at Monument Mountain, Route #7,
Both natural beauty and fun activities make up the Great Barrington area. Dining, cycling, golfing, and rafting is all popular outdoor activities in the area, but our absolute favorite is hiking. Dog-friendly and homey, the Briarcliff Motel is just minutes away from all the best hikes in the area. With your pup by your side, you can explore the area on hikes that vary in difficulty, terrain, and views. But, safely hiking with your dog is no joke. When it comes time to hit the trails with your pooch, keep in mind some of the following tips to ensure you both stay healthy, safe, and happy.
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Start out your day of hiking with your dog by checking in on what Mother Nature has in store for you. This one seems obvious, but when you’re planning to commit to a day-long activity with no shelter in sight, the weather forecast is important.
Once you’ve done your research, plan accordingly for yourself and your pup. If it’s going to be overly sunny, pack sunscreen for yourself and extra water for your dog. If it has rained recently and you think the trails might be muddy, bring dog booties to protect your puppy’s paws. If it’s supposed to thunderstorm, search for some other pet-friendly Berkshires activities indoors.
Be sure to do your research before you go. The trail you choose must allow dogs. Though many trails do, don’t assume that your pet is welcome there without checking online or with another trusted source. Also, keep in mind that the trail you pick should be in line with your skill level as well as your pet’s. Consider the rockiness of the terrain, the presence of boulders, the trail material, and the possibility of river crossings or tight spaces.
Once you’ve made your trail selection, always obey trail etiquette. We suggest you abide by the National Park Service’s B.A.R.K. ranger rules:
Bag your pet’s waste
Always leash your pet
Know where you can go
Additionally, ensure that your dog is trained to obey your simple commands so that your pup stays safely by your side and doesn’t harm another person, pet, or part of wildlife.
Whenever you’re exploring nature, you should always have a first aid kit handy! Be sure to include materials for both you and your pet. Consider adding in pet aspirin, bandaids, tweezers, an extra leash, additional poop bags, and a soft ankle wrap or brace. Though you may think you’ll never use it, this kit will be essential in a time of need.
Just like you, your dog will get hungry and thirsty from their day of exercising. Keep them hydrated and full of energy by bringing them a water bottle, a bowl, and snacks. This is extremely important because dehydration in dogs can be very serious. Stop frequently to allow them to drink some water if they wish.
On most trails, you must leash your dog for the duration of the hike. In addition to keeping your dog leashed, be sure that they also have proper identification on them in case they accidentally escape. This can be in the form of tags on their collar or a microchip. You could also invest in a collar tracking device if your pup is prone to straying a bit too far.
The trails are calling! Book your stay at the best pet-friendly hotel in the Berkshires: the Briarcliff Motel. Explore nature’s purest beauty with your best friend by your side this season.