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Leaf Peeping with Your Puppers: 5 tips for hiking with dogs this fall

Fall is a great time to hit the trails. The cooler temperatures and kaleidoscope of color provide just the right setting for an Insta-worthy outdoor adventure with your favorite four-legged hiking companion. 

Whether you explore local trails or plan a road trip to hit the trails at iconic national forests and parks, it’s important to follow a few guidelines for a safe, eco-friendly hiking experience.

Pack wisely: Great dog hikes start with basic preparation. Don’t leave home without the essentials: a water bottle, collapsible bowl and some dog treats will keep your dog hydrated and energized on the trails. 

Your dog should also be wearing a collar with an ID tag that includes your phone number in case you get separated—and it’s always a good idea to pack an extra collar just in case. A Whistle Health & GPS+ smart collar uses swappable battery packs so you can always track your pet’s location and health.

Tuck it all into a backpack along with a trail map and smartphone to capture the changing leaves and prepare for a great day of hiking.

Wear bright colors: Brightly colored collars and leashes ensure that other hikers can see your dog on the trail.

Switch collars and battery packs come in a range of bright, coordinating colors that will ensure no one mistakes your dog for a fashionable bear or fox during your hike in the woods. See-Me neon dog leashes are also sure to capture the attention of oncoming hikers. 

Leave no trace: When nature calls, pick up. Dog poop can contain parasites like hookworms and roundworms that get into the soil and water, infecting local wildlife. 

Either carry biodegradable poop bags to pick up waste on the trail or dig a hole that’s six to eight inches deep and bury it. Practicing poop etiquette ensures that other hikers can enjoy the trails.

Leash your dog: Never let your dog run off leash on a trail. Your dog—even if she’s adorable and friendly—may make other hikers or other dogs nervous; she may also dart into the woods to follow a scent or chase wildlife.  

Whistle stocks durable leashes in a range of colors and patterns that allow your dog to safely experience the great outdoors.    

Be safe: In addition to packing provisions, staying on marked trails, and keeping your pet on a leash, using GPS-enabled tracking technology like the Whistle Health & GPS device that clips to your dog’s collar is essential for a safe hike. If you get separated on the trail, the high-tech tool with real time location monitoring can be a lifesaver in a high stress situation.

With a little preparation and the right gear, you’ll make great memories hiking with your dog this fall.

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