Bringing your dog into a state park, forest or land trust preserve can be enjoyable for both you and your pet, but it comes with some responsibilities. Be a respectful hiker and follow these rules:
- Make sure the area you are visiting allows dogs.
- Other hikers have the right not to be bothered by dogs -- even friendly ones. Many people, including other dog owners, are apprehensive about loose dogs, and resent dog owners who are inconsiderate of their feelings. Keep your pet leashed and hold the leash at all times.
- Don't let dogs chase wildlife.
- Don't bring a dog you can't control.
- Always bring a bag to clean up your dog's waste, and take the bag home to discard it. It's often a good idea to give your dog a short "bathroom" walk before the hike and discard the waste before you start. Even if you do this, bring a bag along just in case. Dog waste is a pollutant.
- Don't let your dog trample in sensitive areas.
Some information from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy website's "Hiking with Dogs" section was used in this list.