Small dogs can hike and hold their own just as much as the big dogs and we are here to give you some tips for hiking with your little buddy!
When deciding to take your small dog on the trails there are a few things you need to be aware of when hiking with them.
Watch for weariness. Since their legs are shorter it takes more effort for them to keep up a faster pace. It's often up to the owners to stop them when they go past their limits and to set the pace of the hike.
Pick a trail that has less elevation and clearer paths.
Stop for cool off breaks. Smaller dogs are closer to the ground and thus pick up heat radiating off the ground, especially during summer months. They are also moving those little legs faster than larger dogs, which can cause them to hit their over-heating point sooner.
Training for Hikes
You always want to build up any dog's endurance, but especially the little guys. This includes training to navigate over, under, around, and through obstacles on a hiking trial.
Some small dogs may lack the confidence or coordination to hike on rough trails and encouraging them to tackle obstacles that are within their physical abilities will save time and energy on the hike. It will also build up your dog's confidence while exploring.
Make sure you have the right hiking gear for your dog. Having some kind of supportive harness with a handle is very beneficial and allows you to help them get over bigger obstacles that they can't do on their own.
Fun teamwork like this can help maintain energy on the way up and prevent joint injuries on the way down and long term in your dog.
Little dogs are just as energetic (If not more!) as big dogs, so don't be afraid to take them out on the trails and enjoy the outdoors beyond a small walk! We hope these few tips give you the confidence and inspiration to adventure with you little guys!