My friend Sarah knows a thing or two about keeping fit with her dogs Charlie and Homie. They’ve been
taking some pretty impressive hikes together up the mountains in Vermont. I asked her some questions about hiking and tips for others who’d like to hike with their dogs-


1. How did you get started hiking with your dogs?
S: I never really hiked until I got my boy Charlie. My best
friend Hilary invited Charlie and me on a hike up mount Mansfield one
day and so up we went! Charlie did great! He was probably still a puppy.
After that, I was addicted. Now, I would never think to go on a hike
without at least one dog. The more the merrier!


2. Where have you gone on some typical hikes, how far have you hiked?
S: I have some favorite hikes, but as my life changes and I move around, I
generally find new fun hikes as

I go. I love love love Hunger mountain
in Waterbury, VT. Most gorgeous view at the summit. Stowe pinnacle is
another favorite, close to Hunger Mtn, but a bit shorter in case I’m not
up for a big hike. I started working in Vergennes a few months ago and
so am exploring the local hikes out here–I hiked Snake Mountain for the
first time three weekends ago and loved it so much I hiked it again the
next two weekends! That is a nice, easy hike, with an amazing view! I live
very close to Mt. Philo in Charlotte, which is a nice, 40 minute or so
hike round trip. I do this a lot before or after work. Mt. Mansfield is
also amazing!


3. How can you tell how much your dog is able to handle?

S: I know my dogs so well that I can tell if they can’t handle something
and we need to turn around. It’s all about knowing your dog and being
able to read them. Charlie and Homie have so far been able to handle
every hike I’ve taken them on. I figure if I can do it, so can they! But
best to start out hiking something small and work your way up.


4. What are the 5 most important things people should know about hiking with their dog?


Check the weather before you leave for a hike. Be very mindful of
excessive heat or cold. Either can cause serious medical emergencies
with your hiking buddy.
2- Make sure you are prepared in case something goes wrong (see supplies below)
3. Start out doing short hikes and work your way up to the bigger ones. 
4. Watch out for porcupines!
5. Be mindful of other hikers- not everybody wants a dog slobbering all over them…weirdos!

5. What are the 5 most important things to bring when hiking with dogs?

Water, leash, poop bags, food/snack, vet wrap (never know when
someone’s going to cut their pad). Things may vary depending on the
season, but these would be my staples if i had to choose just 5. I am a
vet tech, so I tend to bring a backpack full of different medical
supplies just in case. They make handy emergency dog medical kits you
can buy from pet stores. You could take this on
the hike or even just leave it in the car just in case.


6. What other activities do your dogs enjoy?

My big dog Charlie loves swimming. That is probably his favorite
activity. I’ve only had Homie for a few months, so this summer I will
find out of he enjoys the water, also…I hope he does! I will have to
get him a life jacket!
This post is part of FitDog Friday, where every week we share ways people are getting fit and healthy with their pets, tips and news bits, our challenges and successes. I hope you’ll join in the hop!

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