With trails like Top of the World and Black Star Canyon Trail so close to Pointe Pacific Apartments, it’s easy to grab your best furry friend and spend the day enjoying the scenic views. But hiking with your dog takes a little bit of preparation.

By following these four safety hiking tips with your dog, your day on the trail will be safe and spectacular.

1. Stay hydrated.

The easiest way to determine if your dog is properly hydrated is to check its nose. “If the nose is dry, then you’re under-hydrating your dog,” say experts at REI.com. “Larger dogs might drink 0.5 to 1.0 ounces of water per pound per day. Dogs 20 pounds and lighter will be closer to 1.5 ounces per pound per day.” Portable dog dishes are available at most sporting goods stores.

2. Watch for hazardous terrain.

When you are walking through weeds and stepping on sharp rocks, it’s a good thing you are wearing sturdy hiking shoes. But your dog is walking the same terrain barefoot. Those conditions can be tough on your pet’s paws. Avoid thorny bushes, poisonous plants, and sharp gravel that could be painful (and dangerous) for your pet.

3. Watch for wildlife, both on the trail and off.

It’s not uncommon to encounter various wildlife on the trails. Those meetings can be unpredictable for your dog. To ensure your dog’s safety, keep it leashed. If the area is known to have wildlife, wear a bell or use a whistle while hiking to alert animals that you are near. Should you happen across a surprise visitor that is agitating your dog, leave quickly.

4. Check for critters.

Your furry friend may have brought home some unwanted guests like ticks or bugs. Be sure to give your pet’s fur, ears, eyes, and legs a thorough check. If your dog walked through plants and dried brush on the trail, a good bath is a great way to eliminate the risk of infection from poisonous plants or bug bites.

Getting outdoors is important for you and your dog’s health. Be prepared with plenty of water, stay on the trails, and avoid poisonous plants and other hazards. This ensures your best friend will be on the right path for staying safe, healthy, and happy.