June 09, 2022 4 min read

In part one, we talked about essentials to pack and optional items, now we're going to get into the really important info when it comes to adventures with the pups!

Safety Tips

VJ Shoes Dog Hiking Safety tips

Some other important tips for hiking with your dog are to know your dog and their capabilities. If you have never hiked with your dog before, start small and work up your difficulty. Like humans, dogs need to be conditioned.

Some dogs will be more natural than others, but they still need to work their way up in difficulty.

You never want to put your dog’s health at risk by pushing them too hard too fast. Another essential tip for hiking with your dog, specifically in the summer, is to do research on and know the signs of heat stroke in dogs.

Dogs can die from heat stroke in a matter of 15-30 minutes if not addressed. That is why I want to make sure you are aware of the signs.

Signs of Overheating/Heat Stroke:

  • Body temperature over 103°F
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Excessive drooling
  • Agitation
  • Deep red or purple gums and tongue
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle cramping
  • Seizures
  • Weakness
  • Dazed and disoriented
  • Balance loss
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

VJ Shoes 6 signs of heat stroke in dogs

What to Do if Signs of Heat Stroke:

  • Move dog to a cool area ASAP
  • Apply cool (but not ice cold) water to the dog
    • Specifically the neck, head, chest, groin, and paws
    • If have rubbing alcohol in first aid kit, apply to dogs paws
  • Put on cooling vest if you have one for them
  • Give SMALL amounts of water
  • Contact Vet or Emergency help ASAP if not cooling down

So when it comes to summer time, try to hike with your dog either very early in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler.

Also try picking hikes that are more shaded and/or have flowing water along the trails. If temperatures are too hot for that day, skip the hike and have a nice pool day at home!

Have fun!

The most important part of hiking with your dog(s) is to make sure it is a fun experience! Be prepared but don’t be stressed. The chances of a dog getting injured are pretty slim and as long as you have taken precautions there is no need to worry!

Enjoy the outdoors, see the pretty views, and make some core memories together. Your dogs will love it just as much as you do!

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Some of my favorite hikes in the Northeast:

  1. Mt. Greylock in Adams, MA
    We do this one every Labor Day. There are multiple hikes but for a challenge take Bellows Pipe Trail to Thunderbolt (steep uphill) to Appalachian to top. The top has a nice tower you can go in (dogs cannot), a huge open area to picnic, and a café. Bring a blanket to enjoy the views before heading back down. On way down take same route except follow Bellows Pipe Trail all the way down (easier to go down than Thunderbolt). About 6-7 miles total. I have worn my XTRM and Ultras for this hike but any VJ style would work. 

mount-greylock

  1. Franconia Ridge Trail in White Mountains of New Hampshire
    Definitely an advanced hike and should be prepared for. Dog should be in good shape and able to take on some rock scrambles and possibly all elements. When we hiked it was nice at bottom but sleeting at the top. If pick a good weather day will have gorgeous views of the White Mountains (go end of Sept-early Oct for amazing foliage). Was around 8 miles and very technical so do research and planning. The White Mountains in general is a beautiful area with a lot of hiking. Just plan ahead as some parks/areas do not allow dogs. I wore my VJ Xero for this hike due to the weather conditions of that day.

VJ Shoes Franconia Ridge Trail

  1. Killington Death March (Vermont)
    The Spartan in me loves this “Beast of the East”. Most people do not realize you can hike the area during the year. There are a lot of different hikes you can do but we like to ruck up the death march and then hike around the peak. There is also access to the VT Long Trail. Nearby is also the Green Mountains where my pups and I plan to explore more this year. I have worn multiple VJ styles hiking (or racing) Killington!

VJ Shoes Killington Death March 

  1. Bear Mountain – Salisbury, CT
    This is actually the highest peak in CT! It is right on the borderline of CT and MA though and you can actually do longer hikes that hit Mt. Frissel whose peak is in MA and other areas nearby like Lion’s Head and more. Just the basic Bear Mountain hike is a challenge in itself though. There is an out and back option and a loop option but both are about a 6 mile hike with a lot of elevation. This one is known for its “false summit” where you keep thinking you are at the top but still have more to go. Once you do finally reach the top though, you will be reward with breathtaking views! This is a fun hike to do in the fall when the weather is cooler and foliage is in its peak! I wear my VJ Xero or iRocks on this one but any VJ would be fine!

VJ Shoes Bear Mountain

Hikes Near You:

A great way to find dog-friendly hikes near you is to use the AllTrails app. It gives length, difficulty, GPS/Maps, has reviews from other hikers, and lets you know if dogs are allowed. It is my go to hiking app!

In Conclusion:

Go grab your favorite pair of VJ shoes, get your dog (or get yourself a dog), and get hiking!

Hope to see you out there!

-Lisa Wawrzynowski

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Resources:

https://www.vets-now.com/summer/dog-panting-and-restless-heat-stroke-signs/

https://www.vets-now.com/summer/when-is-it-too-hot-to-walk-a-dog/

https://www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com/dog-heat-stroke.html

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/heatstroke-in-dogs/