Wellness Wednesday – National Take a Hike Day (Nov. 17th)



Friday, November 17th is National Take a Hike Day. So I thought it would be fitting for our Wellness Wednesday post to be an informative guide for hiking with your dog. With this beautiful cooler fall weather that is upon us, it is the perfect time to take your dog for a scenic hike under the Chattanooga fall foliage. Whether you are a first time hiker or a hiking pro, its still good to make sure you and your dog are prepared for your hike. Todays Wellness Wednesday focuses on places to hike as well as what to pack and things to remember once out on the trail.


The first and foremost tip would be to find a trail that is appropriate for hiking with a dog. A question to ask yourself would be “is the trail easy on the paws?” Always try and look for trials that have shade and appear to have a soft terrain. Its always good to avoid any trial that may have sharp rocks, steep drops and may be populated with mountain bikers.


Below is a list of dog friendly trails here in Chattanooga.


Guild Hardy Trail


Cravens House Trails


The North Chick Gorge


Cumberland Trail 


Possum Creek


Mullens Cove Loop in Prentice Cooper


Enterprise South



Once you have determined what trail you and your dog are going to hike, you should go ahead and start packing a bag with things that you will need while hiking.


FRESH WATER AND A COLLAPSIBLE BOWL – Water is a must for both you and your dog. While you might not get over heated during this time of year you still may sweat without really knowing it. Staying hydrated is very important for the both of you.


FOOD AND TREATS – Burning energy on your hike will in turn make you hungry. Its always good to carry a snack for you and treats for your dog.


A WELL-FITTING COLLAR – You always want to make sure your dogs collar is snug but not snug enough to cause chafing. To make sure the collar is a good fit, its good to do the two finger test. You should always be able to place two fingers under your dogs collar to insure the perfect fit.


A STURDY LEASH – Since you will be on a trail you know there will be some leash tugging going on. Its good to make sure your leash is sturdy for both walking and securing your pet to a specific area.


DOGGIE BAGS FOR WASTE – Though you may fill like you are in the wilderness and at one with nature its not good to let your dog wonder off the trail to do its business. Try and keep your dog on the trail and make sure you bring enough doggie bags to pick up your dogs waste.



Once you are on the trail its always good to check for any rules that the trail might have posted. If the trial is marked with a map its also good to look over the map so you are familiar with the direction in which you will be hiking. Below is a list of things to remember once you start your hike.


KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEASH – Its always good to keep your dog on a leash unless marked on a trail sign. You may feel like you and your dog are the only ones on the trail, 9 times out of 10 you are not. It always safe to keep them on a leash just in case something off trail catches their attention and they have the urge to take off.


STEER CLEAR OF POISON IVY, OAK AND SUMAC – A good rule of thumb is to look for leaves of three. This is a great indicator that the plant is in fact poisonous.


STAY AWAY FROM CRITTERS BOTH LARGE AND SMALL – Critters look like a play object to your dog but to you they don’t. Make sure to keep an eye out for snakes, squirrels and any other animal that is found in nature. They may be harmful to you and your dog.


ALLOW TIME FOR BREAKS – Its good to take breaks to rest, rehydrate and even snack. Make sure to look for a safe shady place to take breaks.


FLEA AND TICK CHECK – Once you have completed your hike its always good to check for fleas and ticks. You might not see these bugs on your hike but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. Its better to be safe then sorry so make sure you do a full scan on the both of you.


Hiking can be a rewarding experience for you and your dog. Not only do the two of you get to spend quality time together but hiking also provides exercise without feeling like you have ran a marathon. I hope you can use these helpful tips and start planning your hike today. So go ahead and pick out your trail, pack your bag and head outdoors on Friday, November 17th to take part in National Take a Hike Day.


Need to stock up on supplies for the hike? Be sure to stop by any of our Slobberbones locations to get all the things you need. From dog treats and doggy bags to collars and leashes we have all your hiking needs!