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When hiking with pets, be sure to take the following guidelines into consideration: Be sure the physical condition of your pet is adequate for your intended hike. We all want to think Fluffy is up for a long trek, but older pets in particular may not be able to make the full trip. You don't want to be left carrying him/her and a backpack! Bring enough water for both you and your pet. Pack first aid supplies for your pet. Nothing is worse than seeing your pet in pain and not being able to assist. A little planning keeps your hike safe and fun for you and your animal companions.
My Husband and I hike with a group with dogs from Fall till spring in CT every other week; at different locations. The dogs are free since most hikers have stopped using the trails.
I have one suggestion from a problem that we have run into with one of our dogs in the group that being snow balls in the dogs paws. I would strongly reccomend always having dog musher wax with your dog supplies no matter the weather. It can save their pads from the weather while keeping them protected. It's very reasonable and comes in a small can from any good pet store or supplier. I have been using it on my Austalian Cattle dog Jet who hikes almost every day in every kind of weather yet his pads are in great shape. He won't wear the boots in the winter so the Musher wax keeps his feet warm also.