Trail ethics for dogs and their owners
Many dogs love being on the trail with their owners and you may enjoy sharing your hike with them. However, people hiking with dogs should be aware of the impact of their animals on the Trail environment and their effect on the Trail experience of others. Make sure your dog is prepared for the hike. Having enough water is critical, especially on hot days when dogs can easily become overheated. Be conscientious about cleaning up after your dog and keeping him away from water sources. Dogs, like people, can carry and spread giardia and other diseases.
Here are some recommendations for hiking with your dog:
- Always keep your dog on a leash
- Take extra care to restrain your your dog around wildlife
- Keep your dog away from springs or other sources of drinking water
- Be mindful that other hikers may be uncomfortable or frightened by even the friendliest dog
- On a day-hike, carry out your dog's waste; on a longer hike, bury your dog's waste in a hole 6-8' deep and 3-4" wide, 200 feet from water sources and campsites (as you would your own)
When staying overnight at a shelter site, consider tenting. It's not a requirement, just a courtesy, especially if your dog barks, drools, is wet or muddy, or overly friendly. When approaching a shelter, keep your dog on a short leash to meet hikers. Ask permission of other hikers before allowing your dog in a shelter; avoid bringing a dog into a full shelter. Be aware that your dog may bring ticks into a shelter.