment tips also. I have a Shepherd but, would still use booties on his feet for longer hikes and coconut oil(conditioning and natural antibacterial properties)-on pads…or cuts too. If he licks it off, he gets a cleaner mouth, shinier coat and better joint mobility. It may not be as waterproof as destine; however, it's an edible oil with many benefits if ingested.

  7. When hiking with a dog, bring a pair of tweezers!

    For example, on the hiking trails here in the San Francisco bay area, there are lots of foxtail weeds (Hordeum murinum). The spikes or spikelets produced in summer time by these weeds resemble the tail of a fox and they are a health hazard for dogs. Foxtails can become irreversibly lodged in a dogs nostrils and paw pads. On a wilderness trail, may miles from my parked car, my dog sniffed a foxtail up his nose and the little pup was in great pain. Fortunately I had a pair of tweezers in my backpack and was able to carefully remove the foxtail. If you know about foxtails, you know that the barbs permit it to move only in one direction, they are difficult to pull out.

  8. Good video. Thanks for taking the effort.  I have one question for those that do take dogs on longer hikes.  What is the best food to take? I normally feed my dogs a mix of dry and canned foods at home. My largest dog is a very active Walker hound mix. We live in a rural area, so he can come and go as he pleases.  I have a hard time keeping weight on him as it is.  He's been on a few day hikes, but I want to make sure I don't tax him on longer hikes, food wise.

  9. This is a nice video.  Please check out my original song.  It's called He Wasn't Just A Dog.  Thanks for listening.

  10. I don't agree with having your dog's name on his tag. It just gives dog stealers and others more help in controlling the animal if they know his name. All you need is your name, address and phone #.

  11. Can't think of any terrain except exceptional sharp scree or glass or chemicals. Dogs need their nails when they trek and particularly on snow and ice.

  12. So I'm familiar with the leave no trace rule, but do you have to pick up after your dog when out-doors? I mean its practically their old home.

  13. Good Video, However i don't agree with everything that was said: 1. Leash – if I'm in the woods why would i want to have my dog on a leash? Yes follow the rules at state parks but if its allowed then i would never use a leash, its their natural home after all. 2. A brush – I don't worry about her cosmetics while hiking, Just wait until after your hike when your probably going to give her a bath anyway. 3. Booties – If your in the woods then your dogs pads should be able to handle anything it walked on, We humans shouldn't even be wearing shoes on our feet, especially in the woods (Grounding). 4. Bags for poop – It is 100% natural for an animal (yes that includes dogs) to poop in the woods, in fact its even good for the earth, so why pick it up and put it in plastic bags that don't biodegrade but when they do break down release toxic chemicals, think about it. 5. Lotion – as stated before this can wait until after the hike if you so choose. Still good video and of course these are just my own experiences and thoughts. Love one another 🙂

  14. I've gone through all the comments, nobody commented on the Nalgene water bottle, weren't those frowned on due to plasticizers leaking into the water?

  15. She missed the 3 most important.

    1 – treat dog with flea/tick killer.
    2 – carry a flea comb
    3 – tick remover

    After a day of hiking in the north east, there are usually several ticks on a dog.
    Always brush and check for ticks before letting them on the sleeping bag.

  16. Are dog booties really necessary? And lotion? Dogs are made to be outdoors in the woods. I just think it's an over exaggeration to do all these things when they are naturally made to be in the wilderness. I don't see why humans have to go and stick their noses in places that don't need fixing

  17. The first dog is too thin… I hope you just adopted him from a shelter or from the street and he didn't have enough time to gain weight. Otherwise, feed that dog more/higher quality, ffs.

  18. Ahhh all the comments about how dogs are "born predators" and should be in their "natural element" give me anxiety. Obviously the dogs we have domesticated are not like wolves and have softer pads and less defenses than a wild dog. These comments make me feel like they don't even know not to walk their dog on asphalt or concrete when it's 90° out. And (surprise surprise) dog feet, just like humans, need to be conditioned a lot and build up calluses to not need booties. They can still get burnt from hot sidewalks, get cracks from their calluses and get glass in their paw etc. the only difference is they won't show it as much so you have to be constantly on the look out for their paws. ?

  19. Is there a particular type/brand of bootie you would recommend? Mine broke a nail on our last hike.

  20. is it okay taking a dog on elevation hikes ? I'm gonna go hike mt massive with my brother and dog. being it a 14ers is it okay to take her ?

  21. Great channel! Haven't done too many in the states. I have brought my dog on a few hikes. Gave you a SUB! Here's some great Hikes and Scrambles I have done from Canada including Lake Louise, Banff, Canmore and area. Cheers! https://www.youtube.com/c/HarlanFox–Scrambles

  22. Really you need to have your dog micro chipped in case they losectheir collar writing your number on the inside of the dogs collar is a waste of time because the last thing we do in shelters after putting a dog to sleep is remove the collar and of corse the phone number is beside the point by then so a micro chip with the number of someone who will be home while you are away and who is authorised to agree to vet treatment if it’s needed injured straysare generally put to sleep but if you know their is a owner somewhere a vet may treat the dog on the off chance a owner will turn up

  23. I don't think trimming toenails and picking up dog poop when hiking in the woods is a top 10 essential. Brushing and grooming can also wait till we get home. Day-trippers need basic first aid, a compass.

  24. Don't call dogs "it" Ahhhhh a toaster, an iron, a light switch is an "it" but other than that thanks for the tips!? bless u!

  25. Please forgive me if this question seems silly, because I'm not a dog owner. But why would it be necessary to bring a poop bag when you're already in the wilderness? Why can't the dog just "go in the woods?"

  26. Lol wtf kinda hiker r u 90% of this info was way overboard or just flat out unnecessary. Feed ur dog poor thing looks anorexic

  27. what would you consider the best time to hike the AT with a Bernese Mountain Dog, and what sections would you recommend? He is 2.5 year old and is my service dog. We would like to do a LASH in the fall of 2019. Any suggestions from the community would be welcomed. We are considering anything below Harpers Ferry perhaps GSMP & the Shenandoahs. I want to keep him cool and we want to stay around lots of water sources. He is 130# so we will need to be able to easily resupply his food with. Again he is my.mobility service dog so he is my 1st priority. We wont be trying to thru hike, just want to hike a long section or however long we can. It all depends all his comfort.

  28. That poor dog looks like skin and bones! Not sure what breed it is but if you can actually see the rib cage, isn't it a little malnourished? aside from that, it seems well-mannered and seems to truly care for it's mistress.

  29. Why would you pick up the poop? Wild animals poop in the woods and its biodegradable. Do you carry out your own waste also?

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