A dog and her human crossing a river.

Most dogs enjoy the great outdoors, a fact not lost on owners that recreate throughout the year. While they may relish long walks, some pups just aren’t equipped to handle a 10-mile trek through the woods (especially in extreme weather). Their capabilities and endurance should always inform the decision to go hiking with your dog, and special consideration for their health and safety is essential. Virginia is simply chock-full of outdoor destinations to share with your best bud, and we have a few suggestions to help with your plans. 

Know Before You Go

As with most activities you share with your pet, it’s always best to be prepared. Scope out the weather forecast, check your car, stock up on supplies, pack up snacks, and always have more water than you think you’re going to need to prevent heat exhaustion. Be sure that your dog’s parasite prevention hasn’t lapsed; hiking with your dog can unfortunately raise the risk of exposure to ticks and mosquitoes. 

The value of a pet first-aid kit is priceless for unexpected injuries or sudden illnesses. Backup batteries, cell phone charges, and emergency flares are always good to have in store. 

Safety First, Always

Your dog must be easily identifiable. Ideally, your dog remains on-leash at all times when hiking or camping together.

Their collar and ID tags are vital, but they can be removed, damaged, or fall off. Your dog’s microchip could be the only thing left to facilitate a possible reunion if they ever run off, get lost, or temporarily separated from you in the woods. Be sure that your contact information that is linked to their chip is up to date before setting off on any adventures. 

Scenic Beauty

Hiking with your dog is just one way to increase their interest in exercise, and enhances the bond between you. Being immersed in Virgininia’s natural beauty adds to both their physical and mental well-being.

Hiking With Your Dog

If you don’t want to venture too far away from Williamsburg, you’re in luck. We have no shortage of wonderful dog-friendly trails to visit that are within a short drive. 

Day Trips

There are so many options to choose from that are between 1-3 hours away from Williamsburg, and you will likely regret none of them. Provided your dog enjoys long car trips you might try to visit any of these great places:

Remember to follow all the rules pertaining to pets, and always pack out what you carry in. Extra waste bags, sunscreen, and insect repellent are always great to have on hand. Also, when hiking with your dog take lots of breaks in the shade, hydrate and snack, and wear life jackets when on or near water. 

We hope you enjoy this small sampler of all that Virginia has to offer visitors and residents alike. Please call us at (757) 253-0656 with additional questions, or to ensure that your dog is prepared for all the adventures you have in store!