Going hiking with a dog in Lake Tahoe? Read this first!

When hiking through the many trails that surround Lake Tahoe, you’ve probably encountered some furry friends. Since this is Tahoe, and where humans are, dogs will likely follow, it’s important to be responsible with your pet while also enjoying the beautiful area.

Responsibility doesn’t just come in the form of making sure your dog is behaving properly, but it also means bringing appropriate supplies for your dog and knowing what your dog can handle.

“The trail is a great place for dogs, but just as in town, there are a few basic guidelines that dog owners should follow to avoid conflicts with other users and to keep dogs happy and healthy,” said Chris Binder, director of trail operations at the Tahoe Rim Trail Association.

According to Binder, knowing when and where to leash your dog is a great place to start when taking your dog out on a trail. Trailheads are usually an active place where other trail users with dogs may likely be, so keeping a dog leashed in and around those areas can help avoid a troublesome situation.

Also, as far as leashes go, keeping a dog leashed when entering uncertain terrain is a good idea to avoid any accidents — trails can be very steep as well as slippery at times. And regardless of location, having your dog close enough to be under voice command can keep you happy on the trails. Once established on a trail, unleashing your dog should be OK as long as you’re aware of your surroundings and keep your dog nearby.

Dogs will more than likely have to relieve themselves at some point, and although this should be common sense for an owner, disposing of the animal’s waste is a must in trail etiquette.

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“The biggest complaint we hear regarding dogs is about abandoned waste bags on the side of the trail,” Binder said. “Not only is it unsightly, but it poses a health risk as well.”

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