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Hiking with Your Dog in Wendell Falls

  1. Make it Early or Start Late

During the summer months, not only is the temperature high, but the sidewalks will be too hot for the pads of the dog’s paws. It is best to walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening, about an hour after the sun has gone down.

  1. To leash or not to leash?

The experts all debate whether it is best to leash or not leash your pet while hiking. You will want to remember that there are a few things to keep in mind while hiking the trails.  Because your dog will be unfamiliar with the trail environment, we ask that you keep your pet leashed.  There can be many distractions, including wild animals and other people.  Better safe than sorry! 

  1. Stay the course

The Wendell Falls trails provide a nature rich environment, which means that your pet will naturally want to explore.  Because there can be critters and things lurking just beyond the path, we suggest that you keep your pet on the trail as much as possible. 

  1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Many people underestimate the power of dehydration when hiking in the North Carolina climate.  Make sure to stop occasionally to rehydrate yourself and your pup!  Don’t let your dog sip from a stream, as there may be harmful bacteria contained within it.  Instead, make sure that you have packed plenty of fresh water.  Whether your dog looks like she is struggling or not, take breaks to rest and recuperate. 

  1. Pack Dog Treats

You will also want to pack several dog treats for your dog to enjoy while hiking.  The forest floor can sometimes seem like a buffet for your pet, but if you stop and share treats along the way – she will not only think that you are pleased with her hiking behavior, but will also be less likely to partake of any unhealthy plants or insects.  

  1. Booties Can Save Feet

We are not suggesting that you dress your dog in stylish doggie clothing while hiking, but keep in mind that there could be underbrush or hot pavements along the way that can hurt your doggies’ padded footsies.  You may want to invest in some all-terrain booties for your canine companion. 

  1. Keeping the Wild Outdoors

A responsible hiker will only leave footprints and take only photographs when visiting the wild. Don’t remove any plants from the trails and check your pet for any souvenirs also, including ticks or burrs.  Brush your pets coat before allowing them back indoors.