Do you have a passion for hiking and spending time with your loyal dog?
Hiking with dogs is a popular way to spending time doing something you enjoy with your pet. It also can be beneficial to you and your dog’s health!
Research shows that spending time with your dog may help release hormones like serotonin and prolactin that make you feel good.
Hiking regularly helps to lower blood pressure and decrease your risk for heart disease, among other health benefits.
Why choose to do one or the other when you can do both at the same time!?
Let’s take a look at why you should go hiking with dogs!
Hiking with your dog is a great way for you and your pet to get exercise together.
Have you ever come home from a workout and been so worn out that you would rather sit on the couch than take a stroll through a park with your dog?
Chances are you may have felt this way once or twice, if not far more.
When you are working out with your dog, you are checking two things off of your “to-do” list at once!
But that’s not all. Hiking can burn you far more calories than walking!
Depending on where you live, those strolls through the park or down the street with your dog may include minimal elevation gain. That’s typically not the same with hiking.
Part of the challenge with hiking includes the elevation gain and the type of surface you are hiking on. Is it tightly packed soil or grass? Loosely packed sand?
According to Livestrong.com, “a 175-pound person who hikes for two hours can burn 1,100 calories, provided the terrain is hilly. If the same person spends two hours walking on flat terrain, he or she will burn approximately 500 calories.”
Safety & Companionship
Hiking with dogs offers safety and companionship benefits that you would not have without it.
Depending on the length and terrain of your hike, you may be venturing deep into woodlands. You may be hiking a hill that takes you up to high elevations. Whether you are doing this alone or with another person, hiking with dogs can help make it safer for everyone.
One way that hiking with dogs makes is safer for you is that they can help keep away other animals that you might encounter on hikes. While some breeds are naturally quieter than others, many will react to when they see other animals. This can help prevent you from having one-on-one encounters while on these trails.
Hiking with dogs also helps you by giving you companionship. Instead of hiking alone on your trip, bringing your dog along will make it more interesting. You and your pet can experience things together on a hike that you normally wouldn’t on most walks around the block. This also helps to continue to build a bond between you both.
Things like natural waterfalls, rivers or lush grass that your dog can explore with you.
Do you have a dog that’s a ball of energy? Do you find that he or she wears you out because of it?
Well, hiking with your dog can help you with this.
Just like when you are tired after a strenuous workout at the gym or a long hike, your dog will feel that way too.
When your dog returns home with you after hiking, there’s a good chance he’ll be just as pooped as you are!
This can help curb behavior like nuisance barking, running in the house or begging you to play when you feel tired after a workout or a busy day at work.
Another reason why hiking with dogs is beneficial to you both, is because it naturally reduces stress.
When you are out in the wilderness together, you are often taken away from many things that cause stress for both you and your dog.
For you, it may be that smartphone that is always ringing with a call or buzzing with an email or text. Or that TV which can divert your attention from being productive and getting things done (like exercising)!
When your dog is out on a hike with you, he or she is being taken out of that sort of environment too. One which may include the noises that come with living in a city or the large crowds of people that create distractions for your dog.
By being in a more quiet, peaceful environment on hikes, you both are able to relieve stress and enjoy being together and the adventures that come with it.
Hiking With Dogs Is Worth Trying
Hiking with your dog provides many benefits to both you and your beloved pet.
Whether you are a beginning hiker or a veteran, you should consider giving it a try and be safe.
If you enjoy hiking for exercise, bringing your dog along is a great way for you to do it together. When compared to taking your dog on walks up the street or to dog parks, hiking often is a more challenging exercise for you both. This is because hiking often involves elevation gains and will present more challenges than your average stroll down the road.
But hiking with dogs doesn’t just provide these exercise benefits. It also helps to provide safety to you if you encounter other wildlife while hiking. Bringing your dog with you also helps you go on an adventure with your pet that continues to build the bond between you both.
Just like humans, dogs enjoy the companionship aspect that comes with spending time with one another! Hiking offers you both a unique way to be active together.
Are you a dog owner that has taken him or her out on the trails with you?
If you have, what’s been the most enjoyable aspect of it for you both?
Are there some things that you do on your hike with your dog that work better than others?
Let’s start a discussion below! Happy hiking (to you and your dog)!