Happy Tails and Trails: Tips for Hiking with Your Dog

What could be better than getting to travel with your furry friend?

For your next getaway or long weekend you should consider exploring the outdoors and camping at a state park that allows dogs.

Arkansas mapMy first camping experience where I was able to bring my dog along was to Devil’s Den State Park in West Fork, Arkansas.

I packed up my car with camping necessities and drove the 4 hours from Kansas City to West Fork, AR for the unforgettable experience.

Devil’s Den State Park is an Arkansas icon known for its historic landmarks and spectacular views which you can take in from hiking trails, bike riding, canoeing and much more.

While there are many activities to pick from, I decided to hike a couple of the numerous trails offered throughout the park. The two I hiked during my stay there was the Yellow Rock Trail and the Devil’s Den Self-Guided Trail.

Courtney and dogThe Yellow Rock Trail and the Devil’s Den Self-Guided Trail both allow dogs as long as you keep them on a leash.

Keeping your dog on a leash while hiking not only respects the State Park’s rules but also serves as a safety precaution for your pet and other hikers along the trail.

One of my biggest tips for hiking with your dog is to ensure paw protection.

Dog in the waterDespite having a Labrador Retriever, a dog made for the outdoors, I have had quite a bit of trouble keeping up with his sensitive paws.

Rugged terrain and sharp rocks call for the potential of cut or worn down paw pads, which can end up being very costly.

I made sure to use a paw pad cream or spray before each hike to help maintain tough skin and moisture.

The paw cream works almost as a barrier between your dog’s paw pads and nature’s ground elements.

Here is a list of packing essentials for your pup on your next camping/hiking trip that I found helpful:

  • dog in the carLeash
  • Water/Food Bowl
  • Food and Water Bottles
  • Pet First-Aid Kit
  • Paw protection cream or spray
  • Cable tie out
  • Poop bags
  • Towel and/or blanket
  • Bone or Toy
  • Backpack (optional- your preference)
  • Harness (optional-your preference)

Post written by Courtney Gelhouse, Marketing Coordinator