Dog Friendly Hikes in SoCal

we love being able to take our pups along with us for a nice hike

I love hiking with my dog, Tiffany and she loves getting out for a nice hike every now and then. Below are a few tips and dog friendly hiking trails.

Find a dog-friendly trail.

Never take your dog off leash. I’ve ran into rattlesnakes, bobcats, coyotes and deer. My dog always wants to chase after anything that she sees on the trail. If she wasn’t on leash, I’m sure she would have been lost chasing a deer, or been killed running after a bobcat or coyote or bit sniffing a rattlesnake. I use a fixed 4’ leash for hiking, that way she’s close to me, and I can pull her back right away if we come upon a rattler.

Stay on the trail.

Even if your dog is on their leash they still want to head off the trail. My dog did, and she brushed up against some poison oak, she was fine, but not me, when I picked her up the poison oak transferred off her and onto me. So I had a nice out break of poison oak for 3 weeks. It was horrible. Staying on the trail also ensures that you don’t disturb wildlife and decreases your dog’s chances of coming across fleas and ticks.

Be courteous to others.

This includes people, their dogs, equestrians, their horses, and other wildlife. If excessive barking is a problem, for instance, you might need to work with your dog before bringing him on the trail. Loud noises can spook small children, other dogs and horses. The last of which can be dangerous for all parties involved, including you and Spot. Yield to hikers, bikers, and horses.

Beware of bicyclists.

To keep both dog and bicyclist safe, guide your dog to your right, toward the edge of the trail, when bikers are coming from behind on your left. If your dog has a tendency to chase after bicyclists, you should keep him on a shorter leash around them.

Always ask dog owners for permission before approaching.

Like people, pups’ personalities vary very widely. Some love making new canine friends. Others are more wary. The person who’d be able to advice you best is the owner. Even if Spot is friendly, ask before approaching to make sure the encounter doesn’t escalate to aggression.

Pack a water bowl and plenty of water for both you and your dog.

Depending on the length of your hike, you might want to bring along some snacks as well. Dogs should be kept hydrated and happy. Bringing your own water also saves you the headache of finding a water source and purifying it. If your dog seems especially tired, maybe it’s time for a water break. I hike at least 4-miles everyday with my dog in the early morning. She’s in really good shape, but when the sun is out she overheats pretty quick. I’ll pick her up for a mile or two until she wants down, if it looks like she’s done, I’ll just turn around and go back to the car.

Just in case, bring a first-aid kit.

It doesn’t have to be extensive, just some essentials, including gauze pads, antiseptic and bandaging in case your dog gets hurt. And keep an eye on your dog’s pads. Some trails are made up of sharp rocks that can wear their pads. Having a set of booties in your pack is a good idea.

Always, always pick up after your dog.

Nobody likes stepping in dog poop, so be a good parent and pick up after your dog.

 
Dog Friendly Hikes
Big Santa Anita Canyon Loop via the Lower Trail: [+] Read More
Los Pinos Peak, Cleveland National Forest: [+] Read More
Smith Mountain Peak, Angeles National Forest: [+] Read More
Black Star Canyon / Indian Village, California Historical Landmark No. 217: [+] Read More
Silverado Motorway, Cleveland National Forest: [+] Read More
Bishop Peak, San Luis Obispo: [+] Read More
Bear Canyon Loop, Cleveland National Forest: [+] Read More
Bernardo Mountain, Escondido: [+] Read More