Things to consider before hiking
There are a few things to take into consideration before going hiking with your dog.
- Ability: Different dogs have different personalities and energy levels. Make sure you look into the difficulty of the track. You don’t want to end up having to carry your furbaby all the way home!
- Ticks: Ticks, though more prevalent during summer, are out and about all year round. And even more so when you are heading into the bush! Please ensure that your dog is thoroughly protected against ticks as paralysis ticks can be very, very deadly.
- Dog-friendly areas: Not all hiking trails are dog-friendly. Always check before you head out as you can get a hefty fine!
- Camping: Remember to pack all the essentials such as food, toys, comfortable bedding, first aid kit and warm blankets (especially in cooler months). It is also very important to ensure that your furbaby is comfortable with strange noises during the night as you wouldn’t want them barking/howling and waking the entire campsite!
- Vet check: Always check with your vet to ensure that your furbaby is fit and healthy before going on a hike.
What to bring
Just like us, they’ll need their own little bag! There are dog backpacks that you can get to let them carry their own supplies. The list below includes what I consider the essentials, but every dog is an individual, so consider what your furbaby may need.
- Drinking bowl
- Harness. I recommend using a harness over the use of a collar because it offers a lot more support and safety, especially over slippery and potentially dangerous terrain.
- Treats, snacks, and food!
- Poo bags.
- First aid kit
- Overnight pack (if you are camping): things like a little bed and blanket, any medications your furbaby may need and extra food and water.
Where to go?
Now that you’ve packed your dog’s bag, the next step is figuring out where to go! Dogs are banned from all National Parks but there are still many awesome tracks in and around Sydney:
Coastal walk: the coastal tracks from Maroubra to Bondi are all pet-friendly. The views are stunning and the tracks are not too hard. Just keep in mind that they are not allowed on any of the beaches.
Parramatta Lake: There are 3 circuits that follow the lake and goes through bushland. It’s a good trail and would suit all furbabies (except the true couch potatoes)!
State forests: Dogs are welcome in all state forests! They have awesome hikes and some even offer campsites! There are a number of them around, for example, the Strickland state forest and the Cumberland state forest.
Kiama coast walk: This is a stunning walk. However, dogs are not allowed on the beaches.
Narrabeen lagoon trail: This is a fairly new trail that is a circuit around the lagoon. It is a boardwalk with a few bridges. It is a perfect walk for any furbaby!