Wow, what a summer it’s been! In addition to getting out for a ton of great hikes ourselves, we’ve been having a blast following along as you all shared your summer adventures using #YukonCharlies this season.

Because we’re dog lovers, we also happened to notice some fun shots being shared by Miranda Shea and her canine companions, Loki & Aussie…and couldn’t contain our excitement when she agreed to do an Instagram takeover for us to help share some of her favorite tips for hiking with dogs.

Here are five tips for hiking with dogs, courtesy of Miranda Shea…enjoy!

Tip #1

The number one tip I give everyone when hiking with dogs is to keep your dog hydrated! You may think that’s super obvious, but I see way too many people on trails with their dog looking like it could really use a drink. More than once I’ve offered my dog’s bowl and water to a thirsty trail pup. I can’t stress this enough!

Especially on a hot day, make sure you’re taking more water breaks. Know the signs of dehydration: Dry gums and mouth (you can tell the change in your dog’s saliva), excessive panting, lethargy, and loss of elasticity in the skin are common ones. A collapsible bowl is key to our hiking adventures! And if I know there won’t be safe water to drink on the trail, I pack enough for the both of us.

Tip #2

Do a little research beforehand. Know the trail conditions and expected weather. Try to find out things like if your dog will have access to drinkable water or if there is shade on the trail. Make sure the trail even allows dogs and what the leash rules are. There are many places you can look for information online.

Tip #3

Be courteous on the trail. As an owner of a dog we have to go out of our way to make sure our dog stays out of other people’s way. Make sure your dog is leashed around people and pull your dog to the side to let others pass. If your dog is not trail trained, make sure they stay on a leash at all times on frequented trails.

Tip #4

After the hike, do a comb over of your dog. Feel for unwanted things on their body and brush their fur. It’s good to do frequent checks of your dog on a daily basis as is so you are aware of what is normal and abnormal. Having a good bond with your dog helps you know them better and it’s easier to tell when something isn’t right. Hiking with your dog is a great bonding experience and I would recommend everyone to get outdoors with their pup!

And don’t forget…dogs love snow…if you can hike with them, you can snowshoe with them too!