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7 Tips for Hiking with a Small Dog

Hiking with a small dog is so different from hiking alone. Here are 7 tips to make sure you and your dog have a good hiking trip together.

By Cody | @Cody

Updated on Aug 05, 2019

Hiking with a small dog can be fun and also very good for you and your dog’s fitness. It is totally different when you take your small dog with you for hiking compared to hiking on your own. There are 7 tips for you to make sure you and your dog have a good day.

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Hiking with your own dog is like having a special bonding between you two. As you go outdoors, you will probably find out that your little dog enjoys nature and the hiking trails as much as you do. If it is a solo hiking, you will feel safer with your dog because your dog will notice every single weird thing that is going on. With these benefits, it is really worth paying extra attention to your small dog. 

>> Firstly learn how to prepare a hiking with your dog.

Be Aware of Weariness

Sometimes, it is hard to tell when your dog is tired because dogs often want to please you by discarding their own discomforts. Therefore, it is important to pay attention and choose easy trails according to your dog's fitness levels. You may run a few tests to see whether your dog are willing to hike longer or shorter distances.

As you know, dogs can be very curious so they want to stop to sniff around. You can't force your dog to walk further than he or she is willing to go voluntarily. You have to allow your dog to do the dogs' thing, so he or she can enjoy the hike as well. If you are not prepared to stop, you should not take your dog for hiking.

Bring Enough Water and Food

Water is the most essential hydrating you and your dog need for hiking because you never know if you can find water along the way. When your dog gets too hot, you can also pour the water over them to cool him or her down.

>> Also learn how to make a water filter in the wild.

As you go, you and your dog may need a little extra energy, so bring some snacks and treats with you. Your dog’s legs are shorter, it takes more effort to keep up with you. It's nice to reward your small dog with some great treat.

Bring a First Aid Kit

It is always recommended to have a first aid kit at home. When you decide to go outside, It is more important to bring a first-aid kit for you and your pup because you never know if there is a pharmacy around the corner.

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In the wilderness, the great outdoors, many things can happen. If you see your dog lick at her pads, your dog’s pads may get injured. If that happens, you should provide first aid immediately and carry him or her the rest of the way.

Bring a backpack

Since your dog is small, you may have to carry your dog stuff and you need to bring your own stuff, so you should bring a backpack. If your dog is strong and has more energy, you can put a dog backpack on him or her, but you still can't add all of the weight in your dog’s backpack.

You can allow your dog to carry ten to thirty percent of his or her body weight. If your dog is a really muscular dog, you can add more weight to the dog backpack gradually, but the maximum weight is 30 percent of the body.

Walking on a Leash

Another thing you should prepare is walking on a leash and pulling on the leash. Your small dog is most likely not suitable for walking on a loose leash because most dogs, if not all, will simply walk behind or next to you with a loose leash.

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Sometimes, you need to pull your dog. Most dogs don’t know how to walk on a leash properly so you have to be prepared to tolerate some kind of pulling. It is recommended to start training earlier before the hike. If you have trouble walking on a leash and ready to let your dog run freely without the leash, you should equip him or her with a GPS tracker when your dog doesn’t have perfect recall.

Equip Your Dog with a GPS Tracker

If you ready to let your dog walk free, you have to keep a close eye on him or her because you don’t want to lose your precious dog. As you know, dogs are curious in the outdoors and wander around, so it is necessary to have a GPS tracker to always know your dog’s location wherever your dog goes.


Some hiking trails do not have cellular service, so you want a GPS tracker that does not rely on cell coverage. With that in mind, GoFindMe is a perfect option for your dog. It is small and waterproof, so your dog can take it anywhere.

You can expect the up to 8KM communication range without internet coverage. You can monitor your dog on your smartphone with the GoFindMe app, which is available on Android and iOS. Besides, you can set a Geofence and get notified when your dog leaving the safe zone. 

GoFindMe GPS Tracker Real-Time Tracking for Outdoors and Families
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Choose the Best Hike Trails for Your Small Dog

When you decide the hiking trails for your dog, it is not enough to only check whether or not dogs are allowed on the trail because dogs allowed trails may not be a dog-friendly, especially for small dogs.

You should pick a trail with less elevation or a clearer path. Dogs love shady trails without too many rocks because rocks may cut your dog’s pad. Ideally, you should also consider trails that don’t allow horses, bikes for safety. 

At first, it may seem too much work to you for liking with a small dog. Believe me, you and your dog will get better at it. If you keep all these tips in mind, you shall have a wonderful hike filled with joy, and then you will know it is all worth it.

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