10 Reasons You Should Be Hiking With Your Dog

It's good for your dog—and good for you, too.

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Adapted from Hiking and Backpacking with Dogs, by Linda Mullally. Check out the full book here.

1. Hiking/backpacking is a healthy, noncompetitive, and inexpensive form of outdoor recreation. It is the perfect escape from urban stress and the daily grind while providing an opportunity for you and pooch to reset your metabolisms to “fit.

2. As a dog owner you have the privilege of having a live-in natural hiking companion who will enhance the experience in a unique way.

3. Your dog’s innate curiosity will make you notice and appreciate more of the natural world around you.

4. Your dog’s alertness and intuition can give you an added sense of security.

5. Hiking and backpacking provides time for quality bonding between you and your dog, free of daily distractions and demands.

6. Hiking is a natural and enjoyable way for people and dogs to stay fit. The running up a dirt trail, leaping over streams, and climbing on boulders that keep a dog’s spirit soaring and her body agile, trim, and toned can also work for you.

7. Hiking and the training regimen involved to keep your dog in good form can be excellent prevention for several physical and behavioral disorders and in some cases may help reduce the symptoms of other ailments. As in humans, obesity can trigger more serious health problems such as heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, or even arthritis.

8. Hiking can also benefit your dog mentally. The natural smells, sights, and sounds off the beaten track are invigorating and rejuvenating for both of you.

9. Hiking can help dogs reduce destructive behavior or depression associated with boredom.

10. Regular exercise in the great outdoors can help mellow out high-strung dogs and dogs prone to overt dominance and aggression.

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